Liz Seal is TEP’s Associate Director (Ecology). Read her blog about the first quarter of her personal 2020 challenge.
“TEP is turning 20” the directors said, “Have a think about fundraising ideas on the theme of 20“.
“I could walk 2020 kilometres in 2017” I joked. “Perfect” they said. Hang on a minute, that’s further than walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again!!!!!
So my challenge started on New Year’s Day 2017, as I need to average nearly 40km a week I thought I better not waste any time. However, I showed myself up as novice walker when I booked a roast lunch at the start of the walk….. that first hill was hard going on a full stomach and 11km later we found ourselves hunting for our cars in the increasingly dark Derbyshire countryside.
After a quick calculation it became apparent that weekend walking was not going to be sufficient to hit my target, so I started walking near my home before work and heading out again in the evenings. More exciting walks in my first month included Mam Tor blanketed in snow, the Peak Forest Canal in driving rain, Darwen Moor in sub-zero temperatures and my longest walk (18km) to Dunham Massey deer park, the latter featuring a daring rescue of my dog Bobby who fell into the canal.
In February I introduced the Walking Meeting to TEP, dragging unsuspecting colleagues out with me at lunchtimes. But with an impending long trek on the horizon (more of that later), I knew I had to increase the distance and get some hills under my feet. So February highlights included both Pen-y-Ghent and Pendle Hill in snow blizzards.
Having a significant birthday in March (21 again) two years ago I started planning a trip to New Zealand and somehow ended up doing the Milford Track. At 54km (plus extra walks to glow worm caves and fountains) this was my first ever multi-day trek. I thought carrying all my kit and food would be the biggest challenge, but the biting sandflies, heat and no showers for 3 days was worse!
So at the end of the first 3 months of my challenge I am on track with 514km completed and a mere 1,506km to go. I’ll catch up with you again soon, but in the meantime if you would like to sponsor me then please Donate via our JustGiving Page