Our intrepid supporters at Kinetico – the world leader in manufacturing high quality domestic and commercial water treatment products – recently embarked on a 14 mile ‘Walk for Water’ to raise funds and awareness for Just a Drop. Here’s their hour-by-hour account of the day, which includes strolling along the Solent, navigating shingle, lots of stamina and enjoying a well-deserved ‘swift half’ towards the end!
12noon: For those who consumed several bacon sandwiches in hope of an energy boost before the walk, it now didn’t seem like such a good idea! Gathered outside, many of our walkers had no experience of walking 14 miles and no real idea of what awaited them. All we knew was that it was a team effort, mind over matter and we had to do it for the kind people that had sponsored us to reach our £1,500 target. If the marines can do 30 miles kitted out, multi-terrain and in blaring heat, surely we could make ‘just’ 14 miles!
1pm: An hour in, the similarity between us and the marines training was evident – the heat! Starting on fairly easy terrain, flat roads through picturesque Hampshire villages the blaring sun and 30 degree heat started to take its toll – the ladies were gracefully perspiring while the men ‘hard core sweating’ in their muscles vests. No moaning yet of aching legs and feet – just regret from the one who ‘forgot’ to wear socks as the inevitable trainer rubbing kicked in.
2pm: With the kind flat roads behind us we hung a right onto the canal tow path – a dusty, uneven path shadowed by willow trees and flanked by corn fields – not unpleasant scenery by any means, and on such a gloriously sunny day, but it started to get much harder – and not even half way yet! Something did however greet us at the end of the two mile tow path which put a smile on everyone’s face – the sea; and it wasn’t the prospect of a quick dip but more the sounds of the ice cream van parked up on the foreshore. Never was a Mr.Whippy and a 7Up so welcome (and well deserved). No rest for the wicked, quick pit stop and off again…
3pm: Accompanied by stunning views over the Solent to the Isle of Wight, the shingle beach was not kind to our tired legs. Walking on shingle is an uphill struggle and as our feet sank in the stones we finally welcomed the cliff top paths which hugged the beach. And we left the beach just in time – only to discover had we kept walking we’d have run into what is the local nudist beach (unbeknown to us!). The cliff top path stopped abruptly in a seaside caravan park where the outside pool (and the pub) looked all too appealing for 12 tired, and now rather sweaty walkers. The best policy was to walk quickly past it, and so we ploughed on ahead…
4pm: Well, after four hours and 11 miles we now couldn’t resist the next pub. The path reverted back to the dreaded shingle so our legs were more tired than ever – a swift half (it was a very swift half) perched outside on the wall overlooking the river Hamble seemed to revive our spirits. A quick packet of salt and vinegar and we were off again for the last and final leg – which proved to be the worst!
4.30pm – Ouch, ouch, ouch – the group got quieter and quieter as they saw the two mile hill that greeted us as we left the beach path. Yuh, we had well and truly left the camaraderie behind us and now it was sheer mind over matter that was going to get us to the finish line. We all discovered for the first time a never ending road that seemed to go on for miles and miles and well-hidden stamina which came in very handy – what we would have done for a fireman’s lift.
5pm: I don’t think we have ever been so delighted to see our place of work. We started where we finished and 12 became 11 (after one minor injury) but we all did it and still with smiles on our faces despite the expected aching legs, feet and the inevitable blisters. Near on five hours and with a few small intervals we achieved our goal and we’re ever closer to our £1,500 target for Just a Drop. Well done team, here’s to the next challenge!
To support Kinetico’s efforts, please visit their JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/kineticouk/