On Saturday 10th May, around 3,000 walkers set off from Keswick to make the 40 mile journey on foot to Barrow and in doing so, raising lots of money for various charities. Among the masses were a team of 10 ladies and gentlemen from E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness, including Founder/Chief Instructor Chris Denwood and Fitness & Lifestyle Manager Jenny Ling.
Only one of the team (David Forsythe) had done the walk previous so it was an unknown challenge for everyone else. We hoped for good weather or at least dry weather to make the walk as pleasant as possible, but unfortunately, luck was not on our side.
The weather did it's worst with heavy rain for the first 5 hours or so, with frequent heavy showers after that. It didn't go to plan! However, since Mother Nature was trying to do her best to ensure us a tough challenge, we decided that we'd pull together our E.S.K.K team spirit (which is second to none by the way) and meet the course face to face, leaving no one behind. We were undertaking the walk in aid of the local "Give us a Break" charity, which helps very sick children and their families with some respite. Therefore, short of having injuries to prevent us putting one foot in front of the other, no one was planning to give up.
Thoughts of chasing a "good time" had to be forgotten early on after blisters began to appear due to wet feet from floods. Existing injuries began to make themselves known and our pace dropped to a hobble.
The aim for the walk was to start and finish as a team, no matter how long it took. In typical E.S.K.K manner, everyone in the team (including the 'gazelles' selflessly stuck together as we helped each other get to the end.
Although our finishing time won't be breaking any world speed records, we were one of the few teams who took every step together and official results showing our ten names consecutively over the line.
The picture above captures the spirit of our walk. After Emma Louise Nicholls met us at the 18 mile mark with food and hot drinks, Julie Wilson's parents brought their camper van out to Lowick for a welcome break with 5 hours walking still left to go! We certainly couldn't have completed this challenge (and finish together) without each other's help and the kind support from fellow members. This is 'how we roll' and is something that makes us so proud!
We'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the following people...
David Jones: for driving his minibus at 3am (!) to collect us all and get us safely to the start.
Emma Louise Nicholls: for meeting us with food and drink at Coniston and support at the finish.
Julie Wilson's Parents: for food and drink at Lowick and welcome lifts home.
Kara Smallman: for meeting us all for the photo call and lifts home at the end.
The Wonderfull K2B Volunteers: who kept us safe along the way.
The Fantastic First Aid Crew: our feet wouldn't have got to Barrow without your help!
And...not forgetting the crazy fools who decided to take on this challenge for the "Give us a Break" charity. From the sponsorship so far, we're anticipating a total of over £2000 going to this fantastic cause. We'll update you all of the exact figure once every penny has been collected and counted.
Congratulations to Team E.S.K.K...
and yours truly...David Forsythe.