On Saturday 13 July, one of the hottest days of all time, I walked for 20 miles around the Peak District along with five other finely tuned athletes employed by Ofwat, as part of the Severn Trent Mountain Challenge, raising cash for WaterAid.
After the short drive up the M1 from Birmingham to Derbyshire, we checked into a YHA youth hostel in the village of Hathersage – big mistake! We called it a night at about 11pm in readiness for our early start, but someone barged into our bunk-bedded dorm room in the small hours and put the lights on, before passing out in the bed below me where he continued to snore and fart all night, shaking the bed.
So following one of the worst night’s sleep ever, we arrived at Hope College for an overly strict kit inspection by the Edale Mountain Rescue Team (“No whistle and compass? No entry!”), before bursting out of the traps at our allocated start time of 08:10.
In brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the late twenties from the off, the first three miles were almost vertical and set the tone for the rest of the day. Never before have so many bananas, Mars Bars and energy tablets been consumed – not to mention the megalitres of water taken.
Landmarks we passed along the way included Mam Tor, Kinder Scout and the infamous Jacob’s Ladder. Fortunately we only had to descend this steep series of steps – climbing them would definitely have killed me off.
Nine hours and 52 minutes later, we received our Jim’ll Fix It-style medals for successfully completing the circular walk of the Dark Peak area of Derbyshire.
Beautiful views of the great outdoors along the way almost (but not quite) made it all worthwhile as we broke through the physical and mental pain barrier, all for the love of charity.
So far we’ve raised £633. If you’d like to add to our tally, please do so here – we’d really appreciate it.