The Lockdown Challenge: Progress So Far…
A report from Walking4Norfolk (aka James Bagge) on yesterday’s action
I write this towards the end of day three as the teams should be heading into the Exmoor National Park and about 20 miles west of Taunton.
The final tallies for the day don’t come in until 8 pm when the relative positions are placed on the map. Those who have maintained the pace and reached the 150 mile mark are co-located under the Peloton marker. There are three teams are either a little under the pace or rather slow in submitting their tallies.
Chipembere clearly have a problem trying to decide which of their fourteen members should count. They are a large team and so it is helpful for accommodation reasons that they regularly fail to get in on time thus allowing the rest of us to find the rooms with baths.
The captain of QuaRun Team is clearly struggling to manage her rather rebellious but talented team. She is putting in some steady performances but some of her team seem to want to waste their time trying to hit a small white ball a long way. Still I suppose it is their weekend away from the desk but they could struggle to keep in sight of the Peloton.
The Walky Talkies seem to be doing nothing of either. Oh! I see they have just posted yesterdays walk results which are all identical to the day before except one of them managed a small ½ mile variation. She must have counted to walk to get the paper. We really should expect to see a little more variety in their day going forward or even backwards! Too much creatures of habit we suspect.
The Tea Bag Stable are certainly early risers and prolific communicators. Tavie Fiffe appears to have joined Dan of Escargatoire on the beach taking the coastal route to Scotland . While Dan is trying to trying to replicate his team’s logo by making shadows on the beach. The writer is getting seriously concerned about mental health of participants as it is only day three. Ben of the Two-Legged Tortoises continues to follow a very erratic course. Whatever he is on, we all want some of it!
Members of the Tea Bag Stable continue to demonstrate high levels of community spirit, picking litter and restoring old pumps (‘Is that what it is?! It looks more like the Raising Post’). Lincolnshire is lucky to have them. Their example is being picked up in West Norfolk as Louisa of QuaRun Team has filled her bag as well!
The Human Hares continue on their merry way. Fay of the Two-Legged Tortoises thought she saw them out this morning. Not much heard from then since we saw them in wigs and likened their leader to John Lennon.
What then of the Two-Legged Tortoises? Well obviously we are worried about Ben but comforted by the fact that the lovely Jess is able to wave at him across the river and at the same time try and create better relationships between him and the GPS satellite. Ben is also researching herd immunity and will be reporting back into SAGE.
Finally, of course, as reported in yesterday’s Raising Post the exciting arrival in Cornwall and the late departure from Land’s End of Police Sergeant Mick Andrew – ex RAF (13 years) and now 14 years in the Norfolk Police Force – leading the PC Plodders who are chasing down the pack. We have been assured they are unarmed and harmless. We welcome Mick and his team as long as they don’t overtake and pull us in. ‘Keep your blue lights turned off!’.
Various stately homes have been visited by walkers. Erika Mott (the Tea Bag Stable) has sent us some Alpine blumen. Tocky F-D was joined by a friendly owl looking for an Air B&B she thought. Tor and I came across some missing PPE.
Featuring: Team Chipembere’s Charities
I would like to remind you of our two chosen Zimbabwe based charities for 2020…
Says Nigel Hadden-Paton, captain of Team Chipembere.
Imire Rhino & Conservation Trust
Imire is one of my dream places in the world.Nigel H-P
The Travers Family continue the extraordinary conservation work started by their Grand Parents.
Imire remains at the forefront of conservation in Zimbabwe, taking part in ground-breaking Black Rhino, cheetah and Wild Dog breeding programmes, wildlife research, innovative game capture and movement and highly advanced anti-poaching solutions.
Now more than ever before, due to two years drought and the current pandemic, the Zim nation is starving. This has seen a dramatic escalation in poaching, not just for Rhino horn and Elephant tusk but for meat. Imire’s biggest need at this time therefore, are funds to maintain and enhance their Scout Force who protect the Rhino by ‘shadowing’ them 24/7.
ZANE: Zimbabwe A National Emergency
Zimbabwe is now one of the poorest countries in the world with 90% unemployment and over five million people requiring urgent food aid. Zimbabwe has no welfare state. Children can only attend school if their parents can pay the school fees. People can only receive medical treatment if they can afford to pay for it.
ZANE provides aid and relief to the most impoverished communities in Zimbabwe. This includes around 600 veterans who fought for The Crown from across the Commonwealth.
ZANE looks after 1,800 impoverished pensioners with nowhere else to turn. Their position is desperate and grows worse daily as hyper-inflation makes their pensions practically worthless.
ZANE funds a Clubfoot correction programme which trains a Team of Doctors, Nurses and Health workers on how to mitigate the hideous effects of clubfoot. Eleven treatment centres have been established and over 3,800 children have received treatment to date.
ZANE was the Telegraph Group Overseas Charity of the year.
The Chipembere Lockdown Challenge
As the pandemic has made charity fundraising almost impossible, this challenge, is more modest than walking to Spain; merely requiring teams to walk/run ‘virtually’ from Lands End to John O’Groats.
I have raised a team; we are calling ourselves Team Chipembere’ – which means “Rhino” in Shona, one of the Zim dialects.
TEAM CHIPEMBERE PLAN TO RAISE £30,000 for ZANE and IMIRE,
with, they hope, your wonderful support.
You can give to the joint causes by visiting their Just Giving Page
By Tom Bagge
Tom Bagge has been this way (Land’s End to John O’Groats) before and is pleased to remind us of his experiences of the first day. For some reason, he seems to have found a shorter route than the one selected for this challenge – or perhaps the UK has grown a bit in the last 40 years!
In 1979 I accepted without much thought the invitation of my great friend, Jonathan Bengough, to bike 870 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats. After a wonderful birthday party overlooking the River Alde at Iken on the Suffolk coast, I caught a train to Exeter; the plan being to meet Joe on the last train to Penzance. It was only when everyone bar Joe had disembarked from the train that I was finally convinced he had set me up. However on making enquiries, I learnt that there was a later train due to arrive about 10.30 pm – so I went to pass the time in a pub. Two pints later Joe arrived and we set off in the dark to bike the 10 miles to Lands End: the furthest I can recall ever having biked!
We slept behind a wall overlooking Lands End. On waking, heroic thoughts were badly dampened by the sight of a walker wearing a T shirt ‘Lands End to John O’Groats’! By breakfast time we were back in Penzance – and when settling up for our full English we mentioned our goal to the waitress in the vague hope the bill might be waived – her response was ‘oh, the season has started then’!
At the end of Day 1 we had cycled about 60 miles – and we decided that we deserved a B&B rather than a sleeping bag in a field.
It is worth saying we were very unprepared for the challenge, as indeed I am this time. Sadly neither of us had a camera nor did we keep a diary. In order to find the route we had to rely on Joe’s leather bound car atlas, pre-dating town bypasses and motorways.