This time next week I’ll, hopefully, be closing in on the finishing line of my Yorkshire 6 Peaks Challenge – a mad charity walk on behalf of the British Heart Foundation
Entirely unexpectedly day 3 of 4, turned into day 3 of 3 and a nice cheeky little 15/16 miler turned into a marathon-esque 26 miles of hell and a kip in the car at the end of it, not another night out in the wilds.
I’d love to say that first night was uneventful. It wasn’t…. something happened, something that’s scarred me since and may do for the rest of my life. And ‘no’, I didn’t get a midnight visit from an amorous Mr Harris!
The long Easter Weekend saw me take my boys, Chris and Alex, up to Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales. It was our first ever visit together, although I’d been there just the month before on a bit of a recce with Andy K.
An interview with Jack Strange by The Walking Dad
WD: Jack, you’re famous for being an author, but not many people know you’re very keen on walking.
Just a few days now before I head off up to Scotland and the start of my National 3 Peaks (N3P) walking challenge.
As some of you know, I’ve done the N3P Challenge before and just about survived, minus a never to be regained part of my sanity and thankfully some regained toe-nails (albeit toe-nails that a witch would be proud of). But I did get the T-Shirt…
There will be a few blogs, no doubt, to follow as our adventures progress. Accompanying me on the trip will be:
Tony ‘The Machine’ Harris: Tasked with getting us around the three hills alive. He’s done the N3P Challenge a few times now, including one time just a fortnight ago (nutter!)
Simon Christopherson: Another ex-colleague who I’ve done the Yorkshire 3 Peaks with a few times and tasked with some of the driving. N3P Virgin!
Adam Thwaites: Simon’s pal and again someone I’ve done the Yorkshire 3 Peaks with before. N3P Virgin.
Matt Lad!: The One and Only. Legend! He’s done the Yorky 3 Peaks three times now, but is a N3P Virgin.
Adam’s Car: Some big corporate Merc. Hopefully the size of a small warehouse.
The Weather: Without getting too technical the forecast is… TOTAL DOGSH!T
I hope I’m ready I’ve done some big 15-20m walks over the last month or so, plus the Yorkshire 3 Peaks a fortnight ago… and a tonne of gym work.
So I’m fitter than four years ago, but still four years older – and now closer to the BIG ‘FiveO..MG!’
I’ve got much better (and lighter) kit and will remember, definitely remember, to EAT and DRINK loads. I’ve started to ‘carb up’ this week and am drinking like a fish – water that is (for once). No caffeine or alcohol this week – despite the England Football Team’s attempt to send me spiraling into the nearest bottle!
Fri 11am: Leave home for Adam’s.
Fri Noon: Leave Adam’s (with Adam, Sie and Matt)
Fri 1-2pm: Pick up Tony
Fri 7pm: Stop in Glencoe for some scran and watch Wales get battered by the Belgians.
Fri 10-11pm: Ben Nevis Hostel for a teeny-weeny bit of shut-eye.
Sat 3am: Up and at him… Ben Nevis that is. The Mountain Trail. In the Dark!
Sat 9am: Travel to The Lakes
Sat 1pm: Up and down Scafell Pike. From Wastwater.
Sat 5pm: Travel to Snowdonia
Sat 10pm: 5 hours to get up and down Snowdon. The Miner’s Track. In the Dark – F*ck!!!
Sun 3am: Hopefully back at the car. In one piece!
Wish Me Luck. And watch this space.
As National Walking Month comes to an end I’ve stumbled across the line with just a few hours to go in my challenge to walk an average of a mile a day with my kids.
Thankfully I front-ended the challenge as I struggled towards the end of the month as competing priorities stole some of my time. Plus Barnsley FC’s successful play off challenge got in the way too.
Here’s how it happened:
# Miles 1-4: Quick couple of circuits around Pugney’s Country Park with Alex and Chris. 27m to go.
# Miles 4-6: A quick walk around Shibden Park with Alex and Chris. 25m to go.
# Miles 6-7.5: A cheeky walk around the block after school with Alex and Chris. 23.5m to go.
# Miles 7.5-10: A walk to town and back with Alex. 21m to go.
# Miles 10-11: A walk around Greenhead Park with Alex. 20m to go.
# Miles 11-19: Wanderings around Whitby and to Saltwick Nab and back. 12m to go.
# Miles 19-21: A walk with Boo and Radley (and Alex, Debbie and Chris). Our new doggy-friends from BorrowADoggy.com. 10m to go.
# Miles 21-23: A walk in the park with Alex, plus our walk to and from the Barnsley game. 8m to go
# Miles 23-25: A walk with just Radley this time (and Alex, Debbie and Chris). 6m to go.
# Miles 25-28: A wander around Digley Res with Alex and Chris. 3m to go.
# Miles 28-30: Walking around Barnsley watching the Open Top Bus Tour celebrating Barnsley FC’s promotion to The Championship. 1m to go.
# Miles 30-31: A walk with Boo and Radley again (and Alex, Debbie and Chris. DONE
I’m now considering extending my challenge out to the rest of the year.
215 days. 215 miles to walk with these two fellas. Gotta be do-able!
My Facebook Memories App kicked in this morning to remind me that it was four years today that I did my first and, to date, only National Three Peaks Challenge.
It took over 30 hours, but I did raise nearly £3k for a Children’s Charity I-CAN.
It seems so much longer than 4 years ago and was a day of ecstasy and agony. The ecstasy I remember, but the agony I’ve probably forgotten… which is probably why I’m down to do the Challenge again in 5 weeks time… Eeeek!!!
Today the hills were totally alive with the sound of music, if only directly into my head via the magic of Spotify and my iPhone.
You might be wondering why I was in the Peak District singing to a load of sheep at 6.30am this morning. Nope it wasn’t a night out gone terribly wrong or just a normal night out for a Yorkshire lad.
Here are some of my thoughts on how to make going walking with kids more of a pleasure and less of a pain. I’ve got two boys, aged 8 and 12 when I wrote this, and we walk regularly – whether it’s a few miles around a country park or a longer 6-8 miler around The Pennines or the Peak District. To be honest the majority of this is common-sense and a lot will apply whether you are walking alone, with your pals or with your family.