The Caledonian Challenge 2012
The drizzle year
What had started as an innocent email around the company ended in 54 miles being walked in 22 hours 33 minutes through pretty much constant drizzle for the first 21-hours. Throw in about 100 midge bites during the next 3 hours, some blisters, one faulty ankle, very tired legs, no sleep and you have one side of how the ESPC team got on in the Caledonian Challenge.
On the other side there was the great feeling of achievement at the end, there was the spectacular scenery we walked through (despite the dark clouds), conquering a challenge as a team, some moments of pure comedy (turns out it is possible to spend five minutes trying to get a single poncho over your head) and discussing every topic under the sun from Scottish independence through to what exactly does the anti-midge lotion taste of.
The Walk was split into 5 stages which each between 8 and 13 miles long. At the end of each stage there was a checkpoint where we could change our clothes, get some warm food on board and rest the limbs before the next section.
Walking through the night along country track was a strange experience as you had to study the ground carefully to avoid treading on the rocks and puddles that littered the path. This was particularly the case for one team member whose head torch broke and he had to use a wind-up torch for 2 hours. Not the ideal piece of lighting equipment for a night time walk.
As one of the last teams to start we did have the motivation of catching up with teams who had started 1 or 2- hours before us. So as not to demotivate them, we held off on doing celebratory high-5s until we had been had passed them by 100 yards.
It is often said that moving home is one of the most stressful things a person can do (we at ESPC would disagree with that). So while everyone in the team has been through the process of moving home and would do so again, there was universal agreement that our Caledonian Challenge journey was well worth doing because of the money raised and the personal challenge but the final thought has to be "never again".
If you would like to sponsor the ESPC team please visit www.caledonianchallenge.com/teams/TeamESPC2.
If you are feeling fit why not take on the challenge yourself next year! Further details can be found on the Calledonian Challenge website.