Report by Jess
‘Only the three of us were brave…. or stupid enough to do the 54 mile walk that was Trekfest 2014 (Jess, Mike and Dave Formosa).
We were already of the mind-set that it was ‘only a walk’ and attending the information day increased our confidence as we were among the most sober of the attendees.
Minimal training was undertaken because of course we can all walk. I don’t know why I bothered to buy a compass, even after reading the instructions I still couldn’t work it!
Dave was of course in self-professed peak physical fitness; the best condition of his life. Sadly this was short lived.
Mike was so confident he only took one walking pole and didn’t even wear his new boots in. You may have seen him using a chair as a zimmer frame around the office throughout the duration of last week.
We kept an eye on the ever worsening weather forecast in the week up to the big day. The lightening storm we woke to at 5:30 am in Brecon really lived up to the forecast and filled our little hearts with dread.
Despite the gloomy start the weather on the day was fantastic. Don’t be disappointed, we all got absolutely soaked, multiple times, but each time the sun came out again and lifted our spirits.
Much of the scenery was very beautiful with rolling hills and gorgeous lakes, a very tranquil and unspoilt area ideal for our walk. Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales at 886m was a treat, Mike shot off like a rat out of a drain pipe and I trailed behind, giving him and Dave a chance to catch their breath at the top and enjoy the view.
The most surreal moment was donning the head torch and lighting up the road dotted with frogs. Most of which were sat still and were reluctant to move out of the way of oncoming boots or vehicles, which explains the frequency of those that were flattened into the tarmac like little frog rugs.
The thing I loved most about the event was the atmosphere; everyone was so friendly. The hot food served at two of the checkpoints was fantastic. Trekfest really looked after us, though the signs could have been a little more frequent to alleviate the creeping doubt along the way.
Getting closer to the end Dave soldiered on, hobbling for twelve miles before being minibused back to the start as a Did Not Finish.
The last five miles were truly excruciating. I don’t think I’ve ever said “We’ve got to be nearly there now!” so many times and I really wished it. I was the only one out of the three of us that did not cry at one point or another along the way but I nearly cracked when we saw two girls who said we still had half an hour to go. Mike had done the least training, was the least prepared and had the worst blisters St John’s had seen all night but he absolutely smashed the walk. Just goes to show what you can do with determination and Kendal mint cake. After 21 hours of ‘just walking’ Mike and I made it to the finish in our crippled state.
We all extorted money from friends and family for our chosen charities; Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance, St Margarets Hospice and Above and Beyond (BRI hospital) and a big THANK YOU to Milsted Langdon for entering us and all of you guys for supporting us. We are still accepting donations if you missed the form going around.
Now……bring on next year, I can’t wait!!! 🙂