Walking beneath the stars
Each year Queenscourt Hospice organises the “Star Trekk” sponsored walk in order to raise funds. For a town with a population of only around 90,000 there is generally a good turnout, this year for example, at least two thousand people participated in the walk and raised tens of thousands of pounds for a very worthy charity.
The routes are generally easy to follow – what with us all adorning luminescent orange t-shirts and there’s always some clowns with pink hair!
Chris and I did this last year and I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the event. There can be no denying that we set off at a blistering pace, I’d estimate that we were easily hitting 3.5 – 4.0 miles per hour for the first quarter of the walk.
This year the event took place on the 17th of May, which I am sure was a little bit earlier in the year than last year. As far as the pace goes, there was only one difference… we never actually slowed down! Seriously I’ve walked (marched / cantered!) with the East Lancs LDWA (not for bloomin’ long I hasten to add) on one occasion and the pace was practically identical.
Thankfully the route had been chopped, well, in as much as it was a completely different route. Last year we went as far north as Churchtown in our 8.5 miles (ahem, yeah right) walk. This year in our 6.5 miles (seriously, who is doing the measuring and why are they not looking at said measurement?) race around in the dark we headed off to Meols Cop via Scarisbrick Road (and yes I do appreciate that most of the world won’t know to where I’m now referring!) before dropping down Southbank Road and then veering off into Birkdale. I’d been looking forward to this section as I’ve not really done a lot of walking around this area and I had all sorts of anticipations about the streets being full of rowdy supporters and well-wishers and y’know a kind of carnival atmsphere. There were a few but it was a little bit disappointing, still rain had been threatened all night (we got the odd thirty seconds worth of splash) so this had obviously had an impact.
I have to say this, the marshalls, and there are scores of them, do a wonderful job of not only making sure everyone knows where they are going, but also in keeping people’s spirits up. This is no mean feet as probably half of us had done a full day’s work, woolfed down our evening meal, put on the most god-awful, offensively coloured t-shirt and then gone marching around with the odd smattering of rain until late in the evening, on a Friday! I’m pretty sure that takes some dedication to a cause, but i don’t remember hearing anyone moan. Even when one of the marshals at Kew roundabout decided to tell us that we were just short of half-way around. I’d have lied and said ‘over half way now‘, well nobody needs to know that actually means ‘you still have over half-way to go...’.
No matter, as far as I know, we all made it back (in two hours and twenty minutes in our case) and will have raised considerable funds for Queenscourt Hospice.
And…the pub was open long enough for us to get a pint in! Result!