Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Team 2 - Snowdon Summit (Simon Hall, Nigel Stacey, John Richardson, Kevin Davids, Nick Conway, Steve Bishop, Gavin Woods, David Littlefield , Chris Kirk)

Team 1 - Scafell Ascent (Paul Jameson, Michelle Taylor, Dave Henly, Andy Taylor, Nicki Yelland, Rich Hamilton, Chris Feibusch, Will Dickosn, Leigh Brooks)

Sunday, 13 July 2008

End of the live posts

It's been great to hear from those of you keeping up with the live posts. I've removed the legalese from my work email to make them a bit more readable and corrected some of the typos (thumbos?).

Many thanks to Steve for bringing the "mobile device" up after I left it behind and to my gorgeous wife for having the idea of sending it with him.

Finally, the eagle-eyed of you will have spotted some discrepancies in the timings. The ones in "Done it!" are correct!

Done it!

There is a huge sense of achievement around the team as we've finally achieved what we spent the last six months preparing for. Smiles all round and absolutely starving so we wolfed down our breakfast. All the injuries held up thanks to Nicki's good work. We waited a bit for Team Two but our minibus drivers were dead keen to get back to Scotland so we've been dropped off with the coach in Llanberis where hopefully we'll meet the others soon.

For the record, here are Team One's timings;
- Ben Nevis 4h18 (peak in 2h40)
- Scafell Pike 3h19 (peak in 1h45)
- Snowdon 3h29 (peak in 1h48)
- total including driving 23h08

The good news is that Team Two were all together, Nick included, on the way up Snowdon.

We'll be back in Farnham this afternoon, well ready for normal food, a shower and some sleep. And to think about the next challenge?

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Just one left!

These updates are from the Team One bus so by necessity focused on our own progress - with some news from Team Two as we get it.

Good run on Scafell, and we were very pleased to be able to do it all in daylight. We were up and down in 3h20 and very pleased to shovel in loads of chilli con carne at the bottom. Now we're all on the bus on our way to Snowdon (we think) for the final part of our challenge. It looks like we're doing a satnav special route and so we occasionally have to stop for sheep in the road...

Quite a few of us are now suffering a bit with injuries, which Nicki is treating fantastically. We will have to take it easy on Snowdon but should all make it.

Team Two were on their way up as we came down, looking in good spirits. Nick fell on the way down Ben Nevis and was really struggling the rest of the way down, so he missed out Scafell Pike. Hopefully he'll be ok for Snowdon.

Navigation permitting, of course!

One down, two to go!!

Ben Nevis done, first team down in 4h23 vs the 5h30 planned. Most of the second team were not far behind - except for Nick who's really struggling.

The weather was ok at the bottom but wet and absolutely freezing in the cloud at the top so we were all extremely glad of our warm kit.

We almost took much longer as we missed the first turning and set off resolutely towards Fort William. We only lost five minutes to that, thankfully, and didn't suffer any more navigational issues after that.

We've now got a six-hour stretch in the minibus - or maybe a bit less as the speed regulator seems to not be working!

Thoughts from the team:
- big thrill getting to the top;
- we need to learn some of the verses to the Proclaimers' "500 Miles";
- "ouch" - or something a little stronger - from most of us.

The next mountain, Scafell Pike, is much shorter but reputedly very hard; I think we'll all feel much better once that's done.

Ready to start!

The night was quite comfortable. My room (with Leigh, Chris F, Dave H, Rich, Paul and a couple of other non-St Andrews boys) burst into fits of boyish giggles just after we turned the lights out so we maybe had less sleep than we would have ideally had.

We've had a good breakfast and are all aboard our minibuses heading to the bottom of Ben Nevis. The weather looks good for walking, overcast but dry. Almost got lost on the way tio the start!

Butterflies for all - it's time to go!

Friday, 11 July 2008

The night before...

All of us have finally arrived at our hostel in Glencoe and most of us are ready to settle in for a disturbed (lots of dormitory behaviour) and short night (up at 0530). There are some rather strange bed slips/sheets for us to climb in to and the curry, though good, is feeling a bit heavy for some.

Highlight of the night so far is the trip to the pub - walked to the pub, looked at the pub, walked back without setting foot inside. I think that shows commitment to the cause!

