A Warwick woman who walked 100km non-stop for charity with her friends described the experience as ‘epic’ and ‘relentless’.
Helen Venn, of Chase Meadow, walked from Bath to Cheltenham with friends Katherine, Caroline, and Helen, as part of the Cotswold Way challenge on Saturday July 1 and Sunday July 2.
Their efforts raised around £2,000 for Cure Leukaemia and £1,500 for Dementia UK.
But although the group knew it would be hard, the difficulty of the walk still took them by surprise. Helen Venn said: “It was really, really tough and none of us had anticipated just how hilly it would be. It was pretty relentless.
“Unfortunately one of our party, Helen, got pulled up at the 25km point with horrendous blisters.
She was so disappointed to have to pull out and we were equally disappointed to lose her from the team. We’ve done so much training together so it was a sad moment when Helen waved us on our way.”
One of the hardest parts of the walk for the group was the night section. The remaining three made their highest ascent in the dark with just headtorches for light.
But a bit of food and drink, as well as friends and family visiting to spur the group on, kept them going.
By the 80km rest stop the group had a ‘lovely surprise’.
Their friend Lucy, who had to pull out of the walk in the early days of their training, met the group and went on to walk the last 20km with them.
They eventually arrived in Cheltenham with their family and friends there to welcome them after 30 hours of non-stop walking.
Helen said: “We couldn’t have got through this epic feat without family and friends, and our husbands and children were amazing.
“They spent their weekend supporting us, walking some of the route with us and carrying our bags.
“Our feet are very sore and we’re aching but we’re thrilled that so far we have raised nearly £1500 for Dementia UK and £2000 for Cure Leukaemia.”
Helen has had experience in her own family of coping with dementia. Both her father and aunt are living with the condition.
And the group was also raising money for Cure Leukaemia because of Lucy’s experience. Her son was diagnosed with leukaemia in February 2015.
Although he was in remission, after 18 months the disease came back and he has recently received a bone marrow transplant.
Helen added: “The work Cure Leukaemia does is invaluable and has made a huge impact in the fight against leukaemia and lymphoma.”