Yesterday, myself and my wonderful cousin Jill took part in the Peak District Six Dales challenge: 6 dales; 27 miles; 1000m ascent; 14hrs to complete.

Here is a quick summary (will update with fuller details tomorrow when I’m not so tired!!)

My friend Ana and I left my house at 6am after having packed, repacked and then rearranged again my rucksack!  Decided to jettison the extra set of clothing and the waterproof covering for my rucksack – just no room left for food and drink.

We picked Jill up from St Anne’s church in Baslow at 7am, and arrived at Biggin Village Hall at 7.30am.  I joined the queue to register while Jill joined the queue for the toilets.  We then swapped roles.

Numbers 198 (me) and 199 (Jill) then set off at 8.07am. 

By 10.10am we’d completed the first 3 dales and 5 miles, reaching the first Check Point in Hartington in good spirits. We rewarded ourselves with a trip to the public toilets and a snack break.  We then walked over and clocked our numbers in with the officials.

I helped myself to a Custard Cream biscuit!!

The next section was over grassy fields and hills both up and down.  Tiring on the legs, with a selection of stiles to further challenge leg strength, coordination and balance.  I took to marking each stile out of 10 for sturdiness, nettles, barbed wire, and ease of use.

At approx the 9.5 mile stage, just as we joined the High Peak Trail, I had a bit of a melt down – just so tired.  A quick pep talk from Jill and I was up and moving again.  A half mile before Check Point 2 I again hit ‘the wall’.  I collapsed on the grass and decided enough was enough.

We had previously decided that when I’d reached my limit we would split up: Jill continuing on with the aim of completion; myself continuing at a slower pace, but pushing onward.  So after a hug, we split up.  Jill felt torn. She carried on to CP2 (at a pub!) and I sat on the grass recovering.

Within a couple of minutes I was joined by Ryan – the ‘sweeper’ marshal bringing up the rear.  He stayed with me and had a cup of tea from his flask while I got myself together.  We then walked slowly together up to CP2.  Jill was so pleased to see I’d made it to the pub.  Timed-out at this Check Point, I retired from the Six Dales Challenge.

Jill continued – the full details we’ll fill you in with tomorrow (sorry, I’m so tired tonight!).

The key thing is that JILL MADE IT TO THE END!!!!!!

I am SO proud of my cousin.  She battled through – helped others – and protected a group of 10 from some grumpy cows… not once but three times!

She totaled 31 miles (a new PB for her by 6 miles) in 14.5hrs.

This morning we were both treated to a full body massage by Andy Tomlinson of Elite Body Care.  He found knots we weren’t aware we had, but it felt so good afterwards.

We both want to say a HUGE thank you to all our supporters – those who’ve sponsored us and those who texted and Tweeted throughout the day to encourage us – it is all very much appreciated.

So… until tomorrow’s update… good night and sleep well (we certainly will!!)