Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 30

I enjoy keeping fit, and I am a member of British Military Fitness (BMF). BMF is an outdoor fitness class run by serving or former members of the armed services. It is a bit like circuit training much better, outdoors, with mud, and plenty of laughter. Earlier this year before one of the BMF classes I was congratulating instructor Dave Cumins (or “Little Dave” as he is known) for completing a 100-mile ultra marathon. Little Dave is an ex Royal Marine so he’s double hard and ripped (although I reckon I could take him in an arm wrestle). I asked Little Dave what his next challenge was and he told me it was a 51 mile walk over the South Downs called the “Sussex Stride.” With my tongue firmly wedged in my cheek I proceeded to verbally abuse Little Dave for lowering his standards to a mere 51 mile “walk” before merrily going on my way. Within a week Little Dave had very kindly posted a message on my Facebook wall telling all and sundry that as it was such an easy “walk” he would happily pay my entrance fee just to see me cry with pain at the finish line -if I made it that far. Now, I may not be the biggest roughest toughest guy in the world (well, I may tell my girlfriend I am!), but I don’t like to be called a chicken and I don’t like to shirk any challenges. So, before I thought it through I accepted Little Dave’s challenge and this is where the journey begins. I signed up for the walk, which was organized by the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) and managed to bag the penultimate entry. One of my friends, Victor, who is equally as bonkers decided to sign up too and keep me company. As we had taken on this challenge at such short notice, we had no time to properly train for this, so the longest walk we managed to fit in was about 14 miles. Quite a long way short of the target distance! We only managed two training walks together…. The walk itself was almost entirely off road, and we were given details of the route in advance. Not a typical race oute where everything is marked out with cones and marshalls. All we had were a set of written instructions: “Take a bearing of 180 through the field and turn right at the fence post…” and other 28