We're off to sleep now, when the jokes and sheep noises eventually stop. Big day tomorrow!

Time to go....

Well, I'm all packed and it's 09:30hrs on Friday morning.... time to go to get the coach to the airport!

Will left last night on the train and the rest of us are following either from Southampton or Heathrow today.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the team over the last six months.

See you all after the weekend!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

There's SNOW on them thar hills.....

This was the top of Ben Nevis last weekend taken by a friend of mine who has just done it..... better get out the woolly hats....

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Live blog updates

With some luck, we'll be able to post live blog updates as we work our way around each of the three peaks, using the wonders of mobile email. Get to read exactly how we're getting on as we walk our way around, with live news on weather, blisters and more...

Monday, 7 July 2008

All ready to go at last !!

Just to let you know I am now the proud owner of an array of wet weather gear, spare shorts, socks and underwear.....................

Thursday, 3 July 2008

"Punishment in the Park" - last session

Hi Team,
Are we all ready for tonights training session in Farnham park? It's the last one, yippee! No more running up and down hills carrying medicine balls, or doing unbelievably painful things like 'burpees' and 'squat thrusts'....
I'm glad it's the last one - the insects bites on my legs are enough to warrent asking for some blood back the next time I donate (which won't be until after 3p...).

Anyhow, just thought I'd share this - yesterday my company had a 20th anniversary river cruise on the Thames. I wore my 3peaks T-shirt and passed round a sponsor form and collected pledges for an amazing 320 pounds! That kind of generousity from work colleagues is really something - a big thank-you to them from me. Reckon the Jazz band and Pimms must have helped ...

See you tonight,

Monday, 30 June 2008

Last of the BMF Training Days...

Two weeks to go now and Sunday was the last of the Brecon Beacons training days - and what a day! A feeling of nervousness accommpanied the five of us who made it (me, Andy, Nic, Chris K and Paul) on the drive over to Wales - I had suffered badly and lost confidence on the first group trip to the Brecon Beacons and Andy, Nic and Paul had been on the first BMF trip which was really difficult and this one was meant to be the hardest day of them all.

Horizontal rain and hail, low cloud cover, howling winds, bitter cold - none of this stopped us having a great time! Despite the terrible weather conditions (which at least allowed us all to try out our wet weather gear, or lack of in Paul's case) we did really well finishing the 10.2 mile walk in just 4.5hrs (Mike from the BMF had allowed 5 hours for the 'fast group' to complete the walk and seemed to be quite impressed with us) - the training must be paying off! I even managed to stay with the fast group and we all started and finished together.

Total climb for the day was around 1250m so this puts it on par with Ben Nevis and the distance was a little more so confidence in the car on the way back was probably at an all time high for those of us who went - me in particular! We even managed to jog back down some of the way from Corn Du to Storey Arms....

Blisters stayed away, a bit of cramping in my legs and a sore right ankle couldn't damped the spirits! Stiff this morning though but the feeling that I might actually be able to do this thing hasn't gone away just yet!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Brecon Beacons (again!)

Will, Chris F, Kevin and I took a day off work for an extra training trip to the Brecon Beacons yesterday.

A good night's sleep and avoiding a 'fish & chip supper', ice-cream & beer the night before together with missing a large fry-up for breakfast seemed to have helped! I got to the top of Pen-Y-Fan and didn't feel like jumping straight off. We then went over to Crum Du, down to Storey Arms (not a pub - fancy writing a name like that on an OS map and it not being a pub must write to my MP), back up a long steep path to Crum Du, over to Pen-Y-Fan again, down and up to Cribyn where my back started to twinge and the blisters I got at the top of Pen-Y-Fan started burning (even with Will's super-blister-pad things on) and I decided to call it quits for the day - I still had to climb down Cribyn and back up Pen-Y-Fan and down to the car and Nicki's precautionary words about my back started to kick in! Chris, Will and Kevin went onto Big-Y-Fan and back the same route, arriving back at the car only half and hour after me.

Anyway, feel much better today than the last trip to Brecon. Training session with Mike on Thursday and then off to Brecon again on Sunday for possibly the last big session before the event....

Monday, 23 June 2008

That lasted a long time.....

Seven days may be a long time in Politics but it's even longer to stay off the beer it seems....

