(Also known as how I walked 42.6 miles for charity).
The Keswick to Barrow (or K2B) walk is big around these parts. Most people have done it at least once, one man has done it over 40 times! The walk consists of walking or running the normally just under 40 miles from Keswick in the north of the Lake District, to Barrow in Furness, at the end of the peninsula. This year was the 50th anniversary, and due to this and the December floods that wreaked havoc on the roads, the walk was extended to 42.6. Great.
So we signed up and joined the Alice’s Escapes team, a local charity which provides holidays to seriously ill children and their families as well as families who have recently lost a child. I have to say we couldn’t have picked a better team, I don’t think I would have made it through without all their support, both the bacon butties and all the cheering!
The weather was lovely and warm. But it’s still a long day of walking and there were times I didn’t think I’d make it to the end! The course starts in Keswick, this year by the epic Keswick Stone Circle. It winds down by Thirlmere and Grasmere (where the first checkpoint is) then to Elterwater and the halfway point at Coniston where the Coniston To Barrow walkers start. After walking alongside the hilly banks of Coniston water, you eventually reach the Red Lion pub in Lowick, famous for people stopping for a pint and dropping out. After that, it’s a rough uphill slog around mile 30 to the top of Kirkby Moor, but the descent into Marton, I’d say is harder. We stumbled and painfully walked from Marton to the checkpoint in Dalton and finally down the never ending Abbey Road into Barroe. At the end we got a medal along with pie, peas and a pint, and surprisingly I had two out of three. Our friend who was unable to walk due to injuries picked us up at the end and kindly drove us home. I’m definitely glad we did it, though my feet STILL have blisters despite all the compeed I’ve applied, and I think I’m going to have at least one toe nail casualty. Still, it was a great atmosphere and I’m glad to have taken part. I think next year maybe I’ll volunteer as support instead of making the trek myself!
If you’d like to sponsor my walk by donating to Alice’s Escapes, here’s a link!