I think I have just had my socks blown off. Five Quackathons in Five days?
Last year Dean Grimshawe of Team Warriors asked me if I would like to be a part of his team doing the Forces March for 2011. I declined, as I needed all my fundraising and training effort to be totally focused on the 2012 Polar Challenge. That particular challenge has now very much been drop kicked out of orbit. I can not raise the £25,000 entrance fee, let alone raise anything extra for the charities. I don’t have a network of friends and family who can dedicate their time; effort and enthusiasm to fund raising to allow me to just get on with the training.
Dean and Team Warrior completed the Forces March at the end of May. He quickly put out a twitter request asking if any one would like to be a part of a team for 2012. Wow, he must have really enjoyed the pain he endured for the challenge! Why? So I had to ring him and ask a whole lot of questions. My curiosity had been piqued! And you all know what that this Duck is like with her nosy beak! I had followed the twitters during their challenge and often saw the words “hurt”, Achilles heel gone”, “blisters”, “knackered”, “tent with no pegs”… what has made him want to go back for more?
The Forces March is billed as one of the UK’s top challenge events. Participants complete five stages in five days. 132.5 miles from Ilfracombe to Bulford. Each stage is at least 26 miles in length – 5 marathons in 5 days! The undulating all-road route begins in Ilfracombe, North Devon and passes through Exmoor, the Quantock Hills, rural Somerset and much of Salisbury Plain before finishing just outside of Bulford Camp, the UK’s biggest Army Garrison. “The Forces March is not a race. It is not a competition. It is a journey, an adventure, a life-changing experience.” Oh, that’s my clincher! Part of the entry requirement is to raise a minimum of £1000 (per team member) for The Veterans Charity. ALL funds raised as a result of participation in The Forces March must be for The Veterans Charity
The Veterans Charity, and was founded in 2008 to provide support for the Veterans of the UK armed forces. Their focus is to support ALL Veterans and to ensure that their needs are met as quickly as possible.
The Forces March is based on a legendary march taken by men of the newly formed 6th Airborne Division during early training for D-Day in the summer of 1942. Following weeks of intensive PT the men were told they could stand down and head back to Bulford Camp where they were based at the time. However, one last task was assigned; to WALK back to Bulford. A distance of approximately 130 miles! The men not only walked back to Bulford but they completed the arduous route in 5 days dressed in FULL KIT each carrying up to 80lbs in weight!
The phone call to Dean only whetted my appetite. He assured me that everyone mingled running with walking. The Die-hards who tried to run it at speed for the first two legs did themselves a mischief. There was nothing he didn’t say, even when he honestly spoke about some of the painful moments, that I thought “Eek, no!” I want something to push me beyond my boundary and out of my comfort zone.
I am not Super Duck, just one with a passion to achieve more out of life for me and others. There was also a fantastic support crew who made life comfortable and went beyond the call of duty with motivation and enthusiastic support, keeping up morale and humour.
I whizzed down to my gym, Revive, to see Darren (Manager and best-ever instructor) to let him know what mischief this Duck is up to… he smiled and after a cautionary word or two, has declared “Game On”!
All emotional baggage dumped at the door and the focus is back on to spend the next year getting me strong for the Great South Run, the Reading half marathon, the London Marathon (I hope) and Five marathons in Five Days!
Oh, did I mention I don’t run? YET!!!! Oh and of course I will be doing this dressed as Fibroduck still raising awareness for Fibromyalgia
Dean wrote a blog for Veterans Charity in lieu of doing the Forces March 2011 - have a read