Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Five pubs and NOOOO beer!

We have Tshirts!

So, for one final training session, all four Team Towis walkers (Paul, Carl, John & Tony) + pace maker Bev set out to walk the "Staunton Way" loop ... 20.5 miles starting and ending at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, passing through (among other places) Chalton, Finchdean, Rowlands Castle and Havant. 

Well, that was the plan!

We set out on the South Downs Way towards checkpoint 1, knowing that at some point there was a right turn for us to join the Staunton Way.  Unfortunately due to chatting and our usual ineptness at map reading (roll on 5am after 23 hours of walking) we took the wrong right turn and, after a few minutes, our surroundings became very familiar and we realised we were heading back into QE country park on the South Downs Way!

After consulting an OS map and generally ignoring any instructions I gave we found ourselves back on route.
Drug baron's lair with hidden plane (allegedly)

The route covers similar terrain to the South Downs Way treks we'd experienced over the past few weeks & months, but it was nice to be walking somewhere completely new to us all, though we were able to pick out recognisable landmarks such as the windmill on the other side of Chalton.

Staunton Way clockwise takes you past Ditcham Park School, then skirts close to Chalton, before taking you right past St Hubert's Chapel - a quaint church surrounded by fields.

St Hubert's Chapel

 The route also takes you past a "secret", walled garden which has a small prop plane parked in a garage in one of the walls.  The runway "mown" out for it seemed incredibly short, so taking off and landing must be a feat of extreme flying.  Either than or it's one of these new fangled "jump jet prop planes".

As we drew level with Finchdean we decided to leave the Staunton Way for a while, using the road instead, so we could get to Rowlands Castle as quick as possible to assess a knee injury.

After a quick walk along the road in the wrong direction for a couple of minutes we were soon back on track, following the road that joins Rowlands Castle by the Castle Pub (our first pub-pass of the day).  Along here we marvelled at some of the houses, with front lawns bigger than my house, and also thought about putting in an offer for a camper van that was for sale (to use as our support vehicle) but were a bit put off by the price.

Lunch on the green
After entering Rowlands Castle, Bev went off in search of tea, whilst the rest of us settled down in probably the most picturesque spot we'd had lunch - the village green.  Despite being in sight of two pubs we diligently stuck to our energy drinks, healthy food and the odd mars bar or two (John & Tony!).

Paul's knee was then assessed as being "bloody painful to walk on" so the other four of us decided he could give us a lift to Finchdean, distance wasn't a big thing on this walk, just to get out for a few hours before a couple of weeks of resting and gorging on carbohydrates (so, basically back to what we did before we started training).

Swallows over the field (except I missed the swallows)

Despite being cruelly dropped off outside pub
number 4 (The George Inn) we carried on along the Staunton Way which, for the first time all day, took us up a steep climb just to make sure our calves didn't feel neglected.  Once up the slope we had fantastic views East and West, to the East we could make out the track we had followed earlier - though disappointingly the plane wasn't taking off or landing.

After walking across the top of Chalton Down the path then slopes down to the village of Chalton, through the church graveyard and out right opposite pub number five, the Red Lion.
With it's garden providing further fantastic views, as well as beer, the temptation to pop in for a beer was overwhelming, but the worry that our knees may seize up and cramp (or we may settle in for the day) took over and we tramped on.
St Hubert's Chapel

Out of Chalton you enter fields and the woods surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Country Park loomed back into view.  We entered them, re-joined the 9km "loop" around the park (well known from previous walks) and headed back to the car park.  A pleasant 16 mile walk completed.

So that's the training done now except for maybe a "test" walk next weekend to see how Paul's knee is.

Now it's a case if getting the kit and food together, making sure the support crew are all ready - and taking the advice of the trailwalker booklet and not speaking to the other team members for a couple of weeks to make sure we have something to talk about on the day!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Night walking

After the 31 miler over the Jubilee weekend the whole team took a break from walking for a week, then last weekend the four of us went out as two groups of two - John & Tony went out and did a shorter, faster walk, to check Tony's knee at pace ... Paul & Carl had to miss going out with the other two (as Harvey made them go to the pub to watch England) so also did a shorter, faster walk, to check out Paul's knee!

