The gang that #walk1000miles built

How join­ing #walk1000miles and post­ing in the chal­lenge’s Face­book group made life fuller, brighter and walkier for these seven ‘Hardy’ ladies.

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - #walk1000miles Update Linda Barron, Catriona Price -

How did you get to­gether?

Becky: We all live in Hamp­shire and Dorset and com­mented on each other's posts in the Face­book group.

Jill: Af­ter a few months we started to or­gan­ise a few meet ups. My first meet up was with Sally and Kate at Cran­borne in Dorset. We all felt we al­ready knew each other al­ready which was lovely.

Janet: My first in­tro­duc­tion to these lovely peo­ple was with Becky and Jill in the week fol­low­ing the un­ex­pected and very sud­den death of my hus­band. The sup­port the Face­book group gave me, and our lit­tle gang in par­tic­u­lar was un­be­liev­ably fan­tas­tic. To­gether we walked the Stour Val­ley Way in stages and it felt as though I had known them much longer. They’ve plugged the gap left by my no.1 walk­ing com­pan­ion.

Sally: Becky and I started, meet­ing up for our reg­u­lar ‘Thurs­day Walks’. I’d read Kate was do­ing the Moon­walk and that she had beaten can­cer a few times and I was so in­spired by her cheer­ful at­ti­tude.

Kate: I’d read about #walk1000miles by chance in the first ever copy of CW I picked up in the su­per­mar­ket, and I think I was one of the first peo­ple to join the group. When we met it felt like we had known each other for­ever. We had a great day and a very in­ter­est­ing walk with sting­ing net­tles up to our necks, and took mil­lions of pho­to­graphs.

Sally: Ha ha, yes some of us couldn’t be seen at all, be­ing a tad shorter than every­one else lol! Al­ways will re­mem­ber that walk, it was a fan­tas­tic day.

Janet: At the end of the Stour Val­ley Way, Becky pro­duced the Hardy Way guide – 220 miles! – and our new project was launched.

What made you think this was some­thing you wanted to do again?

Becky: Our first walk to­gether was a spe­cial one, We all en­joyed the com­pany, the walk and the chal­lenge! Jill: We re­ally can’t wait for the next stage of our Hardy Way walks, love the plan­ningor­gan­is­ing the trans­port. Re­ally great fun, lots of laughs and cake! Sally: ...and sloe gin!!

Ca­tri­ona: The Hardy Way is a chal­lenge we’re all ea­ger to com­plete. Fin­ish one sec­tion, we’re all hun­gry to do the next!

Sally: It’s be­came some­thing we all re­ally, re­ally look for­ward to. We chat about the last meet up af­ter­wards and then start to chat about the next one be­fore… so we chat a lot! When I went for a new job I even asked if I could work Mon/Tues/ Weds so I’d have the same days off as Becky. They said yes!

Kate: Keep­ing in touch on Face­book meant it was never in any doubt we would con­tinue to walk to­gether.

Sally: I don’t think any of us re­ally re­alised how sig­nif­i­cant

‘The Hardy Walk­ers’ group would be­come! Big­ger than the Fa­mous 5 (well there are 7 of us!), greater than the Se­cret 7 and ad­ven­tures even Enid Bly­ton couldn’t have thought pos­si­ble! Linda: It’s been down­hill ever since, and I mean it in the nicest pos­si­ble way!

What is each bring to the group best-known for?

Becky: We all have a sense of hu­mour – it’s a must on some of our walks! We have some good cooks, a singer and na­ture lovers. Sally: Becky’s known for her ‘-ish’ miles. Kate: … and fall­ing over and mak­ing us laugh at her! Jill: and al­ways hav­ing that large flask for hot drinks at the end of the walks!

Sally: Jill is very car­ing. Janet: ...and good at or­gan­is­ing those tricky trans­port ar­range­ments. Jill: Ahh! Hope­fully not too bossy. Sally: Ca­tri­ona is the quiet one… dare I say sen­si­ble even! Jill: And makes great flap­jacks! Kate: It’s al­ways the quiet ones! Sally: Janet’s the singer... Jill: And maker of scrummy Lemon Driz­zle cake! Sally: Linda ‘oh no, not more hills’ Jill: And lovely sloe gin. Kate: It’s amaz­ing! Chief booze maker! Linda: Happy with that! Sally: Kate for flex­i­bil­ity, bend­abil­ity, photo-abil­ity! And of course youth!! Jill: Don’t for­get those sausage rolls! Kate: Sally’s ruck­sack is enor­mous! If you’ve for­got­ten any­thing she's your lady! Oh and I have learned they can all keep se­crets and are very de­vi­ous! Sally: Lol! How we man­aged to hide all the af­ter­noon tea party stuff I don’t know!

Tell us what #walk1000miles has meant for you.

Becky: It has changed my life! I’ve made some very spe­cial friends, I can walk a lot fur­ther than I could when I started and I ac­tu­ally en­joy climb­ing hills now! Jill: Me too – it’s great hav­ing our monthly Hardy’s Way walk to look for­ward to. Sally: Changed my life, com­pletely. In my 30s my best friend died of can­cer and I’ve not re­ally let any­one close again. Now I’ve made some very, very good friends again and feel I ac­tu­ally have my life back. Kate: It changed my life meet­ing some great peo­ple who love walk­ing and don’t moan about how far we have to go! Linda: Amaz­ing walks in good com­pany makes for a much brighter life. Ca­tri­ona: Be­ing a sin­gle mum, hav­ing two chil­dren who still need my at­ten­tion (and taxi!) and work com­mit­ments, I signed up for 500 miles last year but ac­tu­ally achieved 616 boots-on miles. Thanks to lovely long walks with these ladies, and a gen­eral con­fi­dence boost I chal­lenged my­self to at least 100 miles a month this year, and I’m do­ing it!

You re­cently lost a mem­ber: oh no! Tell us about that.

Becky: Kate has re­cently moved to Swe­den, very ex­cit­ing for her, but we will all miss her. We hope to do an­other leg of the Hardy Way when she vis­its the UK! We pre­sented Kate with a photo book with pic­tures from our spe­cial walks on her last day with us – and a tea party for the end of our walk with some amaz­ing cakes dec­o­rated with boots, ruck­sack, walk­ing poles, cam­era, maps etc. We will all re­mem­ber that walk! Sally: We may all sur­prise her one day with a knock at the door in Swe­den, armed with walk­ing boots and ruck­sacks and a freshly-baked cake! Janet: It was al­ways a treat to see the great pho­tos Kate posted on Face­book at the end of a walk. We have many mem­o­ries of Kate from the stages of the Hardy Way she walked with us. Her taunt­ing of cows that she thought were safely on the other side of the fence is leg­endary. And who can for­get her sausage rolls served as snow was fall­ing or Kate ap­pear­ing to slip away over the cliff edge to get that group shot. Kate: I will miss the girls and our walks dread­fully!

Why should more #walk1000mil­ers get to­gether like you have?

Becky: We’ve en­cour­aged each other, cel­e­brated to­gether and done things we wouldn’t have on our own. There’s al­ways some­one will­ing to meet up for a walk, we’re great friends and we share a pas­sion!

Big­ger than the Fa­mous 5 (well there are 7 of us!), greater than the Se­cret 7 and ad­ven­tures even Enid Bly­ton couldn’t have thought pos­si­ble!”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.