We had friends over at the weekend so the chances of not drinking on Saturday were always going to be remote and I failed miserably! Late Friday night I succumbed (well, it was almost Saturday and I was going to have a drink then anyway.....).

The mini 3 peaks event on Sunday ended with a picnic at Farnham Park with lots of school parents and friends so, having had a drink Saturday, well I might as well have one or two at the picnic (followed by a stop-over at the pub on the way home with Andy & Rich....)

Anyway - back on the wagon and on to Wales tomorrow. Early to bed, early to rise might help this time.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


I've taken the drastic step of deciding to stop drinking between now and the 'event'... only one month - I should be able to do it.

It's in the vague attempt to help me go that extra mile (or ten feet more likely....)

I've got a BMF trip to the Beacons on 29th June - apparently it's the hardest one they do of the pre-event training sessions - great, absolutely great. Didn't know that when I booked it.

Chris F has organised an extra trip to Wales on 24th June which I've also signed up for - probably really unwisely! Chris reckons five days should be enough to recover, afterall we'll only have five hours between hills on the day! Arrgghhhh.........
Extra Training Sessions

Since last Tuesday we've been doing some extra training with one of the BMF instructors - an hours workout in Farnham Park; squat-thrusts, running, carrying heavy eights, more running, press-ups, team races, more running, more squats, burpees, and more running.....

Third session was last night and although I was fairly hopeless at keeping up with everyone else I don't feel too bad today... After last Thursday's session it took me four days to regain the use of my arms!
Injuries plague the Team...

After my trip to Butser it turns out it wasn't my hamstring but my sciatic nerve - trapped or something. Anyway, after some pushing and pulling of my back by Nicki the worst seems over and I've been back training.

Unfortunately, not everyone's been so lucky!

Adrian has had to pull out due to a knee injury, Nigel broke two toes falling down the stairs (but in Nigel's true spirit is simply going to strap them up and get on with it...) and Andy's knee has flaired up after a run, quite badly too by the sounds of things. Will's done something to his foot but seems to be back in training - he's out tomorrow night for a session with Mike to find out how he's feeling.

Less than a month to go and it seems that stepping up the pace of training is starting to take it's toll...

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Butser again...

Two days later on the Friday I thought I'd better get to grips with training and so took the morning off work to go back to Queen Elizabeth Park and Butser Hill.... ouch - running back down Butser Hill pulled my left hamstring and I've been hobbling ever since! Oh well, I reckon it should be better by Tuesday night (the first of the real BMF traininng sessions at Farnham Park.....)

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Back in training

Two weeks on holiday without any training (one 3 mile along the beach doesn't really...) was telling last night.

Nicki, Rich, Kevin and I went to Butser again - short 4.5 miles half walk / half run. Up the steep side of the the hill in Queen Elizabeth Park (Petersfield), run down, back up again, run down. Then over the road to Butser Hill, to the top, run down, back half way up and then a run back down to the bottom.....

By all accounts from last Sunday's latest Brecon Beacons trip the going was extremely tough and the pace faster than we've all seen so far - and appareently the 29th June trip is set to be even harder!

5 weeks to go......... arrggghhhhh!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Change of Squad

Shawn Taylor has reluctantly bowed out but his space has been quickly filled by Kevin Davids - welcome aboard Kevin!

Not long to go now - the first of the BMF Brecon Beacons weekends took place yesterday and the reports coming back are quite worrying! Everyone seems to have found it really hard going, even thouse who went on the earlier Brecon Beacons trip and have been really trainig hard!

Right - time to step up a gear (if you excuse the pun...!)

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Brecon Beacons Agony...

Well it's three days later and my legs still feel it. Nothing really prepared me for how hard this was going to be - I really didn't approach it with the right mental attitude and it was a great wake up call about just how difficult the real thing is going to be.

We walked 12 miles, climbed around 3,000ft in just over 6.5 hours. So it was a little bit further than Ben Nevis but the clibing was the same..... Oh dear......

There was me thinking it would be gravel tracks, maybe a few steps, but no - at one point we were scrabbling up a near vertical face at the top of Pen Y Fan. I was so tired and there was lots of time for soul-searching. Can I actually do this? I decided that yes I probably could but only if I knuckled down and started taking it a bit more seriously....

