This page is all part of my effort to walk the 2021 LDWA 100.
The latest in my series of Q&As is Chelle Armour from Norfolk & Suffolk group, someone who I must confess seemed to have a walking ability beyond anything that I could ever imagine achieving back when I joined in 2011. And I look back and think how bloody right I was. Chelle just sails through walks, with an elegance to walking that I don’t have. I’m not sure that much fazes Chelle, whether it’s walking related, cooking things up in the kitchen when marshalling or dealing with her dog Fred when he sees a stile he doesn’t like.
And, can I say, I very much like this line – “towards the end there is always some ache or blister to moan about”, Nathan and I were planning for something like this, as we both like others to know we might be slightly suffering. This will likely cheer us up, being able to moan about aches and blisters for miles. And, I hope to put weight on during the event too!
On another point, I fully agree with Chelle about marshalling, it’s great fun to get involved and we welcome anyone who wants to come and help.
Q. When was your first 100?
2005, The Chiltern landmarks. I’d joined the LDWA in the November before and got a late entry to the Woldsman the month before for a qualifier and had no idea what I was getting myself into really….. I raised £1000 for arthritis research and finished hand in hand with a stranger who I’ve never seen again and 3 members of Norfolk and Suffolk group !! 🙂
Q. When you finished your first 100, did you think you’d do another?
I didn’t want to do another that’s for sure but as soon as the pain had gone (it took a while, i had blisters between every toe!) I found myself thinking about training for the next years and thinking of all the nice places I’d see !!
Q. So, you’re 60 miles in, you’re tired, it’s wet, your foot feels like it might fall off. How do you keep going?
I never think of the whole distance. It’s always one checkpoint at a time. Even at the beginning I think, it’s just 15 or 17 short walks… When you get to a checkpoint, it raises your mood…. you get fed, watered and looked after and then it’s off to the next one for more of the same………
Q. What would you pick at a checkpoint, two vegan sausage rolls or one vegan steak bake?
2 vegan sausages rolls and I would be ecstatic if there was brown sauce!!
Q. You walked 50 marathon-length walks to mark your 50th birthday. What would you say to anyone thinking of doing the same?
Go for it, its time consuming and hard work but its also brilliant fun, you meet some great people n see some beautiful things….. (I will add that I only walked in the rain twice and not for long… )
Q. How important are the marshals to you at checkpoints on longer challenge events?
Essential, I look forward to every cp, knowing that the marshals will give me some tlc and do their utmost to provide me with anything I need and then get me on my way again. They want me to finish as much as I do……
I have marshalled on the hundred and other events too and it’s often as much as a challenge as doing the event!! I urge anyone to volunteer if they can. Events wouldn’t happen without the army of volunteers!
Q. Have you hallucinated towards the end of a walk?
Yes, on the Valleys 100 I saw baby dinosaurs ( I’ve since been told they were more likely to be baby dragons-as in Wales!) and also a giant football mascot swaying in the darkness. On Surrey Tops, I once had a soldier in full regalia and pointy hat on a horse next to me for what seemed like miles. Every time I looked left he was there….
Q. Other than the Cheesy Feet you’re famous for making, what’s your favourite food at a checkpoint?
It depends on the weather. I ate rather a lot of cucumber on the cinque ports but to be honest I just eat a lot on long events. I figure you need fuel but am probably one of the few that puts on weight during a hundred. I sometimes have 3or 4 sugars in my tea on the last quarter and I’m partial to a small beer (purely medicinal, helps the pain…. ) anything that slides down is good, rice pudding, tinned fruit, jacket spud. I had cheese, blackcurrant jam n jelly beans in between jacobs crackers once, that was lovely!!
Q. If you walk with the same person for what is nearly 48 hours, what do you talk about? Is there lots of stunned silence when tiredness kicks in?
There are silences, but towards the end there is always some ache or blister to moan about. Worst bit is in between about 60-80miles when I usually lose my sense of humour for a bit and struggle to think of anything to talk about. We talk a lot of rubbish, and play the A to Z of stupid subjects such as ailments you get on hundreds…. Aches, blisters, chaffing, dry lips, elephantitus, fat fingers……… or food you fancy avocado, bananas, chocolate, date balls, ecclescake…….
Q. What one word or short phrase would you use to describe the LDWA chair, David Morgan?
Q. What one word or short phrase would you use to describe the inspirational and vibrant Norfolk & Suffolk chair?
Excitably enthusiastic…. 🙂
Q. To those people who are thinking about taking part in their first challenge event, maybe just 18 miles, what advice would you give them?
Enjoy yourselves….. 🙂