100km or bust

In October 2019 I signed up to walk 100km along the Cotswold Way but Covid delayed my plans until June 2021 so training resumed in January this year.  Together with my fellow participant and old friend, Zoe, we trained hard, alone during the week, and at the weekends we walked together, literally all day, reaching 40+ miles over a weekend.

After weeks of training and covering over 1000 miles, the big day (June 26th) arrived. The 2021 course was a loop from the Agricultural University in Cirencester.  The weather soon warmed up – hot and humid was not ideal for tackling the Cotswold hills carrying three litres of water. The atmosphere was so friendly and encouraging. The hills I can only describe as brutal! I twisted my knee on a hidden tree stump at 20km and had to obtain a knee support. At this point my stubbornness kicked in; I was not stopping! We passed through Painswick,  Dursley, Westonbirt, Tetbury, and finally back to Cirencester. The scenery was stunning, bits of everything.  Walking through the night was as daunting as it was exciting, the route lit only by our headtorch and glowsticks.

To complete the full distance and see my family waiting was emotional to say the least. We completed 102km walked in 33 hours with a total climb of 2250m (Snowdon is 1085m). The training paid off as I didn’t have one blister! I was treated like a superstar when I returned to work at Wychwood School. I even had cake and biscuits made for me and a card from my class. I was honoured to have a scarecrow made of me for the Scarecrow Trail. I have shed many a happy tear since crossing the finish line!

Would I recommend it? Definitely. Would I do it again? Never. Well not yet. Well possibly. To be honest I’m looking for my next adventure!!

The impact of COVID on fundraising has been huge. We decided to try and raise money and awareness as we walked.  I chose the Teenage Cancer Trust as I had been treated for Hodgkin Lymphona as a child.  TCT steps in by providing care, support and facilities for young people aged 13-24. I have a huge amount to be grateful for and I can truly appreciate how important their work is.

I am proud of my achievement, but I am over the moon to have raised £1065 at the time of writing.   I would like to thank everybody who has kindly and generously donated. As I have been asked about it, I have included the link to my justgiving page. Your kindness will really make a difference.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rachelcarter50

Rachel Carter

October-November 2021