Olly Writes

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Tag Archives: weston hospicecare

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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Mendip Challenge 2016: 20 Mile Route

Halfway way up the B3135 Cliff Road deep within Cheddar Gorge, the 20 Mile Circuit of the annual Mercury Mendip Challenge officially begins at the roadside entrance to Black Rock.

This section forms the first half of the complete 20 Mile Route and does not concern anyone walking the 10 Mile Route.

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Mendip Challenge 2016: 30 Mile Route

This is the first post in a series of three that will document the route of the Mercury Mendip Challenge.

In this post, I’ll share only the first ten-miles of the full-distance challenge. It’s worth noting that this section is commonly regarded as being the most challenging and is exclusive to the thirty-mile walk.

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Mendip Challenge 2016

Sunday 5th June 2016

For the third successive year, I’ve completed the thirty-mile distance Mercury Mendip Challenge, which is a well-organised annual event that Weston Hospicecare have been running for several decades.

I completed the challenge [walking – not running] this year in nine-hours and thirty-five minutes, which is on a par with my time from 2014.

As far as blogging goes, I’ve decided to approach this a little differently, this year…

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Wet Mendip Way

Sunday 31st May 2015

It’s now been two-weeks since I completed my second Mendip Challenge, the full thirty-miles of the West Mendip Way and it’s safe to say that my legs have fully recovered.

My aim for this year was simply to complete the same distance, albeit with a little more confidence and less loss of direction along the way. I’d have been happy to have shaved fifteen-minutes from last year’s time. As our two coaches left Uphill for the centre of Wells and a 7.45am start, the grey skies were there to suggest that this wouldn’t be the best day for rushing about.

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Mendip Challenge 2015

I’m pleased to be able to say that, for the second year running, I’ve complete the full thirty-miles of the Mendip Challenge, once again organised by Weston Hospicecare.

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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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Three Months to Go!

It is now three months to the day when I’ll be heading west across the Mendip hills for a full and enduring 30 miles! Just like the Circuit of Bath walk at the end of September; this one’s in aid of another charity, Weston Hospicecare. If you read about the work they do, you’ll quickly realise how indispensable they are. I’m sure we all know at least one person who’s been diagnosed with cancer.

I’ve touched on this event in a couple of my recent walking posts and now, the time feels right to begin asking for donations and so, I’ve just this morning created a fresh page on JustGiving.

https://www.justgiving.com/ollymendip

Again, I’ve decided not to set a target as that can bring with it the anxieties and pressure that can surround expectation and disappointment, particularly when goals are not met or exceeded. I’m asking for people to consider and I’m hoping that a few will donate a small amount. Chances are that I’ll remind you again at the beginning of April, in May and then in the penultimate weeks before the big day.

You’ll also find a convenient ‘Sponsor Me‘ button has been added to the top-right hand corner of my blog.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Twelve weeks or so and it suddenly seems so real… It could take a good 12 hours but I’m excited and looking forward to it!! 🙂

Thank you for reading. I do hope you might consider a donation. Best of luck to everyone else who is also entering this event.

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