Last weekend saw the annual White Horse Challenge take place in the hottest weather for years. Maria Ogbourne tells us how she and the rest of the crew from Rowan House (Nic Hewlett, Craig Duff and Jo Kelly) got on…
On Sunday 7th July, we completed day 2 of the White Horse Challenge in 11 hours 8 minutes. In temperatures that rose to over 27°C, we walked 25 miles from Marlborough to Devizes via the white horses at Hackpen, Broad Town, Cherhill and Devizes. Although we’d hoped to finish within 10 hours, the heat was so energy sapping that in the end it was just a relief to finish!
The most frightening part of the walk was walking through a field of cows that blocked our exit route and took an interest in Trixie (Nic’s dog)! Not a good place to be when you have a fear of cows and that incident used more energy than necessary just to get through it! Apparently at one point there was a cow chewing my hair but I was too scared to look behind me to see how close they were! We were so glad Craig had joined us at checkpoint 2 to provide us with a bit more safety in numbers.
The most unwelcome part of the walk (besides the temperature) was the steep hill up to the Cherhill White Horse and the Lansdowne Monument 7 miles before the end. That was nearly a deal breaker and sapped most of my remaining energy.
The most welcome aspects of the walk were the shaded areas of the wood copses. The difference in temperature was amazing and very refreshing.
The highlights were good company (thanks to the guys for joining me and keeping me going), fantastic scenery with sightings of a hare and a deer, the finish line and the cold shower on reaching home.
Time splits were:
- Section 1 – 2 hours 33 mins [Maria, Nic & Trixie]
- Section 2 – 1 hour 54 mins [Maria, Nic & Trixie, and Craig from checkpoint 2]
- Section 3 – 3 hours 2 mins [Maria & Craig]
- Section 4 – 3 hours 49 mins [Maria & Jo – Jo definitely had the hardest job of keeping me going!!]
Thank you to everyone who has sponsored us. Every penny raised help to make each step worthwhile, especially when tiredness started to set in the with unending heat!
If you haven’t sponsored us already and meant to, there’s still time. We have to notify the event organisers of funds raised by 25th July, so the Just Giving page will remain open until the 24th July.
Maria, Nic, Craig & Jo
aka Smiths News WHC Ramblers
A fantastic effort everyone, especially the £562 raised so far. The Wiltshire Air Ambulance is such a marvellous organisation to support 🙂