In both cases we all covered QE CP to CP1 and back at around 2.7mph pace which was good.  Paul's knee suffered a bit and currently has (latin term) "wobblyness-collapseyness" so is going to seek medical advice.  Probably will be "saw it off and replace with a wheel" or something.  Tony & John also probably want it noted that they went over Beacon Hill on their route, us other two couldn't be arsed.

So this weekend Carl, John & Tony decided to do some "night walking".  Paul declined due to his knee.  Bev decided that the offer of "meet us at a country car park at 10pm" was a bit dodgy (can't think why!) and declined.  A couple of us have already spent 7 hours of trudging up Kilimanjaro by the light of head torches, so we knew what it was all about, but this gave us the chance to try out equipment and get a feel for walking in an environment similar to what we'll experience on the day.

Our route again was to start from QE CP, follow the track for an hour, then head back.  This meant we'd experience a few walking surfaces and also areas under trees and areas under open sky.  We think on the day we'll be around the Devil's Dyke area which has similar terrain and tree covered parts, though some of that is walking on grass too.

What an impressive bunch of walkers we must have looked - me in my luminous green cycling coat, Tony all in black with a little wooly hat and John looking like he'd mugged one of the workers on the nearby A3 and stolen their luminous work vest.

So, all in all, everything went ok.  We went at a good pace (2.7mph), the head torches worked well but we also had a hand torch which proved very useful so we will make sure we have a couple more + lots of spare batteries.  We met a group of people hanging around a car park who were "looking for bats" ... not to mention someone in a steamed up car watching a DVD!  Though they probably wondered why three people were walking with head torches.

Big thing is that even though we've walked this route many times at night it looks so different - the hills seemed easier (as you have no view of the "top" or what angle you are walking) - but at times you wondered if you were still on the correct track - in light you have many reference points.  So we're glad we've walked the parts we'll potentially be doing at night - we'll probably still need to navigate but we have a basic sense of direction.

Next up we're back to a fairly big 20 mile-ish walk .. then there's only one practise weekend left!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

30 miles and no Ice Creams

Coming into CheckPoint 4 - Houghton
After a series of 15/20 mile walks covering various sections of the TrailWalker route we decided it was time to tackle a longer walk to see how we got on, and see which support crew provided the best service.

The plan was to walk from the start, QE Country Park, to CheckPoint 5 (Washington) - a distance of around 30 miles.  All four walkers, plus pacemaker, were doing the walk - supported by all three support crews.  It was almost as if we were organised.

Setting off from QE Country Park at around 7am the weather was a bit grey and foreboding - the numerous forecasts watched over the previous days made it difficult whether to expect rain, clouds or sunshine - in the end we experienced all three during the day.

Support Crew "Beagan" @ CheckPoint 3
The first stage, to Harting Down, was completed at a good pace - we were 10 minutes quicker than 24 hour pace - which was encouraging.  After disturbing support crew "Gavaghan" from enjoying a movie in his car, we adjusted boots, had some refreshments and contemplated upcoming Beacon Hill - the first painful bit of the course.

In previous training walks we'd already decided that taking our time up hills wasn't an issue - we knew most of them were followed by fairly level sections to give us time to catch our breath and make up a bit of time - so again we slowly made our way to the top, with a promised reward of fruit pastilles and twirls when we made it to the summit.  After a short break to catch our breath we ploughed on and, again, picked up our pace.  The knowledge that, for once, we weren't going to turn round and face some of these hills on the way back played in our favour - though going down Beacon Hill was still hard work.  Such hard work that three of the team decided to cut a crucial corner a bit further on - by my calculation they walked at least half a mile less than me.

Beacon with Beacon Hill in the background
After passing "Devil's Jumps", expertly pointed out at least a mile in advance by John (for once, not corrected by a local), the track opens out into a long, straightish section - the first part where fields drop away each side of the path, a common feature of the route, and a section we'd walk many times before, usually in glorious sunshine.  As if on cue the weather brightened a bit as we passed the logs we'd used as a lunch spot before, the pile of manure we'd commented on before and a ball of chalk.  We were also met by support crew "Gavaghan" who'd torn himself away from his movie this time and decided to walk a way up the course to meet us and guide us to his car.

We made CheckPoint 2 around 8 mins slower than 24 hour pace - again, a time we were happy with.

