Putting Offa’s Dyke to Bed

It has seemed like forever that I have been banging on about Offa’s Dyke (and has almost certainly felt like forever for you!) – my first blog post about it was at the end of March 2009, and even though we completed our challenge back in April this year, it has taken me far too long to finally write everything up.

Well this is it, the final blog Offa’s Dyke related blog post.

Thank You

Through out the whole process we came across some fantastic people, mostly on Twitter, whose support made our challenge so successful. I am really glad that I am still in touch with many of you and thank you again for all your help and words of encouragement.

When I first decided to do this challenge, the original target was to raise £1000 for MS Society – when Alex came on-board I thought that maybe £1500 was achievable. Never did I imagine that we could raise £3845.

Having just reread through all the comments on our Just Giving page again, I am completely blow away with all the lovely comments and how generous people were, not just my friends and family, but people I have never met – including doctor colleagues of my dad and followers on Twitter. Thank you all so much for supporting us and such a great cause!

I would like to reserve a special thank you for @fergycool, @hoptonhousebnb@gwenoldy, @JabberingJude and @Pete_Knight – thank you so much for your contribution and helping us out – it was fantastic to meet most of you (or enjoy your muffins in the case of Karen!)

The Dyke

Offa’s Dyke is great long distance route – there is such a variety of terrains and it is quieter than other more popular routes. We preferred some parts to others, but each of the legs on their own were enjoyable (especially if you forget about the foot pain I suffered)

You can read all my write ups about our hike by selecting “Offa’s Dyke 4 MS” from the category drop down on the left hand side of the page.

I am glad we decided to walk from North to South – neither the start or the finish is particularly inspirational, but at least you walk on a stretch of Dyke for the last few steps at the end when you are heading South. I am also pretty convinced that walking South makes the tough Switchback hills section easier! The other advantage is that you encounter everyone else walking the Dyke coming the other way.

It is a nice touch that the Offa’s Dyke Association send you a certificate and badge to commemorating walking the Dyke (there is a small payment, and you need to get the signature of a handful of members along the way).

Social Hiking

As well as raising money for charity, Offa’s Dyke has also given birth to a web app – Social Hiking. The app takes the live updating map some of you used to follow our progress online and lets others use it for their own adventures. It is still early days, but there is a huge list of updates and improvements planned for the future and it will be interesting to see how others can benefit.

You can view the full map of Offa’s Dyke (as well as our photos, tweets and audio) at http://new.socialhiking.org.uk/maps/os/offasdyke4ms/Offas-Dyke-4-MS

What Now?

It was an epic adventure that took up my life. After completing it though, whilst there was a huge feeling of achievement, there was also a feeling of emptiness. I think it has probably taken me this long to finally close the book on the whole thing because I did not want it to end.

Anyway I have decided on a new challenge for 2011 – it is personal rather than for charity, but related to hiking… more details coming soon!

So long Offa’s Dyke – it has been emotional!

and a massive thank you to our sponsors of our Offa’s Dyke Challenge:

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