This review was originally posted on our Facebook Members page.
I thought it was time to do a little Jurassic Challenge review.
We had a very rewarding weekend and I hope that everyone who entered, with three days behind them, all feel like they’ve achieved something special.
The organisers told us via their app that the conditions were to be dry but ‘breezy’ and that we should consider having poles to assist us.
‘Breezy’ is the biggest understatement! It was bloody windy. Gusting, billowing, constant wind. It dried you out, made your nose run and whipped away any chance of a conversation with someone.
For that reason alone I know that Jan and Susan decided to shorten their 58km to 25km and stopped at Corfe Castle. Well done to both of them, it was a wise move if the winds were an issue.
All 12 stone of me was being buffeted about by the winds and I saw many smaller people getting moved about. If wind and coastal paths and hills aren’t your thing, that would have been a challenge.
Our Warfield crew started from Corfe Castle at 10am and walked the 34km to Weymouth. They chose the toughest part of the event in terms of terrain. Very hilly (mounds of opportunity), sunny and windy. But they had each other, and from what I can see and gather, they had a blast! Pic’n’mix, laughs, motivating talks and photo opportunities. Just what a team walk is all about. Well done to Kirsty, Peter, Lesley, Maxine and Jane. Epic!
At 42km I had to arrange for Sophie to be collected at Durdle Door. She’d had a blister (in her previously comfy Snowdon climbed boots) from 5km and had literally hobbled to 42km as it got worse and worse. She had to make the decision to stop, and I am glad she did as the next stage would have stopped her. She was (maybe still is a bit) highly pissed off with it all. It was her Christmas present after all and no one wants Christmas Day to be a flop do they? Well done Missy, let’s book another one another time.
After leaving Soph I headed out on my own and at 52km found Shirley in pain and stranded much like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz, unable to move. Her left leg was in spasm and, after a brief discussion, we realised she’d have to retire too. Was she pissed off? Yep. But, she’s crossed the half way mark and, only signed up 3 weeks ago, so did amazingly well to get to that point.
I met up with the Warfield crew who’d finished and Kirsten and Ian at Weymouth where there was a dinner stop.
After eating and saying good bye to the Warfield crew, the last 3 standing strode out into the night. We were checked for glow-sticks on our rucksacks, head torches and reflective arms bands. We had to walk in a group at night and it wasn’t long before our night group was just the 3 of us.
Night walking wasn’t so bad. The terrain was flat. The pace kept us warm and we had Ian doing a ‘whoop whoop’ at every km sign.
By the time we got to the 82km rest point it was about 3.30? and we’d started to have to climb more stiles and there’d been a few hills. I knew I needed to eat and stretch. I lay on the floor and stretched and as I got up felt very dizzy, my already low blood pressure not happy. I found a Rice Crispy square to eat and instantly felt queasy, hot/cold, fainty, wobbly. It was at this point I thought for the first time that I just wouldn’t be able to walk . I felt like crap and told Kirsten and Ian to go on without me.
You don’t need to know the detail, but let’s just say that the rice crispie square didn’t agree with me and I had to say good bye to it and everything else I’d eaten that day.
I felt a bit better, told myself that not finishing with 18km to go wasn’t an option, and set out. I had no intention of trying to catch the other two up. Too much time had passed and I was empty of fuel, but knew I could do it, albeit a bit slower.
It seems quite the wrong way around that we had so many stiles in the last section! Legs don’t want to lift or move after 82km. The first half had been mainly gates, great! Anyway, I plodded on and then after field upon sunrise field there was sodding shingle upon sodding shingle. 3km of it.
This was me at my lowest. I was quite literally sleep walking. I kept waking up as I wobbled a bit. The shingle was relentless and draining. A few people passed me and asked if I was OK, ‘just slow’ was all I could reply. 🙂
The last 5km or so threw in 2 more hills and a long stretch of pavement through Bridport to get to the finish.
I crossed the line some 25 hours after starting. Ian and Kirsten having crossed just over 24 hours. Amazing time! Kirsten said Ian kept her going through the shingle — he was certainly our strongest walker. Well done boss.
However there is one other person who needs a hearty thanks and recognition. And that’s Liz. Liz had decided not to walk some months ago, but offered to come down as the support team. And did we need her! She was brilliant when I called her to pick up Soph and when I called 2 hours later to ask about Shirley she picked her up too. Both these journeys were about 2 hours each. Thank you Liz, we really appreciate your valiant, trusty support.
So all in all I am so pleased with how it all went. The weather held out. We all have a tan. We have miles on our legs. Hills in our memories and some physical reminder of what we achieved.
There’s plenty of similar, shorter, less through-the-nighty events that I’ll make you aware of that we could do as a team. It’s a good physical challenge outside of camp that builds great resilience. I hope some of you will join me.