Looking back to CheckPoint 2
After waving goodbye to our first support crew of the day (who had to head home to check his newborn hadn't been abandoned in a Tesco car park) we headed up another long, steepish hill, to a section that skirts around the edge of woods, occasionally opening out to give views north wood.  Again, this is a section we remembered well, but the anticipated gate that signals the final descent to CheckPoint 3 seemed to take an age to get to - hopefully not a sign of fatigue and boredom too early on.

After reaching the gate you descend through a rapeseed oil field, sadly green now rather than the vibrant yellow of previous walks, before walking through a field.  Here we met a group heading in the other direction, walking the entire length of the South Downs Way (Eastbourne to Winchester) over a few days - making us thankful we were only walking the one day.

Anyone bring the Latin dictionary?
We were met at CheckPoint 3 by support crew "Beagan" who had made themselves at home in the actual check point field, attracting the attention of the farmer who'd told them they were a "bit early" but resisted the temptation to chase them "orf his laannnd" with a gun.  Here we sat for a spot of lunch, some water top ups and a bit of a chat while Libby wondered why her parents had bought her to a cold field for a strange picnic with some strange people.  Team "Beagan" also get a highly commended for their range of snacks and their text ahead to see if we "wanted anything from Tesco", though I'm glad I didn't ask for the full roast chicken I momentarily thought about.

Our time between CheckPoints 2 and 3 was around 17 mins over the 24 hour pace - still not bad, but interesting to see if we were gradually slowing - or if we'd reached a comfortable pace.

Slindon Estate looking South
Out of CheckPoint 3, after climbing the steepish incline, we entered the Slindon Estate and, as on previous occasions, enjoyed the fantastic views down to the sea.  We also, worryingly, noticed that the sheep had moved fields.

As we passed the Roman Villa sign and headed up towards "Toby's" resting place the clouds began to break and blue sky appeared.

The route then snakes down quite steeply, again we gave thanks for not having to come back up this on a return journey, before passing the spot where we previously heard rave music coming from the wood - unfortunately there was no rave on this time, but at least we weren't tracked by the police helicopter this time.

We headed down the poppy lined fields towards Houghton, enjoying the sun, and were welcomed by support crew "Foley".  As we delved into the car boot for treats suddenly sausage rolls became the best food known to man - after a lot of sweet drinks and snacks, we were obviously craving savoury.  We also fooled ourselves that eating these were better for our athletic frames than the 960 calorie energy bars we had been scoffing.

Our time to this checkpoint was 13 mins over the 24 hour pace so we'd levelled out a bit in terms of our average.

Me and my shadow
Unfortunately one of team Towis had to end their walk here suffering from a twisted knee (or after hearing the support crew talk about a pub at the next check point - we'll never know) so the others trekked on.

The final stage was walked in glorious evening weather with the sun lowering behind us, but the skies still clear to allow us a view.  This was a stage we'd walked twice before - once was walked with clouds closing in (ending in torrential rain), the other started, continued and ended in torrential rain - so it was nice to experience in decent weather.

As we reached a barn on the section we knew we were roughly 45 minutes from the end so upped our pace - a good sign that we still had the energy 13 or so hours in.  After descending towards the A24, the bridle path that skirts around the checkpoint field seemed to take an age to navigate, before we finally met with our support cars marking the end of the walk.  Just under 31 miles, 12 and a half hours walking time - 13 and a half hours including stops.  If we can do that on the day we should be within our 30 hour target as some of the stops were longer than we'll take on the day.  The final section was around 13 mins over 24 hour pace, so over the last three sections we'd seemed to have hit a steady pace.

I was clean shaven when I started
As a team I think we learned that lots of energy bars aren't the way forward - more savoury, filling, food is required.  And also there is a need to keep drinking and forcing yourself to eat even if you necessarily don't feel thirsty/hungry.  I also learnt new places where blisters appear.  We all felt that extra 7 or 8 miles at the end but hopefully we'll be good on the day.

But, all in all, a good walk - hopefully the twisted knee will sort itself - and over the next few weeks we need to return to shorter walks, maybe building up speed and attempting hills quicker for general fitness and stamina.

