Monday, 2 June 2014

As the dust settles

Well that's that then. To be truthful right now it all seems like a bit of a blur which I'm sure in time will settle and come into sharper focus. Was it what I expected? Yes and no. The days were no harder than expected but they were quite a bit longer. Spending so many hours in that wild landscape was every bit as brilliant as I thought it would be, as was having the company of so many different people. Emotionally it was harder than I had imagined and the 'Ice Man' did melt on more than one occasion. Physically I was pleased with how my body held up, although my feet took the mother of all batterings and I'm not sure how many more days they could have coped with. I tried a little run last night, 6 days after finishing, and was rather alarmed at how my legs didn't work at all. Think awkward, painful, exhausted shuffle!

I have so many people to thank for making this thing possible. Firstly thanks to everyone who sent me messages and donations via the blog and Justgiving pages. These really spurred me on and motivated me when times were tough, particularly those from kids at school - so thanks! The fundraising tally is approaching £3000.

Secondly I really could not have done it without the friends who came up to help me in so many unglamorous ways. Least glamorous and hardest of all support jobs was undoubtedly being in charge of the motorhome. Spending hours dropping off and collecting bikes and camping gear up endless remote valleys; tidying the motorhome for the tenth time that day; cooking food for whoever is hungry; washing and drying sweaty and peaty clothes; co-ordinating people keen to assist; scrubbing the morning porridge pan.... the list is long with not a summit view to sooth the pain. So thanks Helen, Ben, Christeen, Aled, Sue and Phil for all that you did.

In all more than 50 different runners came up to be with me on the hill and ride with me on the bike. Although I had 6 days on my own completely, for by far the majority of hills I had the fantastic support of a range of people;  some of who were good friends before and some who became friends through spending time with me up there. I was delighted that some local runners turned out to help me as well so massive thanks to you all for the navigating, muling, jokes, abuse, stories and good company.

I also have to mention the fantastic job that Matt Towe and Chris Upson did in keeping the blog up to date. I know lots of people enjoyed Matt's updates and Chris did a sterling job with the schedule and the pin map. If I had a pound for every person who has told me they are at a bit of a loose end now there isn't the tracker to entertain them, I could fund another trip up north (Corbett round anyone?!)

That just leaves my wonderful wife and children. To have their support and them give up so much so that I could chase this dream makes me realise how lucky I am. After years of planning, training and financial pressures, Emma and Ruby keep reminding me that I am now 'all theirs'. And I'm looking forward to that.

In time I may try and pen an article for Fellrunner magazine and will no doubt be boring/entertaining people with pics and talk, certainly at Ghyllside School and possibly one or two other places. I'll post any info on here. I'll leave you with some of my favourite pictures. Thanks for following!

On Ben Hope in the club vest

Summit pic with the family - perfect weather meant the kids could make it

Aonach Eagach day 2

Snow on Aonach Eagach

More final summit glory

Brew in the van before another (probably wet) bike section

Bike in the sunshine with Aled and Lou

Time to celebrate!

Wild camp at Upper Tilt - puffy face again!

Chris, Spyke, me, Rach, Aled and Mark on Ben Lui

Matt Reedy enjoying the sunshine in Arrochar

Through the cornice in Glencoe

Trudgin' on



1 comment:

  1. Very well done Dan. I'm not surprised it feels like a bit of a blur. It must feel odd now you've finished with quite a different routine. Like the pictures on Ben Hope! Has the beard gone?