I took over 200 photos during the LDWA event, I can’t use them all in these blog posts, but they’re all visible here for anyone who might want to peek through them. The LDWA also has a Flickr account now, where there are additional photos available.
The HQ was Netherwood Academy near Wombwell, which isn’t far from Barnsley. The map of the LDWA 100 and looking at that is a reminder of just how far this distance is. Look at the number of maps taped together…. If anyone wants to see the route, and indeed how the entrants got on, it’s at https://track.trail.live/event/ldwa100. If that link isn’t working (it’ll be there for six months I think), there’s plenty more information at https://ldwa.org.uk/2022Hundred.
The registration process and the collecting of the trackers, the first time that they’ve been used in an LDWA 100.
And that’s a lot of trackers.
I had a little peer in the food room, all of this food and drink was being despatched to the checkpoints later on.
All neatly stacked up and a reminder again of just how much organisation goes into these events. I’ll return to that theme across these posts, it’s all a formidable volunteer effort. Norfolk & Suffolk group are holding the event in 2025 (their then forward thinking chair thought that was a great idea in 2021) and work is already underway on the route. As Dave Morgan says, a flat 100 is harder than a hilly one, I just hope he can cope with the terrain when the time comes. And also hope that the snakes on the Suffolk coast don’t come out in hordes again.
The food and drink destined to go to CP7, which was the Norfolk & Suffolk checkpoint that I was going to later on in the day.
I’ve just realised that I took quite a lot of photos of the food….. I’m hoping that the Norfolk & Suffolk event will innovate exciting new menu options, although I might not be allowed to go near that process. But a fish and chips van, hmmm…..
A little bit of a queue forming for the trackers, but the event registration went smoothly and it was good to see Madeleine in control at one of the desks. She was keeping everyone in order.
This bit isn’t ideal for entrants, it’s the wait for the start, and I could see the excitement in the eyes of Simon Hodgin and the look of anger in the eyes of Jane…. I’ve a lot of time for Jane’s walking style, she’s pre-annoyed before the start and quite grumpy that she’s doing the walk. This, to me, is much better than Simon’s odd attitude of being excited and positive. Also visible in this photo, as he’s helpfully wearing green (he supports Norwich City, hence the green) is Dave Morgan who was getting ready to receive his own award the next day.
Hazel and Karen visible in this pre-departure photo. Hazel was helping at the Cornwall & Devon checkpoint, which I’m sad to say is one of the few I didn’t get to, whilst Karen, the national groups officer, was walking the event. And in some style if I’m being honest, but more on her effortless walking later.
Aaron, getting ready to send the first wave of walkers off. He might have set them off slightly early, but there’s no time like the present on such occasions. Also visible on the right is Michael Jones, the organiser of next year’s event, ready to get tips from Trans-Pennine, or learn from any mistakes they might make, whichever way you want to look at it. There’s always much to learn from any event, but Aaron definitely got the big calls right as seems to be the popular soundbite from Government Minister at the moment. Not that I’m suggesting he’s like Boris Johnson (who arguably didn’t get the big calls right, but I won’t meander into politics), as he’s very sensible (I’ve veered back into politics very quickly again). Right, enough about that.
The walkers have gone, Aaron gets some time to reflect seeing the first 200 or so entrants off. I think there were around 400 people who took part in the walk, an excellent turnout. Unfortunately there were a few who couldn’t make the event as short notice, including some who got Covid just before the event.
Successful entrants got a beer to mark their bravery, a marvellous idea, it’s a blonde ale from Acorn Brewery, who are local to the event.
With that, Julie Cribb (the national chair) and I went to have a look at a few checkpoints and speak to some of our marvellous volunteers. She was also supporting her daughter, Naomi, who was walking the event, which is very brave indeed. This is CP1, operated by East Yorkshire LDWA. It’s a challenge marshalling this first checkpoint as everyone is coming in quite quickly, but the marshals were doing well and food and drink was being efficiently provided.
We arrived at CP2 before the entrants, which was a handy opportunity to take photos of the food. I’d add I didn’t take any, I went to the nearby Greggs. As an aside, there was a nightmare with my O2 priority reward, where the shop couldn’t get it to scan. Three staff tried to get it to work and failed, with one being annoyed at me I think, whilst the other two were annoyed at O2. They just gave me the pizza in the end anyway, which is the first time I’ve had that from Greggs. Very nice, although I’m still more of a chicken bake person. But, that’s fine, as I got a chicken bake at the same time just in case that situation arose.
CP2 was marshalled by volunteers from BBN and they were ready for action with the rush of entrants, offering a warm welcome to those who had by this point walked for just under 12 miles. Incidentally, one of the advantages for the marshals of the trackers is that they can see when entrants are about to arrive, which means that they can be extra ready.
And there’s Simon, having left Jane behind. Simon was speed walking around the event with Hilary.
And Naomi, still looking positive and keen.
