On Saturday 29 April 2017 at 8.20 Lee and I set out to walk the 106km around the Isle of Wight, our fundraising effort for New Futures Nepal, a cause close to our hearts. At the warm up, we were told to look each other in the eye, hug each other, and be ready to support each other; we would be spending the next 25 hours together, face pain, hunger and sickness together, as we set out to complete one of the toughest ultra-walking challenges.
And, as we discovered, this was NO walk in the park! We walked continuously, through the night, resting only to take on food and drink at regular rest stops. The Isle of Wight is quite stunning along some stretches of the coastal path. On our walk we saw its true beauty. We also experienced the sheer scale of ascent and descent there is on what appears to be undulating terrain. Over the course of this challenge we scaled more ascent than climbing Ben Nevis!
The most memorable moments? In the early hours of the morning before the dawn, we walked the esplanade of Sandown and Shanklin. It was high tide, the wind had got up to 20mph, the waves were crashing right by the side of us, spraying in our faces as we paced on in darkness. There was no conversation here, we couldn't have heard ourselves speak anyway, just facing into the dark and the danger. Then near the end of this stretch, we heard the first blackbird and saw a hint of daylight sneaking up the horizon and way out to sea. A glimmer of hope of what lay ahead of us.
In less than 25 hours, we arrived at the finish line, a great time. The money is still coming in for the charity, we have raised 80% of our target £3,000. With Lee walking yet another ultra challenge for us, London to Brighton 100km at the end of May we have time to raise even more! If you’d like to sponsor us, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/teams/TeamUmesh
New Futures Nepal is a charity partner with Action Challenge who organise these 'ultra challenges' for people who want to do something really impressive and challenge themselves to raise money for a cause they support. These walks do require preparation, good training, and a strong mental attitude to keep going through the pain and tiredness barrier. But the sense of achievement at the end, together with the knowledge of the money raised for New Futures Nepal, make it one of the best experiences you'll ever have. You can choose 100km or 50km or 25km and walk, run or jog from a range of challenges. Why not give it a go for New Futures Nepal? http://www.actionchallenge.com/challenges