2021 LDWA 100 – Miles 41 to 50

This is the story of my completing the LDWA 100, something which I didn’t actually always think I’d be able to do. Unlike the previous training walks, I’m going to tell this story in a different way, which is just my feelings about each section of the walk. I usually take hundreds of photos during walks, but when walking 100 miles there are different priorities. My friend Nathan also walked with me for the first 60 miles, but these are my experiences rather than his. These posts are more introspective than usual and there will be an index to these ten ‘stories’ on this page.

This section of the walk took us from Loddon along the Wherryman’s Way by the River Yare and then into a point just short of Rockland St. Mary. Chelle and Paul had left us at Loddon, but we had the surprise of Rob (another successful LDWA 100 completer) joining us for a big chunk of this section of the walk.

The quiet and still river at sunset.

The not so quiet Cantley Sugar Factory, reminding me slightly of seeing Las Vegas in an otherwise dark Nevada sky (you have to use your imagination for that a bit, but it does dominate the local Norfolk countryside with its bright lights).

Not a great photo, but this was the KFC treat at 60 miles, which Richard had kindly rushed to us from Norwich. He was in charge of the support car for this section, and again, I must say how much we appreciated his help. There’s another tip here, which is ensure that you get some of the food treats that you want, whether that’s something sensible like KFC or even something perhaps just a little less sensible such as fruit. Whatever it is, it’s another little target to look forwards to.

I felt this stretch of the walk went better than we had anticipated, as we had expected the walk into Norwich between 50 and 60 miles to feel easier than this section. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be, but it meant that at 50 miles things seemed pretty much at ease. We had gotten used to walking at night, frightened only once by a pack of hungry yelping wolves (or a solitary muntjac deer, they sound similar) and from them on Rob had helped to distract us with conversation. I also feared for a moment that I was breaking out into a sweat, but it seemed to be more the condensation of the evening. We might have recognised that if we’d done more night walking, but that’s a bit of an effort to organise and it usually seems a much better idea to go to the pub.

Richard had set up the tables and chairs at 55 miles for us to have a stop and sit down at Hardley Staithe, and I had another of my slightly decadent teas to pass the time. I wasn’t particularly hungry at this stage, but carefully made an effort to eat a few things to ensure that I had enough salt, sugar and other essential nutrients.

That I don’t have much to write about my feelings during this stretch tell their own story, I think we had gotten into a rhythm of walking, buoyed up that we were some way ahead of schedule and were in as good as a shape physically as we could have hoped for. We also decided that we’d amend our route from 50 miles onwards, which was to go off Wherryman’s Way and to walk along the road. I think we felt that this was a chance to make our lives as easy as possible to get into Norwich. But, the next section was to prove to be more testing. Quite a bit more testing.