9 miles on my bike yesterday around Whitley Common / Mousehill felt good - loosened up the legs nicely and I even managed to keep up with Chris so all this is doing me some good!

On to Butser Hill tonight...

Monday, 12 May 2008

Somewhere in Wales!!

Well I thought it was time that I posted a Blog, and there's no better time to sit down when you have no feeling whatsoever in your legs. It was a cracking walk, well done Will yet again Will pulled the most amazing walk out of the bag. We ended up somewhere in Wales, the walk was about 150 miles, and took just over 25 hours. Well that's what my legs feel like, walking up the escalator this morning was hell, then I realised that if you stop walking it actually moves for you!! Anyway we did a 12 . something miler that took in some fantastic sights and some lovely sheep too!! and when on the ridge waling towards the next steep climb the summer breeze took hold.
This walk was a sudden wake-up call and the first 20 mins just about bought home the fact the this 3 peaks thing is going to be bloody hard!

Bring on July.................

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

And then there were 21....

It is with regret that we found out this last couple of weeks that both Matthew Mayatt and Margi Yelland have had to drop out from the squad.

Although this will mean the mini-buses will be a little more comfortable.....

Thursday, 24 April 2008

24th April - Hindhead

As noted last week, we've decided that it's time to move further afield on the evening walks to get some longer and better hill walkng practice in. This week we thought we'd try The Devil's Punchbowl at Hindhead.

Meeting at 8:15pm we completed a circular walk starting out south, wending our way round to the top of Gibbett Hill (the highest point around at 272m), north parallel to the A3, across the A3 and continuing north around around the back of the 'Keeper's Cottage' and back down to the car park.

We finished around 10:40pm for 7.5 miles in all.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Wednesday 16th April - 7.5 miles

Another evening walk with some of the usual suspects; me, Will, Rich, Nicki, Chris F. and Adrian.

Crooksbury Hill and Bourne Woods and back to Farnham again via Old Man Lane and Old Church Lane, a nice long steady climb to finish off.

Highlight this week was the steady disintegration of Adrian's kit, starting with his boot laces which wouldn't stay tied ending in the total and catastrophic failure of his most important piece of kit... his underwear!

Halfway round, Adrian called a halt, ostensibly to re-tie his laces yet again, but while we were chatting amongst ourselves he whipped off his boxers and carried on commando style claiming "excessive chaffing..." OUCH....

Just over two hours start to finish (walk cut short by a couple of miles as Adrian really wanted to get back to see The Apprentice...).

There's a general agreement that Farnham and it's immediate surroundings is losing it's impact in terms of training. Those coming out regularly feel that they can manage 10 miles or more quite comfortably and the hills around Bourne Woods and Crooksbury, although good, are too short to give us the long slog climbs that we need to get used to.

Next week's evening walk is planned to be at Hindhead.... watch this space!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Holiday's No Excuse for not training...

Just got back from a week away with friends and family for a well-earned break. Took my boots with me and bought an OS map of the Isle of Wight to plan some walks.

Too much good food and too much wine meant I probably didn't do nearly as much as I should have done, just three short 3 mile walks over the week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings) although being just 1.5 miles away from the Sea Mark outside Ryde gave me a good chance to at least practice walking uphill!

Back to reality this week and time to dust off the step machine....

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The sun (& legs) came out at last....
Another long evening walk at 10.25 miles, starting at 8:15 and finishing by 11:15 missing last orders! Thanks Will and Adrian for navigating again.
Putting the clocks back last weekend meant that for the first time we were meeting in the early evening light and the recent couple of days of warm weather has helped the night time temperatures; Dave and I even managed to make it out in shorts!
Those who made it tonight were me, Will D, Adrian L, Rich H, Nicki Y, Michelle T, Dave H and Steve B.
The route took us from Central Car Park, up Castle Street, right through the middle of Farnham Park, back to Folly Hill and Old Park Lane, past Middle Old Park and Burles Farm, upto to Dippenhall Ridge where we turned right and hit the mud (& lots of it too...).
Wending our way through various fields having lost the path a couple of times we eventually came out at Farnham House Hotel and the junction with the A31 when everyone collectively went "Oh, we're here....!".
Crossing the A31 at Willey Mill and then under the railway line to come past the Rugby Club and over the A325 to Pottery Lane via some back route paths to Boundstone Road. From here it was known territory via Burnt Hill Road, Fox Road and ending in a nice long walk up Old School Lane to Vicarage Hill and a short walk back to Central Car Park (or home for some of us...!)
A slower pace tonight at three hours, not helped by trying to pick a way around bogs and, deep rutted soaking wet mud tracks, stopping to scratch heads over the map etc but all in all a good long walk. Thanks again to Will and Adrian for getting us all home safely (especially around Farnham House Hotel.....)
One final note - no more 'torch-envy' for me! A new head-torch for a birthday present (thanks Mum!) lit up the night sky like a car headlight... I can now actually see where we're going! Bring on Scafell!

