Olly Writes

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Tag Archives: crook peak

Mendip Challenge 2016: 10 Mile Route

To conclude this three-part series in disclosing the truth of walking Weston Hospicecare’s thirty-mile Mendip Challenge, we’re going to take a look at the final 10 Mile Route.

Beginning at Kings Wood near Winscombe; this is where participants in the 10 Mile challenge set on from, on their return to Uphill.

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Boxing Day and the Breeze

Boxing Day – a time when many people will be flocking to the shops to pick up all the latest ‘bargains’…

While there are one or two items I could possibly do with, I’d rather run to the hills (literally), avoid the chaos of this season and spend the day doing something I enjoy.

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New Year’s Eve Walk

It was the final day in a year from which I can retain many positive memories with great feelings of personal achievement. As someone who isn’t overly social and continually abstains from alcohol though, what else was I going to do to on such an occasion but to head off on a rather extensive walk?!

This one began in my current home-village of Wrington. My car remained stationary; my walking boots were on before I departed out through the front door.

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West Mendip Win!

Waking up earlier this morning, I felt as though I could relate to how Pinnochio must’ve felt before he became a real boy. After walking 30 miles across the Mendip Hills yesterday, I certainly feel as though I now need someone to bend my legs for me!

After 30 miles and 4 or 5 significant hills, I’m not going to stand up for anyone taking the photo, even my best friend! 😉

It was the one I’d been working up to with my other walks; the ultimate Mendip Challenge.

I’m very pleased to be able to say that, after a 7.55am start in Wells, I arrived at the finishing point in Uphill for 18.30. I was hoping to finish around 19.00; giving me an hour to spare before the checkpoint closed so, factoring in a single 20 minute lunch break (plus a handful of other brief stops), I’m very proud of and impressed with my time. I’ve suffered a bout of sunburn (it was cloudy when we set off…) and my shoulders ache from carrying probably 30kg of liquid (4lt – not necessary with so many checkpoints) but it feels good.

If you’ve ever considered tackling this one yourself, I can assure you that the first 10 miles (apparently equating to 13 miles by another walker’s GPS) are by far the worst. Then again, we had a coach driver who did anything but instil confidence with his abilities but that really is another story for a different day!! We all arrived and set off in one piece.

Looking at the bibs of other people (including the runners… Crazy people!!), I noticed numbers tallying close to 700. On average, Weston Hospicecar gains around £50,000 for this event each year. I’m quite certain they’ll be close to that average again this year.

My medal! 🙂

Leading up to this event, I’d felt concerned that I could spend too much time walking alone after one of my friend’s dropped down to the 20 mile stage and that, ultimately, I might ‘hit the wall’ at some point because of this. I’m quite accustomed now to walking reasonably long distances solo but this was always going to be a greater stretch. Instead, I feel fantastic for having conquered it (without taking any shortcuts) and I found a simple joy in walking along with both everyone and absolutely no-one at the same time…

I would catch up with different groups of people at various points. Some would overtake me as I stopped for lunch, only for me to leap-frog them again a bit further on (I was quite determined to get beyond Crook Peak ASAP). Each time, I could meet with different people and freely move on. It was enjoyable, yet somehow different to walking with the Ramblers, where there is always one leader; one head of authority and a constant need to attend to the tail-end of the queue. Plus, the checkpoints with free rehydration and sweets were very welcome!

I’d like to close by saying thank you to the Hospice charity for organising this event. I’ll almost certainly be doing it again next year. Also, a huge congratulations to every person who took part. Whether you did 5 miles or more than 5-times that. Very well done indeed!! 🙂

(Photos and hopefully some video will follow.)

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Always Walking

You know me; I like to walk. As much as I also enjoy writing, I’ve found it hard to keep you up to date with my walks of the past fortnight, because there have been three of them! This post is going to briefly summarise two of them, because you’ve (hopefully) seen much of each route before the third walk, being a new one to me, is going to require more effort and dedication before you see it published.

No, that is not a selfie!

So, starting off one day before my 29th birthday; I took a routine climb up to Crook Peak, two-months ahead of the 30-mile Mendip Challenge.

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Crook Peak Complete!

Today, I feel absolutely shattered. My legs ache as they haven’t done for many weeks. My throat is making a sound that suggests I’m still half-asleep and even my head’s still about twelve-hours behind. I was intending to get out in to the workshop and to finish two boxes I’ve been making but they’ll have to wait. I need this day (thank goodness, it’s a Bank Holiday) to rest and recover. So, I’ll use my time this afternoon to write about my third walk-leading experience from yesterday.

View from Wavering Down to Crook Peak, with the end-point in sight!

If you’re interested in seeing the final route for yourself then please click here.

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Climb to Crook Peak

It was in this month last year that I began going out for walks and mini-adventures. I’d just bought myself a new camera for this purpose (Nikon S8200) and, thanks to something within me, I’d decided that I was tired and fed up of waiting for someone to come along with me. It was time to start flying solo. Time to get out of the workshop and to start seeing life. I’m some way from trotting the globe but I’ve been able to see and experience a lot of the local hills and landscapes. From Somerset to parts of Bristol I’d not even heard of; east to the city of Bath and up as far north as Cheltenham.

Crook Peak is in view, just beyond the trig point.

One of my most memorable walks is one that begins a mere fifteen-minute drive from my home and, as is my concept in submitting walks to the group I joined back in October or November; I’m looking to share this route with a group of people two-weeks tomorrow.

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High on a Hill

Meditation has become something that is quite significant within my life. It’s not something I practice as often as I feel I should and I find I am at my best when I’m at a centre with a dedicated time and space for meditation. But last Sunday, I created a bit of a ‘revelation’ for myself in being able to meditate high on top of one of the Mendip Hills.

Meditating up on Crook Peak, Somerset.

This post is supplemented with photographs courtesy of my Instagram account.

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