18 to 24 months ago I was contemplating the advent of my 65th Birthday and realised there were a number of challenges that for one reason or another I had not completed, never mind started. Those who know me will know that I have been a keen walker for many years but to my shame I had never climbed Ben Nevis, and as a recent convert to cycling, London to Paris seemed to be a Challenge within my capabilities. The more I thought about it I realised that as a 30 year old I had also expressed a wish to walk the Pennine Way. Further contemplation arrived at 3 challenges, London to Paris, 4 peaks walk and The Pennine Way. After Kath had recovered from the shock of what I wanted to do I then casually mentioned it to Richard as I thought he’d like to do London to Paris, however he suggested John O’Groats to Lands End as well! The plan then was to complete all the challenges in the 12 months leading up to my 65th birthday starting with London to Paris and finishing with JOGLE. The family having raised £5800+ for Prostate Cancer UK and its predecessor between September 2010 and September 2012, my plan was to again raise some more money hoping to reach £10,000 by the end of Challenge65 as it became. Planning started in earnest in September 2012 with first of all agreeing dates with Richard for the 2 cycling challenges, August Bank holiday weekend 2013 seemed to be a good time to start with JOGLE to finish the weekend before my birthday so all the family could get together. Richard then combined route finding for London to Paris with training for the London Marathon in April 2013 for which he received £590 in sponsorship taking the total up to £6400. London to Paris turned into a weekend of contrasts, hot and sunny in the UK, cold,wet and windy in France. We were so cold when we arrived at the Eiffel Tower we wanted hot chocolate instead of champagne and stood by the air vent of a slush puppy machine which was blasting out hot air.
Next was the 4 Peaks in October. 4 days of driving and climbing. I had no wish to break any records it was about completing the challenge and enjoying the scenery. Well I did get views from all 4 tops although Scafell Pike was somewhat limited!
Then it was time for a rest before the Pennine Way in May, but we did have a Wine Tasting in November by way of a little light relief!
The Pennine Way was the one challenge that had been on my list of to do for over 30 years. I have to say I’m glad I did it but have no desire to repeat it although there are areas we will revisit.
You can read my thoughts on JOGLE in all my recent posts but it is something I wish to repeat but at a more leisurely pace so that Kath and I can explore some of the UK’s beautiful countryside that we all miss when travelling on motorways.
There are more people than I can name here who I need to thank for their support both as hosts on different challenges, some more than once, and all those who have donated at http://www.justgiving.com/Challenge65. I must of course thank Richard for all his work on the cycle routes. Laura for agreeing to him taking part.Louise for her support and the fundraising with St Catharine’s. Most of all I must thank Kath for her unstinting support, all the driving, cooking and just being there when I needed her. OH! How much have we raised? £4171.51 for Challenge65 giving a grand total of £10636! Thank you all.