A cow

Date: 4 Jun 2012 7:06 am
Distance: 30.7 miles
Elapsed Time: 12:35:55
Avg. Speed: 2.4 mph
Max. Speed: 5.1 mph
Avg. Pace: 24' 38" per mile

Monday, 28 May 2012

Ice creams and silly hats

Another Sunday and, as the late night revellers made their way home, team Towis arose from their respective slumbers and headed out on another training walk.

Meeting at John's house I decided to put the "make sure we don't rely on only one person having a map" contingency plan into action by forgetting mine, luckily pace-maker Bev had bought a back up.  So, following on from my "don't rely on only one person having a compass" contingency plan of last week, another success.

After, once again, disappointingly not being offered a full fry up by Clare, we headed to Pyecombe for the day's training walk to Checkpoint 9 and back.
Jack (or Jill) Windmill, Checkpoint 8

After arousing the suspicions of one Pycombe resident (who we passed three times whilst trying to find somewhere to park) we found somewhere to park and "booted" and "silly hatted" up.  Just before 9am it was very warm, so we could tell we would be in for a hot day.

Out of Pyecombe the South Downs way crosses a busy road before gently climbing through a golf course to the Jack and Jill windmills which mark Checkpoint 8.  After the windmills the track climbs gently some more before levelling and opening out into a similar sight to previous sections of the walk, the path being perched on top of a ridge with the sides falling gradually away to afford glorious views both north and south.  Unlike previous sections of the walk we could actually enjoy the views rather than being pelted by rain, hail and/or wind.

First in series :"Rusty Farm Vehicles"
As we made our way along the track I remembered from a couple of years back the presence of an ice cream van in the Ditchling Beacon car park.  So we upped our pace and made for the first energy stop of the day - Mr Whippys all round.

The AMEX stadium at Falmer
Weighed down slightly by our ice cream (though a suggestion of replacing the flake with chocolate covered Kendal Mint Cake might be taken up next time) we headed on as the route became a more defined path again, slowly heading downwards.

At this point we leave the South Downs Way to zig zag around Lewes - a part of the route we had been told was easy to get lost on, one reason we were keen to try this section out - mindful of the fact that, on the day, we'll have been walking for around 20 hours at this point so our map reading skills may not be the greatest.

Rail underpass
After leaving the South Downs Way you pass through the Blackcap Reserve - John pointed out the cluster of trees that gave their name to this area, before some passing locals pointed at the correct cluster of trees before muttering something about "tourists" and heading off.

After the reserve the route becomes a defined path again, that fairly steeply (more noticeable on the return route) heads down to the 'Gallops'.  Several footpaths join and head in different directions, but following the special instructions, we navigated this quite comfortably, before joining a zig zag section (not so zig-zaggy if you shortcut it, hey Paul?) which passes near to Kingston Prison and round the back of some houses before having to negotiate one main road ... you're then taken under a railway line and over the A27.
Checkpoint 9

Once over the A27, the route rises sharply and diagonally through a field before rejoining a track signposted South Downs Way which leads you to Checkpoint 9.

We walked through Checkpoint 9 and took advice from another Trailwalker team who had steamed past us about 10 minutes earlier and were now eating their lunch to head to a local pub in nearby Kingston for refreshment.

After a cheeky drink at "The Juggs" we decided to head back and sit in a shady spot for some lunch.  We had seen the steep climb out of Checkpoint 9 enroute to Checkpoint 10 looming in the distance as we made away along the route earlier, and decided to leave that for another day.  When Tony is with us as, we know how he enjoys hills.

"Rusty Farm Vehicles" 2
As we headed back the intensity of the heat, coupled with a lack of breeze, became noticeable.  The climb up before, around, and after the 'Gallops' was particularly hard work - glad we don't have to do that on the day.  And the heat almost made wish for the rain of previous weeks.  Almost....

Once back up on the ridge we were driven on by the thought of reaching the ice cream van for a second time - hopefully making it before he packed in for the day. We did and we signed up to his loyalty reward scheme before enjoying Orange Refresher lollies and double Mr Whippies.

"Two large ones please barmaid" (c) Paul
Energised by our frozen treats we then headed back to Pyecombe to enjoy the "bar" in the boot (water, lucozade or beer in a cool bag) - standards for the next driver have been set.

