For those of you who have somehow escaped the endless updates and pleas for your hard-earned (for most of you) cash, I am walking 100km of the Sahara desert in aid of The Prince’s Trust – you can still donate here. As you can imagine this involves a fair amount of training.
While I’m not necessarily unfit (I walk four miles a day and go running three times a week) there are always improvements to be made and the thought of walking up to 18k in a day, in the desert is somewhat daunting.
A couple of years ago I couldn’t have imagined heading off on an adventure like this, and I’m so pleased the stars aligned or whatever else occurred that is now making it happen. It’s an incredible feat and a story I know I will cherish.
I’m not the only one heading out on this adventure though, there are around ninety others, who are hopefully breaking in their walking boots and running up the stairs in the office instead of taking the lift as I write this. The only one of my fellow trekkers I know, aside from email contact and jealousy of fundraising abilities is Terri. As she lives on the cusp of Epping Forest (very much like a troll) she invited me for a day of wandering about in the woods while she cheerfully called ‘I think it’s this way’ over her shoulder.
I turned up on her doorstep just before eleven o’clock with spots in front of my eyes and a stinking hangover. After rehydrating my brain and checking our provisions we took off for an epic walk.
The joy of wandering around the E4 woodlands with Terri is that she is an excellent storyteller and traveller. She told me about petting tigers in Thailand, about her bucket list and about the ring of grime that collects around one’s ankles after walking distance.
After four miles we made it to a pub. After five miles we had somehow looped back round to be at the pub again. We stopped to have an awesome picnic, comprised of goodies I had bought before the sleep was even out of my eyes. After seven miles we were at Waltham Abbey. While the names of towns weren’t completely alien to me, I didn’t realise the distance it meant we had covered until we came across a map at the start of a woodland trail. It felt like we had just been ambling but the map proved different. There was a mighty area of trees on the map between the two points Terri was highlighting. We had actually accomplished something.
After 9.9 miles Terri decided to make an Instagram video (because she’s such a hipster) and the iPhone app we had been using to calculate our distance stopped as the phone shorted out like we had crossed the streams. She quickly started it up again to reach our grand total of 12.64 miles by the time we made it back to her humble abode for Rekorderlig and a sit down. We burnt over 800 calories and felt like we had made something of our Sunday.
I know the Sahara is going to be a different beast altogether but with just over eight weeks to go, I think we can tame it.