Changes to Team Members

Our Three Peaks adventure really began at the end of January when we paid the deposits and booked the spaces. It's a shame that, in just two months, two people have had to withdraw from the Squad. First, Des Power in February very soon after we got going. Then, at the end of March, Rob Owen. Rob came to the early meetings, and really got into the whole thing; he was one of the first to get new boots and was spotted a few times on training walks.

On both occasions people eager to rise to the challenge have stepped forward; Chris Feibusch and Chris Kirk respectively. It never ceases to amaze me how many people from such a small school want to get involved with this escapade!

We started as a Squad of 23 and we still are a Squad of 23, from just 90 families with children at the school - 1 in 4 is a remarkable representation.

There's now a little over three months until we begin the climb of Ben Nevis in the early hours of a Saturday morning, with another two mountains to "look forward" to before the next sunrise. We'll all certainly be thinking about Des and Rob then! The question is: will they be thinking about us?!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Rain didn't stop play.... 26th March

At Chris F's request this evenings walk was longer than usual at 9 miles...

Despite the rain there was a good turnout- me, Andy T, Chris F, Steve B, Matt M, Paul J, Will D and Rich H.

Will worked out a route merging two previous routes - Bourne Woods and Crooksbury Hill - and true to form something 'interesting' was discovered en route (well, I call these things interesting but I'm not sure if anyone else thinks so!). Most people in Farnham know that the Bourne Woods and Alice Holt Woods are often used by film crews (Gladiator, Harry Potter to name a few) but not many people actually get to wander aimlessly across the middle of a film set...!

Walking through Bourne Woods we came across a series of generators (still humming away), lights, trailers and an artificial road.... ten minutes later headlights were seen some distance away in the woods quickly followed by the light from two very bright torches pointing directly at us. It seems we'd walked straight through an area of the woods where Sir Anthony Hopkins was filming his latest film, Wolfman and the security gaurds on duty were wondering what eight people were doing in the middle of the woods in the dark.

The rain soon eased off and by the time we'd gone about half an hour the evening was drying up. Total time was just 2 1/2 hours for the 9 miles and as most people peeled off it was left to me and Andy to take up the opportunity of last orders (or two) at The Mullberry... well someone had to!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Solitude on Easter Monday

Nobody was up for an Easter Monday jaunt in the cold this morning, so I left Hindhead car park on my own at 9ish, determined to get my first 10-miler under my belt. It was quite good in the end, Hindhead to Black Down and back, not too many navigational issues and some good views along the way (or they would have been if the weather had been clear). I didn't even need my waterproofs!

Once I work out how to generate the snazzy Google Earth pictures that Leigh has been doing, I'll post a route.

If there is something these walks are demonstrating, it's how much walking-specific fitness I need to develop. I still have a long way to go before I'm going to take proper hills in my stride.

Hope to see some of you Wednesday evening. And that my first-time blog entry looks reasonable...

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Tuesday 18th March - Evening Walk 4 - 5 miles

Finally back on my feet after last week's misery of Man-Flu. Almost two weeks of training lost so I'm feeling very sluggish and the fact that no-one except Chris & me could get out tonight was going to keep me from goig somwehere!

Met at 8pm as ususal and hung around until ten past to make sure no-one had had a last minute change of mind. Nope, just Chris and me it was then!

As Chris didn't do the very first walk back on 20th February, this time trying not to get lost on the way! No map tonight so playing it by ear which actually seemed to work this time altough there were lots of times I thought "hmmm, not sure this is right at all....". I'll try and retrace where we went and add a map later.

