Thames Path Challenge Fundraiser, 2018
Write up by Lynda Whiston
Fund-raising for various cancer charities has been a part of my life since my first cancer diagnosis, back in 2001. Having done what is known as the Thames Path Challenge, one of the many Ultra challenges organised by Action Challenge, I decided to take on the 50k second half of the full 100k challenge in September 2018. Although I wasn’t fund-raising on this occasion, I was joined by my sister Kathryn who was raising money for Target, an ovarian cancer charity, along with Pool Of Life members, Ann Ball and Sheila Greenwood. We signed up to the event under the team name ‘Bosom Buddies’, and Sheila designed and made our team t-shirts.
Getting ready for the start:
…and we’re off!
While Action Challenge provide amazing rest stops with fabulous snacks, meals, drinks, medics, massage stations and trek masters to help those lost or in need of support on route, we were fortunate enough to have our own personal support crew in the form of our wonderful husbands: Stuart, Ian, Dave & Peter – The Bosom Buddies support crew.
Not only did these guys support us on the route and were there waiting for us at the check-in points, but they also popped up from behind a hedge or appeared on a bridge, or on one of the many paths that we encountered. They were envied and loved by others taking part in the challenge who weren’t as lucky to have their own supporters.
I think I can safely say that the Bosom Buddies themselves enjoyed the experience of the challenge, from walking through fields with views of Windsor Castle, admiring the huge houses along the banks of the Thames and wondering who lives in a house like that, to appreciating the chance to have a sit down with a cuppa and one of the many snacks available. We also kept our supporters going with the odd cheeky bag of nuts, flapjack and chocolate bars.
Stopping for a quick photo, Windsor Castle in the background.
Just one of the many huge houses, who could possibly live in a house like this?
Time for a cuppa, sandwich and a refreshing change of socks.
This wasn’t a random table in the middle of a field, just poor composition.
As dusk fell, it was time to turn on the head torches and follow the glow sticks that would eventually lead us to the finish line.
Tired, but elated, we arrived at the finish, with Ann & Sheila just a few minutes ahead of myself and Kathryn.
As Kathryn and I approached the finish line, Ann and Sheila joined us to share the Bosom Buddies’ celebration of completing our 50k challenge.
After crossing the finish line, collecting our medals and a celebratory glass of fizz, it was time to refuel & reflect on the day, before heading back to the hotel for some shut eye.
While some of the more hardened walkers sustained traumatic and gruesome blisters, Bosom Buddies came away pretty much unscathed, apart from a couple of small blisters.