I didn’t have any plans for Friday night as I was planning on resting up ahead of taking on the Thames Path Challenge on the Saturday but then my friend Howard was in the city so we met up for a drink and dinner. We went to Byron for a burger and milkshake, it was my first time at a Byron and you can read all about that visit here!
Saturday morning I was up bright and early to make my way to Putney Bridge where I was meeting the rest of the team from work that were also doing the 25km section of Thames Path Challenge for our chosen charity Facing the World. I had somehow managed to come perfectly coordinated with the challenges color scheme.
We managed to sneak into an earlier time slot and had a quick warm up before setting off at 10am full of beans. We stayed together as a team until about 5km but it soon became obvious that we had different paces and broke off so I spent a lot of the time walking alone. I took lots of pictures to keep me occupied, listened to some podcasts and posted on social media (thank god for my new portable Technet phone charger!)
The first rest stop came at 14km and it was at this point we realised that out “25km” walk was actually a 26.5km walk as it was a slightly longer section then some of the others. All of the team were still feeling pretty good at this point but having got there first I was ready to get back on the trail after 30 minutes and so left the others behind to keep going.
I hit 20km and was still feeling pretty good but then I crossed the bridge to go back North of the river and to take on the final stretch and something felt different. The route broke away from the Thames Path and went along a main road instead which wasn’t the best environment to be walking in and after kilometer 22 I saw no marker so had no idea how much farther it was to go, the markers really did help keep me pushing through up until that point but I did it and was rewarded with the finish line, a medal and a glass of bubbly at the end!
It really is a beautiful walk (although some sections were incredibly muddy and slidey) but I’d only perhaps do 5 or 10km of it at anyone time rather than 25km (or indeed 100km!). I have only high praise for the Action Challenge team though the organisation was superb, the registration process simple and the facilities generally very good. I was a bit worried about taking on this challenge from a health point of view, I have Crohns and the thought that there would only be portaloos at the halfway point and then again at the end genuinely filled me with dread but I watched what I ate (my symptoms are worse after I eat a large meal) and was OK all the way through and the loos that I did use were about as clean as you could expect which was wonderful! The snack and food options we were provided with were also bloody amazing so thank you to everyone who took on the huge task of organising this event! I headed straight home and into the bath before collapsing in bed for the best nights sleep I have had in ages!
You’d think after all that walking all that way I’d be having a quiet day on the Sunday but no I had my third date with T to go on (more details on my dating escapades soon I promise). We met up for pizza at the Pizza Express on Bankside which is definitely my favourite location as it has amazing views of St Paul’s before heading to The Globe to see The Comedy of Errors there. It was really something special to see a Shakespeare play in its proper home and you can read more about my visit in yesterday’s post.
How was your weekend? Any exciting plans for this one?