Monday, May 4, 2009

Guernsey World Aid Walk 2009

The Guernsey World Aid Walk is the second in my training walks in the build up to Itex and it is a very worthy charity. This walk is the same distance as the Mines Awareness Trust Walk I did two weeks ago, 20kms/12.5 miles.

Guernsey is like living in a small town in Australia, everybody knows everybody. It turned out that my friend Bella, from my children’s swimming lessons, is actually the chairperson of the GWAW and she gave a wonderful speech at the beginning of the walk about where the money raised would be going. Another friend, Carol, who I know from the gym, was working as one of the officials on the day; see, small town, not that that is a bad thing, just different from being a face in a crowd in Brisbane.

I roped my friend M in this time and she brought along her husband S and their HUGE dog Max. I call them M and S (my friends not the supermarket) as Guernsey is a very small place and just because I enjoy writing this blog does not mean they would like a starring role in it, so M and S it is.

We started the walk at 9.00am in Market Square in town. This walk had over 2100 participants take part.

Here we all are surging up Mill Street. Next year I will make sure we are at the front of the pack or else you tend to get stuck behind alot of people as you get bottle necked in some of the streets through town.

We reached Vazon Bay about one and a half hours into the walk. It was fabulous to walk along the streets through Town as it gives a much better feel of the place than simply zipping through it in you car.

Vazon Bay, the northern end.

Cobo Beach, please note the beach tractor. People hire these tractor to have their boats towed down to the beach rather than using a trailer as most people would in Australia.

M had done some training for the walk but I think she was really feeling it by the end. My feet had brought me a world of pain by the time town was in sight (you can see St Peter Port in the distance - please click on the photo to enlarge it) but it was my own fault as I need new shoes as my current ones offer NO support at all. At least I knew my heart was still beating as I could feel the blood pounding through my feet! You can see Max in the corner of the photo. He is a Briard (pronounced breeard), a French sheepdog and it perhaps one of the largest dog I have ever seen in my life. He came in handy during the walk through Town as he was rather effective at clearing a path through the other walkers.

We finished the walk in four hours and forty minutes. It was a slower time than the MAT Walk but we did get caught in Town amongst the sea of people participating and my shoes definitely need to be binned now. This walk has actually made me feel more confident about the Itex walk as although my feet felt pounded flat with a mallet the rest of me was OK. I think if I get some new shoes and break them in I might actually have a good chance at finishing the Itex. M has stated categorically that she is NOT coming on that one with me ;)

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