Twenty-five years after running twenty-six miles, half of the original team are bravely cycling all or part of the 1,050 mile route in support of LandAid, Dementia UK & other nominated charities.
The final day of our headlong pursuit of the eighteen dayers dawned fine with some cloud and sun after the storms of yesterday. All were clearly tired after the previous day of nigh on 120 miles.
The young guns determined to take the yellow page route whereas those past pensionable age decided to go directly to the target braving the long draggy hills and the traffic. The miles ticked slowly down and with ten miles to go the Goat caught an eighteen dayer coming up the hill out of Penzance - it was the Quarryman with wine in his water bottle! I arrived at the First and Last before my colleagues, with Andrew and Richard slogging along the North Coast and Ant savouring every last minute of his more direct ride! Riding as a train for only the third time we rolled over the line just after 4pm. I think there was some emotion but overriding all was a great sense of achievement and real relief that we had completed a difficult ride in quick time. Thanks to Phil Bristow for nannying us (Ha! Ha! Goat) and seeing us safely home.
The party at the Old Coastguard followed. It was good to see all those that we had been chasing down in such good spirits and the atmosphere was gently jubilant especially with the likely monies raised getting near to £300k.
Abiding memories - magnificent Scotland, spectacular weather in North Yorks and rather worse across Dartmoor, the rainbow framing the famous viaduct near Inglethorpe, dinner conversation, Andrew's prodigious climbing, Ant's perseverance and kindness in arranging wine and sandwiches in our rooms as we came in frozen and sodden off the Moor, Richard hunched over his machine driving on without hat and crashing just before the Severn Bridge, and the blooming yellow pages, a great Kaleidoscope of memories.
Thanks to all of my colleagues and especially to CJ for knocking us into shape, and without his vision none of this would have happened, nobody would have challenged themselves and the chosen charities would not have been helped.