So, another section completed - and another ice cream van identified.  Next up is walking half the route, from start to CheckPoint 5, with some help from the support crew ... then we might think about checking out the climb out of CheckPoint 9, followed by lunch at The Juggs.

A lost boy scout points the way

 27 May 2012 8:51 am

Distance: 20.5 miles

Elapsed Time: 7:59:01
Avg. Speed: 2.5 mph
Max. Speed: 5.2 mph

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ice Creams and Ambulances

Preparing for Beeding Hill

Last walk we started at Checkpoint 5 (Washington) and headed for Checkpoint 7 (Devil's Dyke) - we didn't quite make it due to a combination of bad weather, coffee stops and some stupid big hill we struggled up.

This week we decided to start at Checkpoint 6 (Botolphs) to let Tony enjoy the delights of the hill, with a plan to try and get to Checkpoint 8 (Jack and Jill) and back - a distance of roughly 20 miles.

After being expertly navigated by John to a suspiciously "dogging-like" (according to Tony) car park we donned our waterproofs and boots before settling down to the serious business of sampling this week's selection of energy food.  The "cookies and cream" power bar was good, though may have to be rationed as it is very sweet.  The "strawberry and cranberry" natural energy power bars could be a good compliment ... "The sourness of the fruit works well with the sweetness of the bar" we concluded.

Tony enjoys Beeding Hill immensely
We headed alongside the River Adur, through the housing estate, again resisted the lure of the Rising Sun's roast dinners and headed for "The Hill".  At the bottom we prepared with stretches and the bizarre sensation of actually removing waterproofs and then headed up it ... and this week it didn't seem anywhere near as bad as last time.  Maybe the fact there wasn't any driving rain, or we had already been walking for 3 hours, or maybe we just knew what to expect - which means these training walks along the actual route are proving useful.

Once at the top of the hill the route becomes road based (there is a track to the side which the instructions told us to use, but it is very narrow) as it gently goes up and down past a Youth Hostel (lunch point for last time) and a couple of farm buildings.

Up above the trees and pylons ...
The road then turns into a field based track, still going up and down, with at one point you walking level with the top of some electricity pylons spanning a nearby valley.

Even more bizzarely, the sun (remember that?), decided to come out giving us a glorious blue sky with a couple of gliders buzzing around above.  It also made me feel much better for carrying my "Factor Ginger" suntan lotion for every single walk.

As we got close to the Devil's Dyke checkpoint the track splits in two - one inviting track heads toward the pub perched high above the "Dyke" whilst the South Downs Way continues in a different direction ... 110 degrees on a compass reading apparently ... if I'd remembered to bring the compass ... which I hadn't ... which, obviously, I got no stick for whatsoever.

Ah, team TOWIS, we've been expecting you ...
After passing through a couple of gates the checkpoint is on the other side of the road (we never actually saw it due, again, to the lack of compass) but navigator John pinpointed it on the way back - well pointed left and said "field, that must be it".

The track then skirts across the top of Devil's Dyke before heading steeply down to a road, a slope met with whoops of delight as we contemplated climbing up it on the way back.

After negotiating the fast moving traffic we entered the land around "Saddlescombe Farm" and, in the true spirit of trekking, stopped at the local food van for a tub of "Real Sussex Ice Cream" - and very nice it was too.  Unfortunately, due to our calculations, it'll be evening when we pass this on the day so our plans to stop for a cream tea as dessert to the Ghurka Curry at Checkpoint 7 are tentative at the moment.

Recommended by athletes
After leaving the farm the track ventures up hill again.  I've walked this section before and didn't remember it being too bad - but it was pretty steep, first passing through a small wood before opening out into a field.

At the top, with the weather still warm and sunny, the view was good, if a little hazy (due to weather, not our unfit state) and we could see one of the windmills at Checkpoint 8 sitting proud on top of a distant hill.

We headed down the hill, with a horse jumping event to our left, and reached the A23.  A BP garage and pub sat invitingly on the other side, but we decided to turn round, stop for a spot of lunch, then head back to the car.  Not as much distance as we'd have liked but not a bad distance and time.  On our way back we noticed an Army Medic Van parked near Devil's Dyke, they'd obviously heard we were out walking and felt concerned for our health - thankfully it wasn't needed.