Sara Dyer, the national 100s officer on the NEC, who helps groups organise this event.
Here’s Jane, with her Dad, Brian. Lots of smiles and the temperature was really quite moderate, not too hot but also not pouring with rain. I’m not allowed to mention the infamous event in South Wales that poured down with rain for two days, but somewhere in the middle is what walkers want, a cool breeze and not too wet. It was a good weekend for walking.
Then it was off down a farm track to see Wiltshire group at CP3.
Their food selection, in the calm before the storm.
They had a formidable scone production line going on, alongside some other healthy snacks such as Jaffa Cakes and jelly babies.
And they had ponies! No other group organised ponies, so I was very impressed.
And Julia, second from the left, who is the NEC’s membership secretary.
And Karen coming into the checkpoint, looking exactly as she did when she set off. Very calm, composed and professional.
Simon coming into CP3, still annoyingly positive.
Simon having a little rest, with Hilary from Norfolk and Suffolk (and the group’s new chair) strolling in as well.
That production line I mentioned earlier.
Julie and Naomi, this checkpoint was at around 18 miles.
Jane arriving into the checkpoint and still in a positive frame of mind. Inspirational.
CP4, which is Holmbridge Church Hall. On the drive there, I was pleased to see Holmfirth and the cafe where Last of the Summer Wine was filmed. I didn’t quite get to Holmfirth last year when I was in the area, so this whetted my appetite for when I do finally get to go to the town.
Julie and Nicky at CP4, the Lakeland and West Yorkshire checkpoint.
The kitchen team.
Neil Carter from Norfolk and Suffolk group, one of my favourite LDWA members as he always comments on my general bravery. Simon H doesn’t, so he isn’t as far up my list of favourites.
There was lots of bunting in the hall, although the LDWA didn’t put this up, it was a for a Jubilee Weekend event the following day.
And here comes Simon. It was lovely to see Pete Colley at the event as well, he was stopping by to watch some of the entrants glide into the checkpoint.
Still looking calm and composed.
And Hilary, who was jogging behind to keep up.
With that, it was off to CP7, as that was where I was spending the rest of the day, at the Norfolk & Suffolk checkpoint.
The marshals at the checkpoint, Sue, Katie, Chelle, Roger, Yvonne, Richard, Shu (just), Jayne, myself, Michael, Malcolm and Julie (popping in as chair). We had some fish and chips before the event, which was marvellous and everyone enjoyed those. Richard just had a heap of sausages or something, he didn’t want the delicious and decadent fish. I was initially annoyed as Chelle, who had volunteered to get the chips from the nearby Hayfield fish and chip shop, came back to say they didn’t accept cards. Luckily Richard and I were able to lend her cash (mostly Richard, he’s very wealthy) for a few hours to ensure that everyone got their food.
And the Raynet team ready for the checkpoint.
Aaron popped in, whilst also running the entire event, to drop off beer to those who had entered the marshals. Here’s Malcolm being presented with his beer.
That’s a blast from the past…. I’ve been a member of the LDWA for a decade, and this group had ceased to exist many years before that.
Night falls. A couple of local residents came to chat and were very enthused with the whole arrangement, with the usual surprise of why so many people want to walk non-stop. It’s actually the non-stop bit which confuses people, they can’t imagine keeping going throughout the night, or indeed two nights. We kept the noise as low as possible of course, we were an overnight checkpoint, but we were helped with the trackers meaning we knew when people were arriving.
It was rather lovely to be able to welcome entrants in, as well as a small handful of supporters who were helping friends or family with their efforts by cheering them on. We had a few retirements at our checkpoint, which was about 40 miles in, but mostly we were able to send entrants out inspired for the next part of their challenge. Neil unfortunately had to quit at this checkpoint, but he battled on as far as he could, it was a shame he wasn’t feeling very well. A proper fighter.
Our checkpoint in full flow. It was a tight squeeze when it was at its busiest, but it wasn’t often this packed, I think we had a big contingent from Yorkshire in at this point.
Jane wasn’t quite as jovial as she had been earlier on if I’m being honest. She made some funny comments about Simon that I think everyone thought were most amusing. I certainly did. It was a true inspiration to see how Jane had been so creative in where to stack painkillers to help her through and her Dad, Brian, seemed to be having a enjoyable time with the walk.
And that’s where I’ll leave this post, as the Norfolk & Suffolk checkpoint closed in the early hours of Saturday morning. There were no major incidents and I hope that all the entrants enjoyed the hospitality offered. And thanks to the wonderful Norfolk and Suffolk marshals, volunteering to help out at the event throughout the night whilst also smiling and remaining cheerful. Jayne managed the kitchen with effortless ease and I was able to save a couple of cheese sandwiches from going into the bin, so all was well with the world. Chelle also managed the checkpoint with professionalism, despite having a dog who needed some attention at numerous points during the night. And apologies for anyone I’ve missed mentioning who might have been in the photos.