Registration is about to close and I was just looking through the list of walkers who have paid their money to participate.
In my short time at this activity I have met two thirds of them. Of the remaining third, I ‘know’ some of them through Twitter and FaceBook, some I know nothing about, but I am so looking forward to meeting them all in the flesh.
When I was getting the challenge off the ground I was thinking that it would be good to have a ‘celebrity’ involved, that might participate in the challenge. When I read through the list of participants now, I’m thinking; it would have been a bad idea, as it would have taken from the remarkable walkers/athletes we have amongst our ranks.
I have nothing but admiration for those who have undertaken this challenge. They’re gutsy triers full of quiet passion and determination. It’s irrelevant how many days they’ll walk, as I know they’ll have their own personal ambition/target on the day/s.
We have three women taking part that were first home in three of the toughest day challenges on the hill walking calendar: Comeragh, Tom Crean & Maamturk. We have men whose names will always feature in the top 5 home taking part, plus ‘the guy with the ponytail’ (as those that don’t know his name call him). We have CHP(er)s and hill walking globe trotters. We have our very own ‘Scorsese’ of the mountains. We have the man that calls The Mournes his “gym” and another man with no cartilage in his right knee. There's also the guy that did the Mourne 7 7s on six 'Wagon Wheels' in a very respectable time. I’ll tell ya folks, it’s a regular ‘Who’s Who?’ of the hill walking fraternity.
Walking at this level isn’t easy. It’s pretty damn difficult. But it’s the strenuous and tough nature of it that makes the activity and people great. So, take a bow you fine people.
If I may adapt a few of Alfred Wainwright’s words : We do it for us. We like it. We’re good at it. We’re alive in it.
I can’t wait!!!