8 miles on the Test Way followed by the walk home from Romsey to Sarisbury. 23.5 miles in total and a finish in the dark at around 8pm. I’m not going to pretend it didn’t hurt in the last few miles.
A lovely start to the day with a three hour chat with Enliz as we strolled the 8 miles. By that, I mean I talked for about 2 minutes and Enliz for 2 hours 58. It was brilliant to see her looking and sounding so well – each of us was a great support to the other during very much more difficult times a few years back. Now that she is on secondment, it was the first time I’d seen her in months. Free water and Twix all the way along the route so I stocked up for the longer walk home. We had a good laugh at two pigs enjoying each other’s company close to the finish (by that I mean we were near the end of the walk, not that the pigs were, er, nearly done) and commented how unpleasant it must be to have so little privacy. Or that they were just exhibitionist porkers.
A good turn out from ONS raising money for Arthritis UK and, after a few pictures in our garish orange tops, I left Romsey Memorial Park only to get a bit disorientated just escaping Romsey. A slightly longer route than I had planned but no stops at all, even though there were plenty of fast food outlets whispering my name. I preferred to save myself for my local fish and chip shop only to ultimately find that it was closed.
The damage: one small blister on the inside of the second toe on my left foot, a slightly achy Achilles and tired shoulders from carrying a medium weight bag. But the knees are fine! A good confidence boost – a longer total distance than on any day of my long walk next year.