When the word went round about the Team Honk Relay I knew I wanted to take part and so when the logistics were being ironed out I was following intently the goings off with the Nottingham based blogger team and it turns out the Maid Marion’s, always up to tackle challenges and destroy it with their team spirits and determination, never faltered. They organised and sorted quickly and were all up to pushing themselves out their comfort zones.
Penny, Lucy, Donna, Hannah and the amazing cyclists Sarah, Jenny & Becki completed the 30 mile cycle on the Tuesday. Not to be beaten the amazing Becky, who even with ill-health completed a 10k bike ride with the help of a ventilator! which was swiftly followed on the Wednesday by the final bunch of amazing ladies; Emily (and her son JD), Louise, Amanda and Jen who finished the Nottingham leg win style on their journey to Derby ….
With Nottingham more than covered I went to the aid of Derby who’s team were dwindling, Penny (who was also down for 30 miles cycling earlier in the week with Nottingham) and put our names down to cover a trek across Derbyshire from Chatsworth House to Rother Valley.
Now having said yes I really don’t think I had thought the logistics of the feat through to the end result … I was super happy to be helping but with a major operation only 19 days after the event and a pelvis of a 90-year-old, I sometimes get carried away with what I think I can achieve…. for goodness sake I have to iron sitting down these days!
So as the day drew closer and the feat itself begin to play on my mind the anxiousness was only ever-increasing and the previous elation was slipping away at a rapid rate of knots. However with the other members of the Derby teams plans falling apart with animal breeding and sickness, there really was no way that we could back out…. it was full steam ahead!
On the morning of the Derby leg of the relay I was feeling sick, anxious and my nerves were far worse than the day I had taken my driving test! however with Nottingham doing so amazingly well we were under pressure!
The weather forecasts had fluctuated so were really were not sure of the conditions we faced either!
We met with Julia who’s plans had gone pear-shaped at the last-minute and who continued to support us regardless, as she had driven the beautiful baton to the stunning Chatsworth House for us to set off on our epic journey.
So with the baton on the move, Penny and I set out with super positive outlook and we were oozing with optimism and some shocking wigs from the guys at Jokers Masquerade as we negotiated some local sheep (I wasn’t sharing my Pepsi Max with anyone) we trudge through mud, soft verges, overtaking nutters and some very large lorries that should have known better and were feeling pretty good about things …. until..
Around 2 hours after we set off things changed ..
We had taken off with such enthusiasm that we had not really looked properly at the map and in fact we had spent the last 2 hours going round in the most humongous circle. The best we can work it out is, we could have been between 4-6 miles off track .. and with walking at such a super pace I fear it could have been the larger of the 2 figures at least.
At this point the previous elation and positivity faded and had there have been an option to cry quietly in a corner without Penny seeing I have no doubt that’s where I would have been.
So with a tremendous cock-up and time of the essence, we slapped the smiles back on .. took out the Haribo and walked .. and walked … in the right direction.
We experienced every weather condition possible with, sun, wind, rain, snow and hail .. all in the space of an hour but we kept on walking and kept on chewing Haribo.
With rubbish internet signals and my pain hitting a barrier we called in for a super speedy Diet Coke, a wee and a social media update and we were on the move again. Feeling a little more focussed and ready to complete the journey.
With the final push almost enough for me to crumble with pain we got to our destination as darkness descended but nothing could dampen my soaring heart.
The true elation of feeling you have achieved something so out of your comfort zone you were mad to consider it as an option really is the most amazing feeling. When we arrived at the Sitwell Arms we knew we were shattered and hurting but it was the most amazing feeling handing over that baton and knowing we have achieved our leg of the relay.
On the way home I did have a little cry, not at the pain although it was unbearable; but at the sheer emotions. I may be a physical wreck and spend my life in pain but hell, let me tell you .. the pain for the last 4 days has all be very much worth it.
Thank you to all those of you that have already sponsored me with your hard-earned cash it is really appreciated. It’s still not too late for anyone else if you wanted to add to my sponsorship it really would be appreciated.
Photo Credit: Penny Alexander from Alexander Residence thank you for allowing me to use some of your images and also for keeping me going and being so supportive.