At last we have news from our Trans Pennine Hikers! In our first post from the event, we have The Consortium‘s Nadine Evans, whose picture and marvellous personal account below shows why her story deserves to be told on its own…
“I think we would be lying to say we’re not sad our ‘Magnificent 7 and 2 blokes’ team turned out to be just 3. Being in full-time employment, all three of us parents to young children and being in the middle of peak – let us be honest here – meant training was not as high a priority or should I say, a possibility as it should have been.
For me mile 7 was my wall. During the rest stop minutes before the mount, we had all decided not to sit when we reached our first break stop (just in case I could not or would not get back up was my reasoning!). When we started again, it was just midway up the hill when I honestly fought hard not to shout ahead to Vince and Nick “I may just turn back”. As the sentence sat perched on my lips, Vince looked back at me to check I was all right; he smiled and said ‘ok?’ It was the nicest thing anyone could have said to me at that moment.
Miles 7 to 16 I believe, was the hardest for the 3 of us. As we drew closer to the lunch stop marker, we all found something extra to help walk towards the smiles ready to greet us. Lunch turned out to be the fuel we needed, although it was shortly after lunch I was strapped up with a hand resembling a pack of sausages, the blisters were starting to form on all our feet and Vince’s knee was showing signs of strain. Nick was now carrying my bag (the gentleman refused to let me carry my own rucksack as my arm was now in a sling), we were doing well!! Oh did I mention the paramedic thought Nick was my husband!!
Mile 8…, Mile 9…, we were now looking out for the markers and it was at this point we and those of the remaining 206 competitors using GPS to track their efforts, realised the course was actually longer and since found out it was 28.2 miles not the 26.5 we were drawn in with.
What does that mean? It means we did fantastically. It was mooted they picked the start and finish and then measured the course… this was not what we signed up for but did it deter us, did it heck! We all mentally tried not to think about the state our feet were in and walked on. Nick made a good suggestion of not taking our boots off, as we may never get them back on, although I was now enviously looking at a group of people who had swapped their boots for crocs. I resisted and kept those bad boys on!
Cancer has touched so many of us in different ways, the loss of a family member or friend, a personal fight or scare, maybe even just visiting someone sick or a member of your team. Seeing what utter heartache and devastation that evil, disgusting disease left my family in, I know why I was doing it but I did not think about the reasons behind why others would complete such a walk.
We saw strength in others, a dad hugging his daughter as she crossed the finishing line, so proud of what she has achieved in her late mothers name. To witness the different ends of the cancer emotion spectrum for the three of us was an honour and I won’t lie left me crying at the finish, not when we crossed the line but when we turned to see what it actually meant.
I think we all expected to be happy to be finishing, pride to have completed it but I was surprised at our emotions.
Our feet are sore, our knees are weak, the blisters have formed but that is nothing compared to what someone with cancer has to go through on a daily basis. A Macmillan nurse is there, whether it is for medical care or just a friendly face to smile at you when words just are not enough. Supporting a family member who is trying to come to terms with hearing a loved one is sick. It helped prepare my family and me. To me, Macmillan Nurses are secretly little angels, pure and simple. So, if you haven’t donated yet and would like to, please do so by simply logging onto our team page.
Every single penny counts. I just hope it’s not a support service any of us will have to use. Oh and Cancer, we came, we walked and we will continue to kick your butt!
On a personal note guys, it was an absolute pleasure walking with you Nick and Vince. I thank you sincerely for your company and support. I got home a little before 1am today [20th July – Ed] and I won’t lie… I’m in pain and I’m sure it’ll get worse! But seriously, I wouldn’t want to walk a walk like that with anyone else after yesterday – yesterday will always to me, be very special and for that I thank you both. It would have been a very different experience with anyone else, it was meant to be so thanks.
I’m off to sort out the old BM with some deep heat, goodnight :)”
Thanks Nadine for such an honest and moving story. I hope that you’re well on the road to recovery now and yours, Vince’s and Nick’s blisters are healing fast!
We’ll be back tomorrow with news from the rest of the participants.