Only thing of note this evening where the strange glowing lights in the middle of a field some 200 yards away which kept changing shape and moving around, hovering close to the ground.....

Having decided it was probably a reflective nose band or something on a horse we took the brave decision not to investigate further but to move on, picking up the pace....

Finished in a record 1hr 25 mins, some 25 minutes quicker than the first time! Training seems to be working then!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Andy's managed to sort out the justgiving website link so fundraising can now begin in earnest.

Just go to to make a general donation to Project 2010 but if you wanted to sponsor someone individually you will be able to find their details on the just giving website, for example;

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Saturday 15th March, 10 mile walk - Are we there yet?

9.00 am on a damp, grey Saturday morning and we gathered at the Devil's Punch Bowl car park for the Squad's first daytime walk. This was my first time on a Squad walk, and the first time I'd worn my boots outside the house; what state would my feet be in at the end?

Those who made it: Michele and I, Adrian and Alison Lamb, Shawn, Dave, Rich, Nick.

There were already quote a few cars in the car park. Whilst getting ready we watched a group of Scouts march off towards the Bowl with rucksacks stuffed to the brim and karimats wrapped in flapping bin bags.

Most of us were expecting to complete this walk in about 4 hours. Imagine our surprise when Adrian arrived saying that he'd recently taken over 2 hours to do a third of this route! Undeterred we set off on the loop around Grayshott at a brisk pace, keen to complete as much as possible of the route in the allotted time.

It soon proved to be an excellent route and took us to areas around Hindhead that very few of us had been to before. Adrian regularly provided updates on our location relative to local villages and the A3 etc, and comment on our surroundings. All positive stuff.

Even more positive were his occasional pronouncements that "we're going much faster than I expected and are making excellent progress". We liked that and stood slightly taller.

The weather began to brighten, get warmer, and occasional breaks in the cloud afforded distant views - much better than we expected. We were also able to test our skills at using the layer principle of clothing. Most of us gradually shed layers, or occasionally added another one in wooded areas. Dave rapidly got down to a t-shirt and stayed in that.

We continued to make good progress, this route was well-suited to our needs with a few fairly steep climbs and descents. Crossing the busy A3 near the intended southern opening of the Hindhead tunnel, we made our way around towards Gibbet Hill, observing some magnificent properties nestled on the sides of a valley beyond Bunch Lane.

After about 3 hours it started to rain and looked likely to settle in. Most of us reached for outer layers and waterproofs etc. Dave reached for his brolly, still sticking with his t-shirt - a valiant attempt at a Mary Poppins impression.
The rain eased off and we made it to the top of Gibbet Hill and took a couple of minutes to take in the surprisingly distant views - some making a mental note to return here with the family. Then down the track and before we knew it we were back at the car park.

We'd done it! 10 miles in less than 4 hours, all feeling this had been a very worthwhile exercise. We took our boots off (good news - no blisters!), broke into some stretching routines, then headed home.

Thanks to Adrian for plotting this route and then taking us around it with no wrong turns despite numerous 5-way junctions and, most impressive of all, without once consulting the map!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Monday 10th March - Rain Stops Play...

The howling winds and storms of the last 24 hours have put a dampner on everyone's enthusiam to go wandering through the woods tonight...

Everyone except Steve Bishop. Having been unable to make the last few walks due to work commitments Steve was all up for tonight but no-else could be persuaded out (me included, in fact I was one of the first to drop out!)

Still, weather looks set to improve for Saturday morning at Hindhead and I think we should have a good turn-out. I'm even going to take my new walking poles with me to give them a try-out.

Must be finished before 3pm though as need to get back and settle down in front of TV in pub for the Six Nations final day..... Simon Hall and Paul Jameson can't make it as they've got tickets to Twickenham (I've told them I'll go in their place if they insist but no joy....

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Thursday 6th March - Evening Walk + 6.26 miles = 36 miles

The 3rd of the Squad's Evening Walks. A mild night but overcast and no moon so particularly dark as most of the walk was through Runfold Woods, over Crooksbury Hill and along Greensand Way.

Those who made it; me, Rich, Chris, Shawn and Will.

