the one thing I really love about the PW... and it is probably the thing that drives me year on year to hit that 'submit entry' button.... is the fact that the stories and adventures of the 85 miles live on well past the blisters, sore muscles and faded newspaper articles. They become legend.... the focus for discussion and debate. And there exists between those who walked, and those who supported, a great camaraderie that only those who have endured similar epic feats of endurance can claim. Swapping tales of cramp, chapped 'bits', upset tummy's, sheer exhaustion, sheer tedium at endless road in thick cold mist, flies, blisters and pulled muscles, we re-live the experience and, having vowed never to set foot on a PW route again, already talk of 'next year'....
Unfortunately this was not the year Dad would make it round again. By the time we got to the top of Ballakillowey he had already suffered badly from cramp. It was very hot and humid - and we had already walked many miles.. so when he said he was really not enjoying it - I knew it was more than a short break and drink could fix. Dad is not one to give up easily - he was being sensible when he said he was to retire. Once Mum finally found him (you would never believe she was actually born and lived on the Island all her life - how can you head for Colby and end up at the Round Table??) they joined forces at Peel and were my support crew to the finish line. They were brilliant - and it's been a long time since I was undressed by my parents! (complete change required at Andreas as even the flies were beginning to avoid me). It was so good to finally get along that b*****y prom - and to have (nearly) all the family there waiting - priceless.
So a quick reflection on the PW for me and Dad this year. Well the training didn't quite go to plan - most of the time. We never did get our PW virgin out with us. But the walks we did manage were fabulous - despite the weather - and we had great fun (and lots of cake, and coffee and bacon butties!). Dad is my hero and my inspiration in so many ways. At 76 to be as fit as he is and even attempt to walk so far is awesome. It is from him that my Big Sis and I always reckoned we got our walkers legs (hopefully not quite so 'bandy') - as for the 'determined streak' that keeps you putting one foot in front of the other - no idea where that gene came from LOL
So now time to get back to all the the other stuff in life (play in two weeks - lines sort of learned!!). All that's left is to thank Murray for bullying me into doing the blog (it never was going to be the most helpful for training hints - but my fellow bloggers covered that bit well enough for us all - btw well done Gentlemen!) - and to try to find the plugs for the cross trainer and treadmill thingy that my Hub hid. After all - only 11 months and a few days to go till PW2012..