Last Saturday, our Frontend Developer, Laura and her dad completed the 50km Thames Path Challenge. Here is what Laura has to say about the challenging walk, all done for a fantastic cause:
On the 10th September, my dad an I set out to walk 50km for a charity very close to our hearts. It took us 11 hours and 41 minutes to walk the 31 miles along the picturesque Thames Path.
A dear friend of mine lost his battle with cancer last year. It was a very difficult few months for him, his family and friends and they received so much support from the wonderful Clatterbridge Cancer Charity. We decided that we wanted to say thank you to them for all their hard work by supporting them through this challenge.
We can both say that it was definitely the hardest challenge we have ever faced.
The trek started at Putney Bridge where we walked 14km to our first pitstop in Richmond. We were still feeling pretty good by this point, despite the on-and-off rain and only stopped for a quick Kitkat and toilet trip.
The second quarter was somewhat harder – another 14km from Richmond to Hurst Park in West Molesey. This stretch goes from Richmond down to Kingston, along the river to Hampton Court Palace and onto West Molesey. It poured with rain and the path seemed never ending. By the time we got to Hurst Park, we’d completed 28km and didn’t know how on earth we’d do another 22km.
We stopped in Hurst Park for longer than we’d planned – an hour in total. We took our boots off to air our feet and cover them in blister plasters, we swapped to clean socks and filled up on water, pie and Mars bars and off we went again.
The third quarter stretched 9km from Hurst Park to Shepperton. This was probably the best section – we had a new lease of life and enjoyed the shorter distance.
In Shepperton we stopped for another 15mins to apply more blister plasters and eat more chocolate – they really do try to ply you with the stuff! We weren’t enjoying it anymore by this point, but we knew we were only a few hours away from the finish line.
The last 13km to Runnymede were hard work. Really hard work. The blisters were rubbing, the hips and knees were aching, the rain was still pouring and we were losing daylight. With 3km to go we were glad we brought head torches as we were walking along the trail in pitch black.
We reached the finish line at 8:21pm, having set off at 8:40am that morning. We had a goal to complete it in under 13 hours, and we’d smashed it!
Throughout the day, my phone had been pinging with new donations coming in from friends and family and to date we have now raised £3,125 for the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity. This made the whole thing worth it – although I’m not sure I’d be in a hurry to do it again!
Well done to Laura and her Dad from everyone at Gravytrain. We are VERY proud!