The next walk is on Monday so perhaps we can get a better turn out then!

Tonight's total distance was a little over 6.25 miles completed in 2 hours dead. The yomp up to the top of Crooksbury Hill (thanks to Shawn for the alternative route to the top via Smugglers Way avoiding the death-trap that is Crooksbury Road....).

It seems that we always come across something interesting... At the southern end of Greensand Way is a very large cave complete with wrought-iron decorative gates (nearly 5 metres high) and bats! Suitably spooky given it was pitch black and in the middle of a wood...

Monday, 3 March 2008

3rd March: New Blogger - Is this thing on....?

Thanks to Leigh for creating this blog and I hope this will be the first of many posts. I'm new to this so please excuse any basic errors!

Yesterday, 2nd March, was my first run for 2 weeks and I was feeling lardy so it had to be done

My current route is almost 6 miles and takes in the hills of Firgrove Hill, from The Fox pub to the Bourne crossroads, along/up Burnt Hill Road (short climbs, fairly steep) and Wrecclesham Hill (long and tedious gradual ascent). My previous run had been my best time so far, 54 minutes; reason to celebrate. More reason to celebrate that day; whilst chugging along Burnt Hill Road I passed a horse and rider, a genuine first for me overtaking a horse. OK they were hardly galloping but it was still a horse.

Yesterday morning my gasping for air must have scared off all wildlife in the area as I plodded around in 56 minutes. It made me realise, yet again, the effects of slipping out of the exercise habit - but I'm sure it won't be the last time. Less excuse this week as Michele being Down Under means I'm a house-husband, so the plan is to do some form of training each day while Millie is at school - what hope of that happening?!

Now that the ground is getting firmer again I'll return to running up and around Farnham Park. I did that last year and the paths offer a combination of tarmac, gravel and grass, there's a variety of slopes, and on a clear day the views are spectacular!

Am still without walking boots, the guy at Breaking Free has ordered some wider fitting boots for me to try so hopefully I'll have them in time for Adrian's Punch Bowl 10-miler.

Signing off

Friday, 29 February 2008

27th February 2008 - 19 weeks to go + 5.7m = 29.7 miles

The second of the 3 Peak Squad Evening Walk - this time organised by Will. Another clear night too, about 4 degC but no sign of the moon so pretty dark.

Those who made it: Me, Will D, Shawn T, Nicki Y, Rich H, Paul J and Chris F.

I got completely disorientated once we got into Bourne Woods and thought we must be walking away from Farnham completely but Will took us on a circular tour, we even crossed over our path but no-one noticed. Stopped for a quick pint at The Spotted Cow (except Nick and Rich who carried on homeward bound). There were a few steep sections which thankfully didn’t last too long but I guess I’m going to have to get used to this…

Half way round the woods three guys on bikes come tearing past with halogen lights shining out the way as they fly down a really steep and winding path in the pitch black….!
The new boots seem to stand up to the pace, 5.7m in about 1 ½ hours, with only a bit of rubbing around the ankles. Shawn’s limping by the end of the walk - I think his new boots are causing him a little bit of trouble.

Little bit of torch envy too - Will’s head torch is much brighter than mine…. Hhmm £9.99 from Argos might not have been such a good deal after all.

Jane’s Mum bought me a pedometer today as an early birthday present so have given it an outing and have now calibrated it based on the number of steps taken and the total estimated mileage.

One other thing I didn’t bank one - sweating a lot in the cold is causing my glasses to constantly steam up and is a bit of a pain in the dark.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

23rd February 2008 + 6 = 24 miles

Time to go out again. Early morning walk this time. I’ve suggested an evening walk route from the train station to the top of Crooksbury Hill and back, it’s about 6 miles but it occurs to me that having suggested this I should really check how do-able it is….

Get up and out by 8 o’clock to try to avoid taking the whole day! It’s a lovely morning, not too cold for February and go out in t-shirt and fleece. I only meet five other people while out but get to Crooksbury Hill in 45 minutes. 5 minutes to climb and am rewarded with great views over the surrounding countryside. There’s a pillar at the top with a brass plate that shows distances to local and far landmarks (Farnham Castle, Windsor Castle, St Paul’s Cathedral - you know the sort of thing….) but the orientation of it throws me out completely - Farnham Castle seems to be the wrong direction but I suspect that they’re probably right and I’m just disorientated. Five minute rest and then a walk back. Overall, it takes me 1 hr 50 minutes to complete from door-to-door so it seems to be a good length for an evening walk. My only concern is the Crooksbury Road section which is pretty hairy as there is no pavement or verge and the cars tend to fly down it. Hopefully it won’t be too busy at night and having all the torches will be a good thing!

