Thursday, 21 October 2021

Forget the blisters - we walked 100km!

A WOMAN walked 100km to complete the Thames Path Challenge in memory of her mother.

A WOMAN walked 100km to complete the Thames Path Challenge in memory of her mother.

Nikki Wright, 39, crossed the finish line in Mill Meadows, Henley, on Sunday morning after setting off with her brother Ian from Putney Bridge the previous morning.

The pair were walking to raise money for the Samaritans, 20 years after their mother Carolyn took her own life.

The challenge on Saturday and Sunday involved thousands of people walking the full 100km or 50km. They could also walk or jog a 25km course along part of the route.

Miss Wright, who lives in Deanfield Avenue, Henley, with daughter Amelie, three, helped raise almost £1,500 by completing the challenge in 23 hours and 10 minutes.

She said: ?It was extremely gruelling. The first 50km wasn?t too bad at all and actually better than I had hoped for. Until then I didn?t suffer with any blisters or leg pain or any other foot pain.

?We had to dig deep and keep putting one foot in front of the other and not think about anything else at that stage. What did come up in my mind was, ?at what cost am I going to do this?? We were thinking about our mum and the strength it has taken to get through the last 20 years and transferring that to the challenge.

?We wanted to do an endurance challenge to raise awareness and funds for the Samaritans, help save lives of people with depression and suicidal thoughts and to show what you can achieve with inner strength if you or your family has been affected.

?Our spirits really lifted when the sun came up in Hurley. The river just looked stunning ? it was like a glass pond, really beautiful.?

The pair were given another boost when friends and family met them on the towpath for the last couple of kilometres. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/nikkiwright76

Maria Hayden, of Knappe Close, Henley, completed the distance in just over 26 hours. n memory of her father John Pruckner, a former mayor of Henley.

She has so far raised £2,200 for the Alzheimer?s Society. Mr Pruckner died three weeks ago after living with the disease for two years.

Mrs Hayden, 50, said: ?My father?s funeral was on Monday, the day after, so it was a particularly poignant time to do it. He was very much in my thoughts and it did give me the extra boost to carry on.?

She was joined by two friends, Sharron Jones, 49, from Binfield Heath, who was talking part in aid of Diabetes UK, and Tracy Hinton, 53, from Henley, who was walking in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She has suffered with the disease for 19 years.

Mike Ray, 35, from Caversham, also completed the 100km distance.

He was walking for Daisy?s Dream, a Twyford charity that supports children and their families who have been affected by the life threatening illness or the loss of someone close to them.

He said: ?The first half was okay, not too many aches and pains and niggles, a few blisters, but I?ve not looked at my feet since the halfway mark because I know they will not be pleasant!?

Barry Newton and his wife Victoria, of Stoke Row Road, Peppard, walked 100km together in under 24 hours.

He was walking for Cancer Research UK and has raised more than £2,500 so far, while his wife has raised more than £1,500 for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Mr Newton said: ?It was a great experience but very tiring.?

His wife said: ?Just past Temple Island I thought ?I?m not sure I?m actually going to make it?.

?We did train but it was difficult because it was over the school holidays so we were dragging the kids out on bikes and we were walking behind them.?

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