Thank you to Sandy and everyone else donating to the Alzheimer’s Society cause and cheering me on as I staggered in after the Thames Path Challenge walk. I was really on my last legs at the end of the challenge. I started off strong and the first 14 km was fine and I was going at a good pace. I pushed myself during the second quarter, jogging as well as walking, until tiredness and what felt like a strained muscle near my groin forced me to slow down. I enjoyed the rainfall as I came in to the second rest stop near the halfway point. During the third quarter my pace had slowed to a comfortable stroll and at the third rest point I was beginning to feel very stiff and did not dare rest long. The last quarter was quite difficult. The distance completed was signposted at every kilometer and I was counting down the distance I still had to go. I calculated that I was walking at about 1 km per 12 minutes. As I got to the finish completely drained Sandy, Lisa, Dane, Orin, Anita, Maricia, Zaharah and Xavier were waiting and cheered me in.

By the time we got home I could hardly move my legs and I still feel stiff. I would like to do the Thames Challenge again next year, it is well organised and the route is good, but I would wish to be much better prepared. I left the plea for sponsorship to the last moment and my preparation for walking was zero. I depended on general fitness and determination and that was only just enough. Sandy was clearly much more worried about the challenge than I was and is very relieved. I would love to say that I’ve learnt my lesson and an old dog can learn new habits but we will see.

The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity I would support in the future for reasons beyond my own mother’s struggle with the disease. I think that supporting those who are old and have cognitive impairments is extremely important and we need to pay more attention to this.