Find out how our consultants are progressing in their quest to complete the 100 km South Downs trek in aid of Oxfam and the Ghurka Welfare Trust.
Trailwalker Blog Number 1: by David Liversidge (aka Liversausage)
With the Bath Half safely out of the way it now feels like the intrepid (foolhardy?) BMT Beasts Trailwalker team is finally ‘up and running’ (well, walking actually but you get what I mean).
Yes, we did manage to do an 11 mile team walk in February, and Dave Insley heroically crippled himself doing a 27 mile walk on his own (guilt-driven as he was the only team member not running the Bath Half) but, as the team assembled on a damp morning on 19th March just outside Avebury, it felt like we were starting in earnest with our training work up to the Trailwalker event proper on 22th July.
It was an inauspicious start though. In my typical OCD fashion I’d arrived 20 minutes earlier than our agreed 9am start forgetting there would be no traffic at that time on a Saturday morning. There was drizzle in the air and it was cold as I arrived at our agreed RVP at the car park at Silbury Hill on the A4. As I pulled up I was greeted with a sign that said ‘thieves operate in this area’ and there were the tell-tale signs of broken car glass on the ground to prove the point.
To raise my spirits I popped up the road to Marlborough for a take-away latte and a packet of pain-au-chocolate and was feeling a lot better by the time I got the (not unexpected) text from Charlotte Miller (aka Lottie) saying she was running unfashionably late. Dave Insley (aka Muscles) and Ben Wickens (aka Ben) turned up not quite as late and by 09:30 the team was ready to set off.
Confidence in my orienteering skills took an early dent as within 10 minutes I’d managed to lead the team across a boggy field to an impassable stream. However, we were on the right path in minutes and only had to resort to using Dave’s Ordnance Survey ‘app’ a couple of times as Lottie and I shared the map reading and agreed (most of the time) on our location and direction.
I felt the team bonding noticeably over the duration of the trek as with a pact of ‘what
gets said on the walk stays on the walk’ we shared embarrassing stories and personal insights and tried our hardest not to talk about work. The beautiful Marlborough Downs countryside helped make the day even more enjoyable despite the sting of winter still in the air which made Lottie’s flask of hot tea all the more welcome.
22 miles and 7 hours later (I’d estimated it would be 18 miles so my popularity had nose-dived a bit in the last 4 miles) we arrived safely back at our cars (which were thankfully intact and still there) with only aching limbs and some attractive blisters to show (Ben).
Our confidence boosted that we had completed a challenging walk over a third of the Trailwalker distance we are already planning an even longer training walk in late April. Let’s hope it’s a bit warmer.