So here we are. 1 of 3 challenges down, St. Swithun’s Way. It truly left me with a lot to think about….

Wow, was I happy to get home, shower, eat and have a beer. It felt great to be out the rain. The leg muscles were surprisingly good for how under trained I was. Some joints on the other hand were shouting in protest. Hmmm, maybe my shoes aren’t 100% for my running gait. The top of the arch on both feet didn’t like pressure being put on them and the outer right knee also decided to join in and boycott walking. Now that I’ve actually re-read that it makes it sound much worse than it is. 

The loss of my camera lens really pissed me off as I had ordered those lenses from the US and by no means had money to replace it. To further add insult to injury, it was the one I most used out of the three individual units. Even more irritating was that it was two lenses in one; wide angle and macro! So that was not good. Enough moaning! The best solution was to drive back and find it before the next event; the South Downs Way. 

With the lens now out of the forefront of my mind I had to now focusing on editing the video, writing blog posts, and most importantly the next challenge and what I had learnt from this one to take into the next one. 

First and foremost was the time frame of the next event. St. Swithun’s Way, although conditions weren’t ideal, it took me far longer that I had expected! I underestimated how much I was going to have to navigate. I finished Comrades Marathon which is 89km (56mi) in less than 9 hours and that has a fair bit of hills in it, but this took me a lot longer to do just 62km. Where am I going with this? Well, initially I wanted to do the South Downs Way (160km) in a 24 hour period. If St. Swithun’s Way and my current fitness was anything to go by that was out of the question! Before you say it, I know the record is 15 hours and 43 minutes but I’m outta that league; way, way out of that league! 

So, it will have to be done over two days, which is still a push as that will be 80km a day. That’s still running nearly a double marathon a day for two consecutive days. To spice it up further the whole route has about 3.8km worth of climbing. Yes you read correctly! 3.8 KILOMETRES. This also means that on this route I will have to give my tent, sleeping bag, and various other supplies a piggy back in exchange for a night of relative comfort. That sounds like a fair deal to me. I will also be making sure that I will do it when there is little or no rain! 

All in all I was cuffed to have the first one out the way. A bit of hard evidence that I was, and still am going to do this! Day 2 and day 3 afterwards there was a lot less stiffness than I expected which told me my recovery rate was good. I never got around to mentioning who the mystery person was behind the writing of the lifesaving ‘directions’. Although by the end of it my directions looked like a runny ink paper mache model of something; I wish I had taken a photo to add it to this post. That fine website is here. If you ever plan on travelling St. Swithun’s Way print this out and take it with you, if not at least read it! Thank you Jason McDonald. 

Well there it is, closing the chapter on St. Swithun’s Way. It was tough, it was wet, and it was muddy but it was a great experience! Time to move on. South Downs Way should be happening in the next fortnight. As I mentioned before, I’ll have a post up soon on my filming gear. Until then….