DANGER - fast moving traffic
So in general an enjoyable walk - a couple of big hills but the sun being out, and the welcoming ice-cream-providing van, made them feel ok.

Next time out hopefully Checkpoint 9 to 10 ... and then we aim to up the distance with a "big walk" over the Jubilee Weekend, a great way to salute Her Maj's 60 years on the throne.

Date: 20 May 2012 8:57 am
Distance: 14.9 miles
Elapsed Time: 6:50:44
Avg. Speed: 2.2 mph
Max. Speed: 6.0 mph
Avg. Pace: 27' 38" per mile

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Welcoming BP stations and leisurely hills

Well, I guess it was our fault for choosing to walk on a Bank Holiday Monday, but once again our walk started out in very grey conditions with the threat of rain.  At least our waterproofs are getting a good test.

With Tony off in Vienna (means nothing to me) the rest of Team Towis set off from Check Point 5, Washington.  We parked on the south bound side of the A24, then navigated the "danger, fast moving traffic", so we could follow the Trailwalker route through the grounds of the posh school, before re-crossing the A24 further south.   The track then zig zags a couple of times before heading up a long, steep at times, incline before reaching the "dew pond", where it levels before sloping gradually down towards Botolphs.

Last time we were up here the views were glorious, today cloud surrounded us, and the tracks almost blocked at times from puddles built up from the past two or three weeks of harsh drought conditions.

As we headed down the slope the rain started, at times cold and horizontal into the side of the face,  but it thankfully eased, along with the wind, as we got closer to the checkpoint.  The view opened out to show a meandering river heading south to the coastal town of Shoreham-by-Sea and north toward the small town of Upper Beeding ... a view topped off by a large Chapel perched on a nearby hill.  Even on this grey day all a fantastic sight, slightly ruined by a concrete monstrosity nestled into a quarry.

After passing the "rear entrances" of some well appointed, and huge, residences (the gates were really marked with signs saying "Rear Entrance") we reached "Pear Tree" cottage, the site of Check Point 6.  Here the Trail Walker route deviated from the South Downs way to take us safely under the A283, alongside the swollen river as the rain started lashing down again.  The route then takes a bizarre route through a housing estate which, with all the rain, gave a soaking sense of being lost as the rest of the route up to this point had been so isolated from civilisation.

As we left the houses we saw our first sign of a pub on the route (the Rising Sun) and, even more welcoming in the conditions, a BP garage with a coffee machine and a toilet!  A chance to warm up a bit and be tempted by the sausage roll selection.

As we departed the BP station and headed out of the village the rain persisted so we stopped to put the rain covers over our rucksacks apart from "Apollo" John who seemed to turn his into some kind of a space age satellite receiver system (well, his cover was silver and shiny) which at times inflated to look like a weather balloon.

Space man .. I always wanted to go into space man
Note Tony: don't read this next bit.

On leaving civilisation the TrailWalker route heads back to join the South Downs Way.  Unfortunately to do so involved the most evil hill we've encountered on the route so far, the kind that never seems to end, as you go round the bends it just seems to go up and up and up.  The surface was ok, being a tarmac road, but boy it was hard on the knees, and legs, and calves, and ankles.  It also made us feel grateful no-one had been tempted by a BP savoury treat, as it would either have weighed us down or been "deposited" somewhere on the way up.

Ok Tony, you can start reading again.

After rejoining the South Downs Way the track levels again, with the ground sloping away on both sides.  The view would probably be spectacular on a clear day but the clouds were closing in again, though there were a couple of sights enjoyed by some members of the team.  We walked on and reached a Youth Hostel (well, there was a slight detour in a local field due to our poor navigational skills and the fact people coming from the other direction were coming via the field) and sat and had a fairly civilised lunch around a picnic table.  Next week candles and cutlery.  With just under 2 miles to go to the checkpoint, but having walked for nearly 5 hours, we decided to turn round and head back.

On the way back the rain and wind picked up and we chose to follow the South Downs Way back rather than the, err, evil (Tony read "leisurely") hill.  This bought us to the A283 which we crossed and then immediately rejoined the TrailWalker route on the other side of the swollen river.

