LDWA 100 – Q & As with Simon Hodgin

This page is all part of my effort to walk the 2021 LDWA 100.

My latest series of posts is asking some more professional walkers who have actually completed the walk about how they have got on. And today’s journalistic triumph of writing is Simon Hodgin, a member from Norfolk & Suffolk who makes walking these things look just a bit too easy. Although, he’s also sponsoring a large shipment of craft beer to me if I can complete the 100 next year, which is a quite marvellous idea.

Simon, inspired by Jane who has helped with his training, seems to positively enjoy the 100s and I think his competitive instinct from being a footballer has helped with this. There’s more about Simon here, which is another page on this web-site about walking the 100, not some Google link to help stalk him.

Q. When was your first 100?

2018. I’m a relative newcomer to the LDWA and 100s

Q. When you finished your first 100, did you think you’d do another?

Yes. I was ‘hooked’!

Q. What would you pick at a checkpoint, two sausage rolls, one chicken bake or one steak bake?

One steak bake

Q. How important are the marshals to you at checkpoints on longer challenge events?

A. Very important. I’ve witnessed them play a key part in encouraging a colleague of mine not to give in during a 100 and help get him back ‘in the zone’ to continue. I have always been impressed with the support of the marshals in every LDWA event I have done over the last five years.

Q. Your dog has become the unofficial Norfolk & Suffolk group mascot for his bravery, single-mindedness and courage. How proud has this made you?

He is also obsessed by food, so with those ‘qualities’ we are thinking of changing his name from Bailey to Julian….

Q. Have you hallucinated towards the end of a walk?

I have, very slightly. I have seen small images in the road looking back at me. The fact that it is expected makes the experience amusing.

Q. You’ve told me that I shouldn’t over-train for the 100. Is this advice because you’re worried that I’ll become such a honed athlete I’ll get a faster time than you? And what is your training schedule for the next 100?

Funnily enough, no. To become a honed athlete you would need to give up Greggs and craft beer, and I don’t see that happening any time soon. Like most LDWA members we walk all year, so we are constantly ‘in training’. You need to rest as well as participate! My ‘focus’ for the 100 starts in early January, with the Stansted Stagger

Q. Other than your current area of Norfolk & Suffolk, where would you most like to walk a 100 event in the UK?

There are many places I would like to experience a 100, but I guess The Peak District is my personal favourite.

Q. Are you more reliant on the route description or the GPX file?

The LDWA route description with GPX as a back-up.

Q. What are your top tips for footcare on the 100?

Footcare is a personal choice. Walking a lot toughens the feet, but for longer events, I use micro tape on my smaller toes and change into fresh, dry socks regularly (every 25 miles on a 100). Above all else, wear comfortable and ‘tried and tested’ walking shoes!

Q. You have a reputation for teamwork and helping others through whilst always remaining positive. How do you maintain this when at 70 miles and feeling tired?

I’ve been lucky to walk with great people on the 100. It’s easy to stay positive when you are also being supported by likeminded people. The 100 isn’t just about fitness and physical stamina, it is also about mental stamina. The more you embrace it, the less pain & tiredness you feel.

Q. Have you been scared of a sheep / cow / snake / pig / seagull or similar on a challenge walk?

No.

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?

Give it a go. Whether it’s for the physical fitness, fresh air, great countryside or even greater company & support, you’ll get something positive from it!