I sent him a message asking him if he wanted a Duck for company, as you do! Not sure if he was grateful for having some company, or mortified he was going to be walking with Fibroduck. But we both have a passion for walking, adventures and fundraising. Our feet are focused on a very local and worthy cause.
We are doing the walk for the THE WICKED AND WACKY BREAKFAST CLUB at St Mary’s School in Shinfield where Steve works.
We are also promoting the healthy option of Walking to school,
We are starting at -
- A. Robert Piggott School, then going via
- B. Polehamton CofE Junior School,
- C. Willowbank Junior,
- D. Emmbrook,
- E. St Pauls CofE,
- F. Westende School,
- G. Oaklands,
- H. Gorse Ride, and then finishing at
- I. St Mary's, Shinfield
We’ll be walking past every Junior School in Wokingham Council's area, a total of 23.6 miles (38km). We will be starting at midnight, and finish at 7:30a.m. on the 8th of April. (That's the last day of term.) We'll be in time to join the children in the breakfast club for toast and a coffee.
Hopefully I shall be able to have a live tracking with endomondo which can be accessed from their website, or twitter and facebook. Feather tips crossed I can work the technology!
So wonderful people we are asking you to dig deep and donate, even just a pound or two - every little helps.
As it is at night time I have got 2 flashlights to wear front and back, plus a torch. I also have a reflective vest. GPS, compass and map of course are essential.
In my rucksack I will have 2l of water, a small concerntrated beetroot juice (energy), a coconut water (rehyrdation at the end), a small thermos of hot chocolate (energy and comfort). Plus my gluten free nakd bars, jelly beans, mixed nuts and raisins and a slimfast (energy & food drink). I also have a small pot of baked beans to enjoy as my wheat free alternative to a sandwich.
I always carry a 1st aid kit, my Whiz (for a whazz, lighter than a shewee), spare warm hat, gloves, fleece, bandana (useful at end of walk when temperature drops).
Plus a few fibroducks to hand out - not sure who we shall see in the wee hours!
Wearing my new beloved Salomon Exit 2 GTX shoes. Perfect for my arches; gives great cushioning and support. Love the grippy vibram soles. Goretex lined too for our British Summers! I always wear a pair of thin bridgedale inner socks, with my Bridgedale trekking socks over the top. I usually douse feet in a liberal coating of talc to keep them dry & friction free.
I always use my Osprey rucksacks. They are very comfortable and have lots of stretchy pockets.
I have tried many backpacks but this is perfect for my height, waist, shoulders and chest.
We arrived at the first school, The Robert Piggot School, at 11.45am. Parked up in a dark school car park. Then another car drove in! The chap pulled alongside, wound down his window and asked “Do you know anything about the charity walk?”
I answered “Oh yes!” Straight away, Churchill style.
Steve slowly and cautiously answered with a mumble. He was waiting for the chap to tell us to leave immediately, as we couldn’t park there!
The chap introduced himself as Ryan, a photographer from the Reading Guide! He certainly pulled the short straw for this story! His Editor had told him there was a job he certainly couldn’t refuse to do tonight!
He hadn’t brought proper lighting so we improvised with car lights on full beam. He was given a little Fibroduck as a thank you for coming out to record the start of our Midnight Quackathon.
We said a goodbye to Steve’s wife, Ginny, who was driving back home, to a warm bed! She repeated this several times and that she was looking forward to a snore-free night of sleep! Well at least I would know when Steve was sleep walking. I’d hear him snoring in mid stride. Then off we set!
We did our best to twitter through out the night, uploading our photos as we took them at each school. A big thankyou to all of you who supported us through the night.
The walk was tough. The body is used to sleeping at that time. I had made sure I had packed some nice sweet things to keep my body ticking over, spiking it with jelly beans, nakd bars and brazil nuts. The worst sections were the country roads with no lights, or paths. We had to pick our way over/through/under potholes, drain hole covers, molehills (grass verges!) and a lot of debris. thankfully no accidents. But notably my GPS recorded a maximum speed of 6.8mph! It must have been one of the stumbles when dancing with some hidden twigs!
It was a mostly quiet and uneventful night, with a few funny moments. I can’t for the life of me remember timelines for all the incidents!
- We found Cinderella’s shoe (Steve has the photo to prove this) and it didn’t fit either of us. It was a very petit glitzy gold ballet pump.
- We only had 1 car toot, but then Reading and Wokingham drivers are respecting the fact that most decent and civilised people would be asleep and not want to be woken up.
- There were two young lads walking near the Winnersh Showcase cinema. As was my way with all the good folk we came across, I said “Good Morning, Quack!” One lad replied “Good morning” back, and the other said, “Bon Appetite!” Hmmm..could he see an orange in my beak or a bottle of hoisin sauce under my wing?
- Another young lad cycling with his hands in pockets looked, nay stared, at us in disbelief as wiggled his way down the road, near St Paul’s school. He was lost apparently and needed directions back to Reading! At 3.30am? He did say if he had some money on him he would give it us as “We were well good folk!”
- Scariest moment was when we could hear a police helicopter over our heads, and could see the long search beam. It took about a minute to come over to us, then onto us, then move away. Then come back, and linger! We took advantage and took some photos of ourselves out side Westende School. Watch Police! Camera! Action! For photos of The 6ft Duck and Bewhiskered man blinking in their main beam!
- Outside of Wokingham, near a Tesco’s we thought we could see the Coco Cola Christmas truck. A very clean and smart “People Carrier” had a front load of very smart lights! Didn’t need streetlights with that around! But as we had already seen a Christmas lights on around a Magnolia tree in Wargrave I was still waiting to hear a Christmas jingle.
We got back to St. Mary’s School at 6.45am. We joined the children at the Breakfast Club, for breakfast. It was fun listening to their banter and taking questions from them. I was stumped at the one “how old is the Duck” and “Why has the Duck got two heads?” Just love what kids will come out with next.
I thoroughly enjoyed my walk and chats with Steve that night. We shall do another adventure again.
A big thankyou to Ginny, his wife, for chauffeuring and staying up late night that. Plus thank you to Ryan, the Reading Guide Photographer.