For the past year Mum and I have been in training for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in order to raise money for the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity. You can read about the reasons behind our challenge here.
Hint hint you can donate towards our challenge here.
For weeks and months we were walking 5 miles several times a week. Recently we changed our training to 8 mile walks. However, could we really do a long distance walk? Could we walk say 19 miles? Could we also walk 19 miles with all our gear – backpacks and poles? We decided to attempt it. This would be the walk to decide whether the Yorkshire 3 Peaks was achievable.
Would we be trekking up peaks? No – we live in flat Norfolk. Instead we decided to follow (ish) the Painted Churches Cycle Route map Mum had recently found. The route went past 4 churches that contain a St Christopher on the north wall. The route had the added advantage of being close to home so we could always call for back up if we couldn’t walk any further. This is the route we took.
Throughout the journey there were some things I learnt and incidences that I would like to share:
This is the point where my Mum nearly got run over by a train. I am from the generation that has been scared for life after reading the Roald Dahl’s Guide to Railway Safety (illustrated by Quentin Blake).
Luckily for Mum I am all to aware of the dangers and looked both ways at the Railway crossing!
It is amazing how far I will walk in order to get a cup of tea and cake! We took a detour to Moulton Nursery for cake and a toilet stop. We sat outside and for a while could forget that we were on a very long walk – until we stood up again and realised our feet hurt.
This field will be forever known as the field from hell. I will be telling the story to Adam for years to come and he shall pass it on to my grandchildren. The public footpath was not clearly marked across the field where the corn had been battered by the recent weather. This meant we had to wade across the corn than was above knee height. It was extremely difficult. Half way across the field I got thigh cramp. There is not much you can do for thigh cramp in the middle of a field – especially when you suddenly get cramp in the other leg AND your pole decides to break at that moment. I did manage to hobble across to Moulton St Mary Church where I was extremely thankful to be helped by the seat in memory of my late Father-In-Law.
Moulton St Mary Church is a redundant Anglican round-tower church which holds a 14th Century wall painting of St Christopher. It has a special significance to my Edwards side of the family as it is where my husbands Dad is buried.
This was where I discovered I am still scared of walking through a field of cows. I found out just how far I am prepared to walk extra in order to avoid walking through said field. I have to point out that the cows had horns. There may have only been two of them but I wasn’t going to take any chances!
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks involves walking up and down 3 peaks -Pen-Y-ghent (2273 ft/ 694m), Ingleborough (2373 ft/ 723m) and Whernside (2414 ft/ 736m). Some serious hills. However, after stopping briefly at Hassingham Church we were confronted with this:
This, in Norfolk, is what we class as a hill. You won’t believe the groans that came from my Mum and I as we walked up this hill! I think we may come in for a shock in Yorkshire!
I learnt that at 33 years old, when your Mum shouts “run” at you, that you run – even if it is running across 4 lanes of traffic on a bypass. This was to save walking a further 2 miles to the safe route across the bypass. 17 miles into the journey I was suprised I had the energy to run – that was until I stopped running and the realisation that we had a further 2 miles to walk kicked in.
However, we managed to walk the 19 miles. I may have looked an idiot using poles to walk in flat Norfolk but it gave me an insight into which arm muscles will hurt after using them. It was the first time I had walked with a backpack and it demonstrated how much they can rub. All in all though our feet survived with very few blisters and we didn’t hurt as much as we had expected. Yorkshire 3 Peaks here we come!
To give us an extra incentive, please donate what you can to help raise money for the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity. I am currently half way towards my goal!