- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Walk 60 miles in 24 hours for charity? Lesley Dolphin questions her sanity
I’ve gone and done it again! I’ve just signed up to do another walk for charity, this time for our 8 Days A Week Appeal, raising money for a mobile unit for Suffolk Family Carers.
Ever since I climbed Kilimanjaro in aid of the new children’s hospice for Suffolk, people have been asking what my next challenge will be. I wasn’t sure – although I did know it would not be at altitude or involve me camping on the side of a mountain in a two-man tent in freezing conditions.
After a bit of thought I decided it would be good to do something close to home and initially considered walking the length of the Suffolk coast – about 60 miles – over a few days. However, I realised fairly swiftly that would be far too easy and gentle – I needed something much more challenging to get people sponsoring me.
It was the organiser of the wonderful Suffolk Walking Festival, David Falk, who came up with this rather more extreme plan. After a visit to his local hostelry and downing a couple of pints of local cider he thought, ‘Why doesn’t she walk the Suffolk Coast . . . in 24 hours?’
Sixty miles in 24 hours? I really wasn’t sure – and I have to admit I’m still not sure – but when David agreed to do the trek with me I found myself saying yes.
Since then we’ve been joined by three other intrepid – mad? – walkers. Editor of this magazine, Jayne Lindill, Jayne Flory, who climbed Kilimanjaro with me, and Nick Collinson, the natural environment manager for Suffolk County Council. Nick is the one who’s most likely to finish the walk as he’s in training for an iron man competition – a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break. David’s experience of organising the Walking Festival has been invaluable as he knows the coast walk well.
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We’ve set the August 6 as the date and plan to set off from Lowestoft South Pier at 10am when the tide will be going out for our first stretch to Southwold. We reckon we’ll have to walk at 3mph if we’re to complete the trek in 24hours. It’s going to be pretty tough, bearing in mind some of the route is on the beach and some in the dark.
Our route will take us inland to get around the Alde and Ore rivers and the stretch to Snape. It’ll then be back towards the coast along the footpath through Tunstall Forest through the night. My Kili head torch will come in very handy! We’re aiming to reach Bawdsey in time for breakfast before we cross via the Felixstowe ferry and do the final stretch along Felixstowe prom. We’re rather hoping lots of well wishers will come down and walk the last bit with us – we’ll definitely need some moral support and maybe physical support as well!
Now the training begins. I’ll keep you posted on how we do, and if you know anyone who has advice on how to train for a 24-hour, 60-mile walk then we’d love to hear from them . . .
In the meantime if you would like to support Suffolk Family Carers and sponsor us you can do that via www.justgiving.com/suffolkcoast24