Well we did it! Chris and I finished our 84 mile Hadrian’s Wall challenge on Saturday 31 May 2014 around 1630 hours at Bowness-on-Solway. The final leg from Carlisle was listed as 14.5 miles but on our app it was more like 16 miles. We headed straight to the only pub in the village for a celebratory pint! Very happy to be finished 🙂
We had trained for 4 months for this challenge but it was tougher than we had imagined, particularly the effect on our feet. That’s not to say the training was a waste of time, far from it. The terrain across the walk is so varied ranging from tarmac to mud (and we mean deep mud!). The weather could have been worse but it also could have been better – particularly in the hilly middle sections.
Despite the rain, the middle section which we tackled on days 3 and 4 of our challenge, was absolutely stunning to the point that a return visit might be on the cards. Returning as tourists of course 🙂
Could we have done it quicker? Chris and I disagree on this one but my personal view is we could have condensed it into 5 days by taking some risks. That said, I take my hat off to anyone whatever age or physical condition who does this in less than 6 days.
As a reminder, you can view the blogs for Days 1 to 6 of our walk as follows:
Day 1 – Wallsend to Heddon-on-the-Wall http://wp.me/p4AplF-ew
Day 2 – Heddon-on-the-Wall to Chollerford http://wp.me/p4AplF-eN
Day 3 – Chollerford to Steel Rigg http://wp.me/p4AplF-fI
Day 4 – Steel Rigg to Lanercost http://wp.me/p4AplF-fS
Day 5 – Lanercost to Carlisle http://wp.me/p4AplF-gK
Day 6 – Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway http://wp.me/p4AplF-hT
So what next? Some people have already suggested other walks and I really do fancy another challenge but I need to think hard about my capabilities. One of my personal aims was to see what my body was capable of after 4 years of treatment for Neuroendocrine Cancer and I suspect the answer is a positive one. Watch this space.
One thing I will be doing is keeping up my blog but perhaps only weekly and/or ad hoc. I saw some interesting stuff on the trail, met some interesting people; and was able to give some thought about the effort of blog writing and the potential audience of patients and non-patients. I’m heartened by the fact that the feedback was good and people are still reading last month’s blogs today, so I guess there’s a demand. I’m working on the following blog posts which I’ll publish in due course:
- Beyond the Wall – a continuation of what next but an additional Game of Thrones angle plus a Scottish twist.
- The Size of the Lambs – observations and banter from the walk.
- Things are not always what they seem – about an autistic person I met during the walk but with an additional spin on cancer symptoms.
- Results are all that matter – some world cup banter and my consultant appointment on 18 Jun (results time!)
- My stomach cramps my style – risk management of certain cancer and treatment side effects
- A ‘Highland Coup’ – a twist of words bringing back some memories plus an interesting story of a B&B stay.