Where did the time go?

Subtitle – an Offa’s Dyke 4 MS Update

My dog looking out towards Snowdon

When I first announced our plans to walk Offa’s Dyke in aid of MS, back in March, it seemed such a long way away (over a year in fact). I had great plans – regular training walks, blogs about the best equipment to buy, interesting hours spent pouring over OS maps of the route….

Things started well – a trip to Snowdonia in June, Bodmin Moor in August, and back to Snowdonia in September… and then things went a little quiet…. to be honest I had kidded myself that I had ages, and I didn’t need to worry about the preparations.

Then it occurred to me… we are actually starting the walk in about 100 days time…. and we haven’t prepared anything…..

It was just the kick up the backside I think I needed!

The Team

Alex (@winkysmileyface on twitter)

Unfortunately Angus and Helen, who were originally due to join us, have had to pull out due to other commitments. However, as well as Alex and I (and my dog of course), we are being joined by Karen and, the youngest member of the team, Popa (her 13-year old daughter).

My parents have also very kindly agreed to act as the support team. Forcing a 13-year old, no matter how much energy she has, to carry a full pack across 177 miles over 12 days, seems a little harsh, so my parents will be acting as mules carrying her’s and Karen’s equipment between campsites.

This also solves the logistical problem I was having about dog food – 12 days worth of German Shepherd food is a lot, and I had no intention of trying to lug it all the way! Alex and I will however still be carrying full packs with everything we will need over the entire walk, so don’t think for a minute we are having it easy!

Having a support team also sorts out issues such as what happens if one of the team (or the dog) can’t continue, how do we arrange replacement equipment, and what happens should one of us injure ourselves (usefully my dad is a doctor!).

The Dates

We will travel upto North Wales on Monday 5th April 2010, with a view to starting the walk in Prestatyn on the North Wales coast, early on Tuesday 6th April.  We will then aim to finish on Saturday 17th April (subject to change)

This is an obvious choice of dates, as it coincides with school’s Easter half term!

The Equipment

Not the ideal equipment for hiking

It has occurred to me how little equipment I have that is suitable for hiking – no tent, no roll mat, no rucksack! In fact pretty much the only thing I have sorted are the Viewranger OS maps!

With Christmas fast approaching, we have taken the opportunity to work out a rough equipment list to pass onto our friends and relatives in the hope of getting some of what we need at Christmas.

After Christmas the plan is to do a sponsorship deal with a local outdoor store to help us keep the costs down (100% of all money donated is going to MS, the rest is coming out of our pockets!)

The Training

Over the last few months, I really have not done too much walking! My grand plan to go on weekend camps every few weeks just didn’t happen!

I went on a long walk the other weekend (blog post to follow) – just 15 miles around the Northamptonshire countryside! It nearly killed me…. and Christmas, with all it’s fatty foods and booze, is just around the corner!

It is definitely time to kick start the training!

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