As we headed up the long, gentle slope, towards the Chanctobury Ring, the rain eased, the clouds cleared, and the view opened up again, making the walk more enjoyable (rather than the nagging doubt of "why am I doing this?" going through my mind for the past few hours).  Once again our immense sense of direction was shown as we all pointed toward the "Water Tank on the hill", "Chanctobury Ring" and all other markers we'd spotted in the other direction.  As we took a sharpish left we realised we were all pointing in completely the wrong direction.

Chanctobury Ring and blue skies!!
After passing the ring and the pond we again deviated from the official route, down the South Downs way, to return to our cars parked nearly 8 hours beforehand.

So we're maintaining our walks of around 20 miles or so - we now need to think about walking a bit further, training with the support crew and also walking at night.

Looking ahead, the next plan will be to pick up the route from Check Point 6 and hopefully walk all the way to Check Point 8 (Jack and Jill) as this seems to be just over 16k one way (10 mile) so fits in with our 20 mile standard.  Stage 8 to 9 looks like a walk on its own, being 13.8k one way and probably an hour and a half drive go get to.  But then we've covered pretty much the whole route - the last two checkpoints only cover 9.8k between them, so will be something to do to find the route but possibly closer to the event.  So we'll have the route walked and understood - just need to get our legs up to it!!

Date: 7 May 2012 8:56 am
Distance: 20.7 miles
Elapsed Time: 7:51:18
Avg. Speed: 2.6 mph
Max. Speed: 6.2 mph
Avg. Pace: 23' 31" per mile

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Checkpoint Details

Checkpoints broken down as postcodes, lat/long, etc + link to display all checkpoints on a map + spreadsheet importable formats:

CheckPoint 1- Harting Down
OS X (Eastings)     479000
OS Y (Northings)    118100
Nearest Post Code   GU31 5PN
Lat (WGS84)         N50:57:25 (50.956923)
Long (WGS84)        W0:52:36 (-0.876588)
LR                  SU790181
mX                  -97581
mY                  6580470

CheckPoint 2 - Hilltop Farm
OS X (Eastings)     487500
OS Y (Northings)    116700
Nearest Post Code   GU29 0HT
Lat (WGS84)         N50:56:35 (50.943111)
Long (WGS84)        W0:45:21 (-0.755932)
LR                  SU875167
mX                  -84149
mY                  6578036

CheckPoint 3 - Littleton Farm
OS X (Eastings)     495100
OS Y (Northings)    114600
Nearest Post Code   GU28 0LU
Lat (WGS84)         N50:55:23 (50.923030)
Long (WGS84)        W0:38:54 (-0.648335)
LR                  SU951146
mX                  -72172
mY                  6574499

CheckPoint 4 - Houghton
OS X (Eastings)     501700
OS Y (Northings)    111800
Nearest Post Code   BN18 9LW
Lat (WGS84)         N50:53:48 (50.896735)
Long (WGS84)        W0:33:19 (-0.555244)
LR                  TQ017118
mX                  -61809
mY                  6569869

CheckPoint 5 - Washington
OS X (Eastings)     511700
OS Y (Northings)    111500
Nearest Post Code   RH20 4AY
Lat (WGS84)         N50:53:32 (50.892193)
Long (WGS84)        W0:24:48 (-0.413196)
LR                  TQ117115
mX                  -45996
mY                  6569069

CheckPoint 6 - Botolphs
OS X (Eastings)     519100
OS Y (Northings)    109500
Nearest Post Code   BN44 3WB
Lat (WGS84)         N50:52:22 (50.872739)
Long (WGS84)        W0:18:31 (-0.308680)
LR                  TQ191095
mX                  -34362
mY                  6565646

CheckPoint 7 - Devils' Dyke
OS X (Eastings)     525800
OS Y (Northings)    110700
Nearest Post Code   BN1 8YL
Lat (WGS84)         N50:52:56 (50.882107)
Long (WGS84)        W0:12:47 (-0.213093)
LR                  TQ258107
mX                  -23721
mY                  6567294

CheckPoint 8 - Jack and Jill
OS X (Eastings)     530400
OS Y (Northings)    113300
Nearest Post Code   BN6 9PG
Lat (WGS84)         N50:54:16 (50.904456)
Long (WGS84)        W0:08:49 (-0.146811)
LR                  TQ304133
mX                  -16342
mY                  6571228