In the afternoon we go down to Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth and I buy my new boots, over trousers, back-pack, jacket and whistle from Tog 24.….

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

19th February 2008 + 6 = 18 miles

I’ve bought a great book “40 Walks around Farnham of 4-6miles” - just what we need to organise walks.

The inaugural walk in the Evening Walks programme.

A clear crisp night and a full moon too make it a great night to walk (torches at the ready though).
Those who made it: Me, Nicki Yelland, Michele Taylor, Dave Hyland, Nick Conway and Kate Jones.
We start at Castle Street, go up Old Park Lane, Middle Park Lane (double back after realising we went round in circles), over the ridge and down to Crondall Lane where we crossed over and climbed to the top of a filed to be rewarded with views right over the top of Farnham. From there we walked down Waynflete Road and back to the town. Total walk 5.5 miles and it took us from 20:15 to 22:05. Not a bad start! By the time we walked to town and back clocked up 6 miles. Oh yeah, and we find a Production Script for filming for the following day for the TV programme “The Peep Show” - strange things found # 01.…

Monday, 18 February 2008

11th February to 17th February 2008

Wiped out by a stomach bug - no way I can get out and about this week, feel rotten.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

10th February 2008
+ 3 = 12 miles

I’ve bought a laminated OS Map of Farnham and around. Start walking training - go for an hour’s quick walk from our house, along Lynch Road, down Moor Park Road and up the other side, onto the North Downs Way to Runfold Woods and back, about 3 miles. I bump into Rob Owen at the top of Moor Park Road - he’s bought his boots and is trying to break them in. I leave him in Runfold Woods with directions to Crooksbury Hill and have to turn around as we’re going over to Jane’s Mum’s this morning and need to get back.

Friday, 8 February 2008

7th February 2008 - 22 Weeks to Go
Meeting at The Lamb, 8pm.

Andy quietly drop into the meeting that the 24hrs stops at the bottom of Snowdon and not the top as we’d all thought, effectively taking 3 hours off the clock. Oh joy. I think most people have missed this. Never mind, apparently it’s better to concentrate on doing it in “a weekend” or “back-to-back” - you can’t control delays from traffic jams or anything anyway.
We agree to set up a series of weekly evening walks for everyone / anyone to come along on (about 2 hours each) and for monthly long walks starting early Saturday mornings and ending at a pub after about 8-10 miles.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

2nd February 2008

Better think about getting fit - get bike out and cycle to Alice Holt and back , going around the family trail a few times.

About 9 miles in all, 2 hours. Total - 9 miles

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Meeting at The Lamb, Farnham
16th January 2008

About 10 people turn up to hear Andy talk about the walk - nearly everyone agrees to sign up by the end of the night. After four pints of Staropramen 26 miles, 10000ft and 24hours don’t seem that scary…. I’m in and agree to drop a £100 deposit off to Andy before the end of the week.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Andy comes to a Project 2010 Committee meeting full of excitement and a list of nearly 20 people who want to do it. I actually start to catch the excitement and as the committee start to bounce other ideas around about how big the event could get the idea of a big send-off from the School on the day seems great fun. I decide I’ll probably go along to the meeting in The Lamb that Andy’s arranged for the next day with anyone who’s interested.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Email from Andy about 3 Peaks…. Oh dear, it turns out that the peaks involved are Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon and the idea is to do them all in 24hrs.
Bury head in sand and pretend to ignore email.
Jane say’s I’m being daft and should do it. It would be great fun and would give me a reason to get out on my bike more to get fit and would probably help my back.
Bury head in sand and try to ignore Jane too.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Andy Taylor suggests doing the “3 Peaks Walk” at the St Andrews Day Ball last night - sounds like a good idea, especially around 11pm after far too much wine, I mean how hard can it be to walk up and down three hills in Yorkshire….