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TrekFest Peaks Challenge!

Brampton Recruitment is committed to raising a minimum of £1000 for The Peter Pan Nursery as part of the charities corporate Club100. I wondered how I could help to raise some of this? In May I was introduced to the TrekFest Peaks Challenge – a 27 mile walk in the Peak District. Sounded easy and fun. Walking 27 miles – how hard could it be – I walk round the Trafford centre all the time!

So I had 17 weeks before the event – plenty of time to train, surely I could just walk an extra 5 miles each week and reach 27 miles in no time!?

I had my walking boots, waterproofs, rucksack and ipod ready – so I set off. Training started at the local nature reserve with lots of climbing, steep steps and mud! I managed 6 miles on my first day of training – I was more than smug, until 10pm that night when I tried to climb into bed – my legs wouldn’t lift on their own! That was when I realised why it was called a ‘challenge’.

My motivation came from different sources; obviously I didn’t want to let down anyone at The Peter Pan Nursery, any of my colleagues who were working towards their own challenges and of course those that had already generously donated. But I would be lying if I said my motivation didn’t also come from my stubborn and competitive streak! There was more than one occasion I kept climbing hills, huffing and puffing, wanting desperately to sit down but didn’t because someone twice my age in front of me was going quicker!

Training didn’t go quite to plan but 2 weeks before the event I reached 20 miles and finally found socks which didn’t give me blisters – you have no idea how happy this made me!! I was slightly nervous though and just hoped that the adrenaline on the day would get me through.

The day arrived and so did the rain!

Luckily good old Facebook had put me in touch with other people taking part in the event on their own, so we met up and quickly introduced ourselves. I walked closely with people that were taking part to fundraise for charities Mind and PSP Association and instantly I was at ease – we all said the same thing, we hadn’t done as much training as we had planned and we hadn’t slept well the night before! At least we were all in it together.

I set off positive and a little excited. I have no idea where the time went! The first few hours seemed to be me waiting my turn as a huge group of 350+ people tried to cross over sty’s and fences! At first I thought the weather had put a dampener on the day – it was drizzly and foggy, meaning I couldn’t see any of the beautiful views I knew were around us. But I think in the end this worked in my favour. It meant I couldn’t see the huge climb in front of us!

The fog did make it difficult at the top of Kinder Scout, where I would have easily gotten completely lost if I wasn’t following others who luckily knew the way.

For me, the day was made easy by chatting to everyone else – it was great meeting so many different people and the time flew by – I had expected to be more grumpy towards the end than I was (I had pre-warned my new walking buddies of this!). The conversation about what we would reward ourselves also helped immensely and strangely enough three females all agreed on the same thing – pizza, wine and chocolate of course!

Food was another motivator – for some it has been pork pies (don’t ask!), but for me it had been haribo’s.. I think I must have just been on a sugar rush for most of the day.

The hardest part of the day is easy to remember – getting to the bottom of Kinder Scout and walking to check Point 2. I had been pleased the hardest climb of the day was over, my legs hadn’t wobbled and the anti-blister socks were working, but I was 6 hours in and ready for a rest and re-fuel. I had not expected the check point to be another couple of miles walk, up a very steep hill! I just kept walking thinking surely it must be near, I was happy to finally see the TrekFest flags! We ate but had only been there 20 minutes before we were told we needed to leave soon or wouldn’t make the finish. That was it – we all suddenly became determined, we walked to the next check point at such a pace we were literally jumping with excitement when we realised we were on the home stretch.

We crossed the finish line with cheers and gladly accepted our medals and glass of bubbly!

The day was tough and I was surprised I finished without once thinking I want to give up – but I owed that completely to all those I had walked with, we were a team!

So I did it! And I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored me and the rest of the team for their challenges – we have raised nearly half our target!

Fabulous event, an absolute credit to the event organisers as it was really, really well organised so I’d definitely recommend it to anyone to have a try.

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