OK, I admit that these aren’t FAQs (frequently asked questions) because no-one has asked them yet. But they might, so I’m ready with the answers as the background to my attempt to walk the 100 in 2021.
Why are you doing the LDWA 100 event?
Because if Simon Hodgin can finish it, it must be doable. And, he’s said he’ll buy me six pints of craft beer if I finish.
The LDWA are?
The Long Distance Walkers Association.
And how many days do you get to complete the 100?
2 days, so 48 hours.
Is this a good idea?
Are you excited?
Why are you doing it?
To annoy Simon Hodgin that he has to buy six pints of craft beer. And, I’ll enjoy the food and drink whilst walking around the 100.
How much training will you need to do?
I drink craft beer on a regular basis.
What about the walking?
The technical minimum is to get a 50-mile qualifying event, but I’ll need to do more than that to feel fit and confident. My 50-mile qualifier is a little out of date, so I do need to get another one, as will Nathan.
Who is Nathan?
Someone who had the opportunity to turn down my plan to walk this 100 with me, then neither of us would have to do it.
Isn’t 100 miles a long way?
Yes, it’s not ideal if I’m being honest.
It must be a great achievement?
Yes, if I finish, my certificate will be mounted (well, blu-tacked) to the wall and I will send copies of it to everyone I know, and quite a few that I don’t.
If you do complete the 100, will you do another one?
Shouldn’t you be more positive about this challenge?
On a more serious note, the LDWA 100 is a great event and is the pinnacle of the organisation’s challenges. I am conscious that this will be very difficult for me, so hopefully if I can work out how I’m going to do this, at least others can see that it’s perhaps more achievable than they might think. However, if I fail, that ruins that plan. We’ll worry about that in May 2021 though when I’ve quit after the first checkpoint as I’m tired.
Is this a physical or mental challenge?
Both. Many people who have completed the walk believe that anyone who has regularly walked 40 or 50 miles should be able to make the step up to the 100, but they have to have the mental attitude to allow that.
Do you have the mental attitude required?
Not really. I’ll work on it.
Are you allowed to drink craft beer at the checkpoints?
Are you meant to?
It must be amazing to be able to walk for 48 hours with someone you can trust and can support each other.
Yes, it would be. But, I’m doing it with Nathan. If we can avoid a punch-up we’ll be doing well.
Will you get sleepy?
I think so, the first night at about 3am is apparently difficult, but when sun rises, the mind resets and then it’s just a matter of keeping going. Ideally we won’t take the maximum 48 hours as that takes us through two nights, but it’d be very difficult for us to come in under 44 hours.
What can go wrong?
Blisters are a potential problem, but Sudocrem is apparently recommended, as is careful wrapping of the feet and a regular change of socks. I’ll wear knee bandages as well. Hopefully the practice 50-mile events will be guide on what needs fixing before the 100.
Are there two events?
There is a marshals’ 100 and the main 100, on the first and second Bank Holidays in May 2021. We’re hoping, if space permits on the event, to do the former, as we wanted to be marshals for the main event.
What about the weather?
I hate hot weather, but it’s Wales, it’ll likely rain for 48 hours. But if the weather is hot, I’ll have to be careful to drink enough. Ultimately, I never really worry about the weather, just have the appropriate clothing then the rest fits into place.
How many people from Norfolk & Suffolk LDWA group are taking part?
There are probably two others from N&S group doing the marshals’ walk, and around six from N&S group doing the main event.
Isn’t this all a bit self-promotional?
Yes, although I’m the Publicity & Communications Officer of the LDWA, so I’m meant to be promotional. That’s my excuse anyway.
I think I want to read something more motivational.
I would. Below is the book by Julie Welch which gives a more erudite and positive account of what is required.