CheckPoint 9 - Kingston Hollow
OS X (Eastings)     539200
OS Y (Northings)    108700
Nearest Post Code   BN7 3JT
Lat (WGS84)         N50:51:40 (50.861063)
Long (WGS84)        W0:01:25 (-0.023485)
LR                  TQ392087
mX                  -2614
mY                  6563592

CheckPoint 10 - Woodingdean
OS X (Eastings)     537800
OS Y (Northings)    105900
Nearest Post Code   BN2 6QL
Lat (WGS84)         N50:50:10 (50.836233)
Long (WGS84)        W0:02:40 (-0.044417)
LR                  TQ378059
mX                  -4944
mY                  6559226

Finish - Brighton Race Course
OS X (Eastings)     533200
OS Y (Northings)    105200
Nearest Post Code   BN2 9XX
Lat (WGS84)         N50:49:52 (50.831018)
Long (WGS84)        W0:06:36 (-0.109959)
LR                  TQ332052
mX                  -12240
mY                  6558309

All points on a map

CSV format
Grid Reference,X,Y,Latitude,Longitude,Description
"SU 79000 18100","479000","118100","50.956923","-0.87658831","SU 790 181",
"SU 87500 16700","487500","116700","50.943111","-0.75593223","SU 875 167",
"SU 95100 14600","495100","114600","50.923030","-0.64833509","SU 951 146",
"TQ 01700 11800","501700","111800","50.896735","-0.55524380","TQ 017 118",
"TQ 11700 11500","511700","111500","50.892193","-0.41319575","TQ 117 115",
"TQ 19100 09500","519100","109500","50.872739","-0.30867946","TQ 191 095",
"TQ 25800 10700","525800","110700","50.882107","-0.21309240","TQ 258 107",
"TQ 30400 13300","530400","113300","50.904456","-0.14681087","TQ 304 133",
"TQ 39200 08700","539200","108700","50.861062","-0.023483928","TQ 392 087",
"TQ 37800 05900","537800","105900","50.836233","-0.044416653","TQ 378 059",
"TQ 33200 05200","533200","105200","50.831018","-0.10995860","TQ 332 052",

Excel format
Grid Reference X Y Latitude Longitude Description Link
SU 79000 18100 479000 118100 50.956923 -0.87658831 SU 790 181 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=SU7900018100%7CSU_s_790_s_181%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=SU_s_790_s_181","Link")
SU 87500 16700 487500 116700 50.943111 -0.75593223 SU 875 167 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=SU8750016700%7CSU_s_875_s_167%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=SU_s_875_s_167","Link")
SU 95100 14600 495100 114600 50.923030 -0.64833509 SU 951 146 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=SU9510014600%7CSU_s_951_s_146%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=SU_s_951_s_146","Link")
TQ 01700 11800 501700 111800 50.896735 -0.55524380 TQ 017 118 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ0170011800%7CTQ_s_017_s_118%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_017_s_118","Link")
TQ 11700 11500 511700 111500 50.892193 -0.41319575 TQ 117 115 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ1170011500%7CTQ_s_117_s_115%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_117_s_115","Link")
TQ 19100 09500 519100 109500 50.872739 -0.30867946 TQ 191 095 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ1910009500%7CTQ_s_191_s_095%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_191_s_095","Link")
TQ 25800 10700 525800 110700 50.882107 -0.21309240 TQ 258 107 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ2580010700%7CTQ_s_258_s_107%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_258_s_107","Link")
TQ 30400 13300 530400 113300 50.904456 -0.14681087 TQ 304 133 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ3040013300%7CTQ_s_304_s_133%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_304_s_133","Link")
TQ 39200 08700 539200 108700 50.861062 -0.023483928 TQ 392 087 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ3920008700%7CTQ_s_392_s_087%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_392_s_087","Link")
TQ 37800 05900 537800 105900 50.836233 -0.044416653 TQ 378 059 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ3780005900%7CTQ_s_378_s_059%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_378_s_059","Link")
TQ 33200 05200 533200 105200 50.831018 -0.10995860 TQ 332 052 =HYPERLINK("http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=TQ3320005200%7CTQ_s_332_s_052%7C1&z=17&v=h&t=TQ_s_332_s_052","Link")