A Final Word
Our Lockdown Challenge is now almost complete…
One team is yet to make it to John O’Groats.. The PC Plodders started a day after us all, but continuing to fulfil their essential duties as Police Officers in our great county force while at the same time running /walking their share of the 938 miles.
One of their number has a child to whom he donated a kidney and his other child is a young carer. That’s why they have refused the offer of any ‘supplementary’ miles from any of the rest of us.
We applaud their commitment and effort and we will remain in John O’Groats until they arrive (but don’t tell Nicola!).
Our objectives were twofold: first to raise funds and profile for our various charitable causes and second to act as a bit of an entertaining distraction from the tedium of the media and lockdown itself.
Speaking for myself I have not had a moment to read a newspaper or pay any attention to news broadcasts. Emily Maitlis and Donald Trump have featured little in my life. I have, on the other hand, been privileged to be able to absorb on an hour by hour basis not only my experiences of the rural idyll which surrounds us here in West Norfolk but also that of others in Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Surrey, Dorset, the Austrian Tirol and Zimbabwe.
I have walked walks I did not know existed. I have had casual conversations (at an appropriate distance) with others I have never met before and learned things about my own neighbourhood I never knew (which tends to be the case when you learn something!). Maintaining discipline within the teams has, I will admit, been challenging. I have been likened to a Fuhrer and worse still. My authority has been undermined by the Chief Steward who claims that the rules keep changing. Notwithstanding this I have sought to maintain resolute to our core purposes and be equally unfair to everyone!
As a group we have walked 7500 miles and biked 2000 miles …not bad in under three weeks. We have raised (with Gift Aid) in excess of £35,000 in total for four very deserving charities. Individually and collectively we had a lot of fun. We have walked, we have run, we have biked, we have sung, we have read poetry and we have shared many photographs. Behind the scenes the Steward and Anna our PR genius have worked tirelessly and, in Anna’s case, sleeplessly being the only one up to greet the Chipembere team walk in to John O’Groats barefoot at 1.30 in the morning, while she was finalising edition 12 of the Raising Post.
I have been asked ‘Who are the winners?’. I have no idea! We were all winners. After all it’s the winning that counts and not the taking part.
The real winners, we hope, are the causes for whom we walked.
The Young Carers (via Walking4Norfolk) …. those Unsung Heroes who need to know we know what heroes they are.
The Cure Parkinson’s Trust working to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease
The Samaritans working to alleviate extreme mental stress
Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation run by the Travers Family in Zimbabwe and their scouts (Chipembere) working to continue the extra-ordinary conservation work started by their grandparents in really challenging conditions to preserve our wildlife heritage
Zane – Zimbabwe A National Emergency providing relief and aid to the most impoverished communities in Zimbabwe.
So, ending as I started with the philosophical refrain of Oddball (aka Donald Sutherland in Kelly’s Heroes):
Never give me negative waves…just think there will be a bridge and there will be a bridge…a great big beautiful bridge!
And one big final Thank You to everyone.
You can still donate to the Walking4Norfolk Lockdown Challenge Fund by visiting our fundraising page.
Those awards in full:
- First Across the Line: Two Cranks and The Chain Gang
- First Walkers Across the Line: Chipembere
- Furthest Walked by a Team: Tea Bag’s Stable (1,102 miles)
- Furthest Yet to be Walked by a Team: Mick Andrew & The PC Plodders (unknown miles)
- Furthest Walked by an Individual: Tom Bagge – Tea Bag’s Stable (196 miles)
- Furthest Walked by an Individual with a Full Time Job: Louisa Pratt – Qua Run Team (188 miles)
- Furthest Biked by an Individual: Pete Ward – Two Cranks & The Chain Gang (280 miles)
- Walking4Norfolk Special Award: Martin Forsyth – Escargatoire
- Greatest Elevation: Erika Mott – Tea Bag’s Stable
- Best Talent: Two Cranks & The Chain Gang
- Furthest in a Buggy: Willoughby Richmond – Qua Run Team
- Furthest Under 7: Martha H-P – Chipembere
- Furthest Walked on Two Wheels: Jill Husselby – The Walky Talkies
- Furthest Walked Barefoot: Nigel H-P – Chipembere
- Most Corruptible Steward: Christopher Lloyd Owen
- Most Burning of Midnight Oil: Anna Kasket
- The Walking4Norfolk Benign Dictator Award for Ef-foot-less Charm: James Bagge – The Two Legged Tortoises