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.
For the very observant, the image above is the same as in the previous section, as the last ten miles were walking back along the Marriott’s Way along sections that I’d already walked.
At something like 91 miles, I was pleased to see Chelle, Jayne, Brian, Kathleen and Paul (and Fred of course!) waiting for me as I walked back into Cawston. It was great to have a few people to walk to the end with and to distract me. Mentally I felt entirely happy here, I wasn’t particularly tired and I knew that the ten miles would soon melt away. There was no pain to deal with, so this was just a standard day walk to end the adventure with.
This part of the walk went quickly in my mind and I was delighted to have some of Jayne’s flapjack that she had brought along, as for a couple of brief moments I felt quite worn. The flapjack soon restored my spirits once again to continue on, meaning that I didn’t need to stop at 95 miles at a checkpoint arrangement.
The last few miles were mostly back along the Ashwellthorpe Loop, which meant I arrived back at Whitwell railway station having walked 98.5 miles. I do remember here running towards Leon pedalling furiously towards me on his bike, such as was my excitement at the whole event nearly being over. I knew that I could likely walk another 15 or 20 miles, but that seemed rather pointless and I think my support team would have been slightly annoyed about that little arrangement.
As we were at 98.5 miles we had to walk back along Marriott’s Way a little and I decided that I’d stop at a clearing that I could see ahead when I got to around 99.5 miles (I was aiming for 100.5 miles and had put in an extra half mile in case I had miscalculated the distance, as finishing at 99.99 miles would have been bloody irritating). By chance, this is a clearing where I’d stood a few weeks before pondering the 100, so it felt an appropriate place to turn back.
And that was the end, the 100 was reached at the Whitwell railway station, something which wasn’t particularly planned, but felt appropriate given I quite like railway history. Above is me with Liam and Richard, who I couldn’t have completed the event without, their support for the entire 100 miles was incredible.
Thanks again to those who walked with me, followed me on tracking and sent me so many supportive messages. I know that I couldn’t always reply to them, but I read and appreciated each of them.
As for my thoughts about this whole challenge, I’m saving that for the next post (will this never end?!?!?!).