My Sponsored Walk

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Last Sunday I went on a sponsored walk in aid of a local charity, with some people from my office.

I messed up my feet with a collection of blisters the day before my sponsored walk, which was just my rotten luck.

I went to see my mate Frog on Saturday round his cottage for a chat, plus to book an event we are going to see in May called ‘The Alternative View’, and we also watched a documentary together.

I thought to do a bit of walking around the town and along the river that day I went to see Frog, as practise for the sponsored walk. I was wearing my work shoes though, which caused my feet to grow huge blisters that crippled me. I think it’s because I have either been sat in an office, at home, or in my car for six months, which caused my feet to reject walking.

When I got home my mum bandaged my feet up, but it didn’t look as though I’d be able to do the sponsored walk the next day.

On the Sunday morning, I decided I could not pull out of the sponsored walk because of messing up my feet the previous day.

I wore my trainers and put soft rubber insoles inside them, with my feet covered in padded plasters.

My Dad gave me a lift to headquarters for the starting point of the sponsored walk and left me there.

I took my camera, a bottle of water, and some food with me. 

I walked towards the registration point, which was inside a huge blue tent.

The registration point a big blue Police tent

Inside the tent, the organisers gave me two maps, and my route instructions.

Inside the tent

The event organiser

I told the organisers the name of our team was ‘The Enforcers’. I was the only one there from my team at that point, which was worrying.

The team name ‘The Enforcers’ was chosen because of our line of work. We work for the Police and we enforce certain things to do with the law.

Waiting outside of the tent on my own for a while, I was worried that the others had dropped out, as that’s normally the sort of thing which happens with people from Surrey and to me, as you can’t rely on anyone for anything in my area.

I watched some Army Cadets coming out of a minibus who were also doing the walk that day.

Then one of the guys from the office surprised me by coming up behind me.

Not long after that, the others turned up.

There were eight of us making up the numbers for ‘The Enforcers’. I was the only one representing my office. Two guys came from the technicians department. Two more came from the ticket department who was a middle-aged guy, and a younger girl. The middle aged guy was a manager and he brought along his wife, plus his son and his wife.

I asked one of the other walkers to take a photograph of our 'The Enforcers' group using my camera.

The Enforcers

There were many other walking groups and runners that we saw at the start.

Together we examined our maps and route. We were on the 'Green Route', which was a 12-mile walk. Other people that day were doing the 6, 12, 20 or 30-mile walk.

Page 1 of my route instructions

Page 2 of my route instructions

Page 1 of my map showing the start, route, and two checkpoints

Page 2 of my map showing the finish

Quite a few people turned up to do the walk that day, around 300, which was a good turn out, and they must have raised a good amount of money for the charity.

The charity was in aid of an MS centre in Guildford.

After we looked at where we were walking to, we sent off on our walk.

Fence posts were marked with coloured lines to help show us the way, our route was represented by a green line.

Fence posts showing our route

The first part of our route took us along the side of HQ. I never knew there was a footpath near there before.

Surrey Police HQ

As we walked along the path there was a photographer taking pictures of the walkers. Some pictures were taken of us. The one taken of myself made me look like a startled Yeti wondering through the undergrowth.

Me creeping through the wilderness looking like a startled Yeti

Best of Bigfoot Compilation

Onward and upward on my way along the sponsored walk

Some of our The Enforcers group

A few more of The Enforcers

The manager and his family making up the rest of The Enforcers

There was quite a few Army Cadets doing the sponsored walk.

The Army Cadets matching along the path

The 12-mile route then took us through Loseley Park. We walked past the lake and the house. The lawn in-front of Loseley House had lots of mole hills. I took some pictures.

Walking past the lake at Loseley

The lake at Loseley

Loseley House with its mole infested lawn

We then walked across many fields towards a small village called Compton.

Our first checkpoint was by Watts Gallery in Compton. I’ve never been inside the building before, but I aim to walk that way again in the future and have a look inside the gallery.

At the checkpoint, we had some drinks and refreshments.

We then set off again towards a nearby town called Godalming.

We passed a nice looking old house.

Then through more countryside.

The walk took us up a muddy hill.

Through some farm land.

Then up along and down some country roads.

The second checkpoint was at Godalming’s fire station. We had some more drinks and snacks there.

The remaining part of our walk was along the River Wey towards Guildford.

I walked past many places I knew and had visited with friends, or with family along the river, it brought back many memories along the way. We passed Farncombe Boat House where I have eaten at their ‘Hectors On The Wey Bistro’ with Frog, which you can read about here. I passed the Manor Inn where I spent the night with a previous Valentine date, which you can read about here. We passed our current office in Shalford, which you can read a bit about here and here. We passed Frog’s house by St Catherine’s and the sandy hill there, which I used to climb up as a kid, you can see some of that part of the river in a video at the end of an older blog here. We passed places I used to fish with my grandfather. We passed a few pubs I often used to visit including the Weyside and The White House, see a bit about The White House here. We passed the large empty office which was the insurance firm I used to work for many years, up until last year, which you can read about here and here. We passed the Odeon cinema which I’ve often been to with friends or female dates, read here and here. We passed another empty office I used to work for in the late 1990's. We passed a house I used to live in as a small baby. The further along the river we walked the further it went into my past. It was surprising to me how much of my history was dotted along the riverbanks throughout Godalming and Guildford.

The River Wey not far from the first house I lived at in Guildford

As we got closer to the finish, we could see the MS centre on the other side of the river next to the Rowbarge pub. This made it agony seeing the finish point on the other side of the river due to our aching legs. It made us feel like swimming over to the other side of the river to get our pint of beer at the finish.

One of our group steamed off ahead to the finish before us, as he is a hiker, and used to doing longer walks at a faster pace.

We eventually reached the finish at the MS centre.

Reaching the finish point

It was great to reach the end. I was given a certificate and a sow on badge.

My certificate

My sow on badge

There was a photographer there taking pictures for the local Surrey Advertiser newspaper to cover the event. I got into the picture.

A group picture at the finish for the Surrey Advertiser

We then all went inside the MS centre.

The manager kindly bought everyone a drink.

I then got a free big bowl of cauliflower cheese, with rice and some bread as a meal to eat.

After we had our rest a Police minibus picked us up to take us back to HQ.

Once I got back to HQ, I called Dad to give me a lift back home.

I enjoyed the walk, it was a nice sunny day, and I was glad my feet didn’t play up like they did the day before the event.

I'd like to do some more long country walks this year.

I Would Walk 500 Miles - The Proclaimers

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