Late one evening in our small village pub………………..

Late one evening in our small village pub, Bob was not in a joyous mood and was slightly unhappy due to the few lagers he had partaken , he started feeling a little sorry for himself and decided he wanted to raise some money for charity.
In the past we have raised money for the Air ambulance, so that became his objective. Then he remembered the song about walking 500 miles…… Bob, who could be classed as the pub caretaker due to the fact he spends more time in the pub than the Landlady, he is not known for his prowess in the art of exercise and everybody slated him for this daft idea.
He changed it and remembered the Lyke Wake walk, about 40 miles….easy…….
Graeham, hubby of the Landlady knew all about the story behind this and told of how it all began. He also suggested we carried a cardboard coffin!
Then a few other of the locals piped up, “yep done that, you’ll never complete that Bob”
Bob still slightly merry returned with” I`ll do it, put your money on the form and I’ll show you all”
Unfortunately he needed a co-pilot……everybody looked at me, tigger ex-squaddie, he`ll sort him they said. Well they always say never dare an Idiot, they dared me and the date was set, 10 July starting at 1800hrs..I didn`t understand why but I soon realised….he could stop drinking Thursday night-ish and re-start Saturday lunch , loosing as little time as possible…very clever.
Training…Well, too windy…….got the trots……..slept in, were the excuses. But when we did walk, it was around Fairburn Ings, a bird sanctuary, well known for the arduous walking conditions, not.
Also bob knew the area inside out so we would walk 10 miles to Castleford and back….yep 12 miles and never found Castleford…Great map reading skills exercised that day.
Everyone in the Pub went mad to sponsor old Bob, he`ll never finish, 8 pints a night, and smoking rollies, using an inhaler for his emphysema, money is safe.
2 weeks before the start we decided to travel to Osmotherley and sample the first 5 miles, just to get our bearings etc….well that first climb up them stones steps was the clincher, bob struggled, and 4 times he stopped. Swallowing his lungs back into place each time. Eventually we got to the pile of stones, Bob looking rather tired and upset, whispering what the XXXX was that. Lit a rolly “bloody hell, am I glad that the worst is over so soon”….couldn`t tell him…more to come… We had a breather and turned back to head to the car park……hang on didn’t we have a very long descent down ….yep same reaction, when we reached the top; Lungs back in and had a rolly.
Ready for anything……Local postie volunteered, can’t have just 2 walking said Charlie… Great.
Support in place, Ant and Kate, the real hero`s.. Without who we would not have been able to start…
And due to bobs condition I had planned 3 stops, 1 every ten miles approx. So they were the king pin to the whole walk.
First ten miles is the worst…….yep west to east, bob could not understand why he had started this. Up, down reset the lungs, administer first aid….a rolly….no more please he said….I could not tell him. There was more…Bob just kept going on and on and on.
It just started getting dark as we approached the huge mound of rocks.. I led the way –ish but found the top and path which had mysteriously disappeared. BOB, Charlie… no response… head torches on and there they were skating around the base of the rocks….would love to know the right way to traverse that bit… But adds to the excitement.
Cannot get lost, just head east…Charlie was not convinced and on several occasions I was sure he wanted to mutiny, but thumbs up was the sign and we all kept going. The team were know realising that you have to take it seriously and perhaps 2 of us had taken it for granted that it would be a walk in the park…..too late, bob was determined..I’m going to finish this if it kills me, I know First Aid, but this was not the time to put it to the test.
Refreshment just in time, a cup of tea, and sorted the tootsies out and off again……straight up another gentle incline…Ish…yes Bobs lungs saw light again but were soon retracted with his usual rolly.
Once at the top the only way is down which unfortunately put paid to Charlie`s knee, he was recovering from a minor operation but….sadly only lasted a few more miles down the disused railway, slowed down and limped boldly to our next stop where he retired from the event, but not without his impersonation of a bear….yes people do think we have bears in this country. (He loved the joke about the blue brick too)
Morale was reasonable, Bob just staring into the distance (thinking of the pint on the bar).
Attitude changed and off we went on and on and on Bob still thinks we walked over 50 miles, he kept on chuntering “the distance must be as the crow flies”. He thought we were walking 3 to 4 miles an hour…Nope,
We hadn’t passed anyone doing the walk until about 6 ish on Saturday morning; we came across a gentleman and his son. He must know the look and said straight away “you doing the Walk”
Yep we replied and started chatting. Turned out he had done the walk 19 times…19…19. He was just showing his son the walk, but from east to west? Still not sure if his lad knew what was coming…….19 times.. Amazing.
Fyllingdales, always wanted to see this….but not for so never gets any closer..oh and while we were anticipating the delight of reaching the road we lost our way and missed the railway crossing, so down to the fence and walked north till we came across the crossing. Got to the car park and Ant and Kate were there, beaming smiles and arms held open wide..Just the greeting you need to get you smiling again
Seemed quite busy there, we had not realised that the Lyke Wake run was on..Well organised, fresh smell of…….bacon??. Also we heard the Toot, Toot of a train, yep wasn`t expecting that.
Bob was now under the impression that it is all plain sailing…. still couldn`t tell him…if only he could read a map…..he would have stopped 20 miles back!
Off we trotted; gave a bit of advice to a group of young girls who were obviously learning the ropes about map reading…bob just walked on.
Bob was now leading at quite a pace…….?
Hang on we are going down again, that means…oh no……..yep more steep stone steps…thumbs up bob…just like before..Your own pace…breath…….Well the look on his face was a picture , 4 runners passing…yes they walked up the steep incline but as he got to the top there they were far in the distance …running…and had been since 9 that morning…that was not for bob, not this year.
In the distance..The mast, the finish, Bob speeded up then as the miles passed he realised that the mast was not getting any closer….I`m sure I saw tears.
Well we passed the check point, at the side of the road, for the runners, who offered refreshment, including jelly beans!
Nope! Bob was focused… That Mast is the End…step after step and the mast still not appearing any closer….we were exhausted with this last burst, we both sat down looked at each other..Thumbs up, had a drink, had some nuts…last bit…Here we come.
Then…someone is waving….Kate and Ant…Cheering and waving..
Where’s that trig point I asked…there isn’t one was the reply….not fooling me….. I saw it… Dragged Bob to it, cuddled and shed a little tear…DONE…Bob you have done it…20 hrs 38 mins
The end.
Not quite
Returned to the Pub, had a well deserved drink, I went home had a bath and fell asleep, woke up, white and wrinkly. Sat on the sofa, and woke up at 7 the next morning
Bob had a shower, Went back to the pub and drank for another 4 hours. All Hail the BOB…….

Thank you for the experience,
We are now a bit more knowledgeable and have hopefully raised over £1200.
Can’t wait to be the support to someone else!!!

Tigger…. Bob, Charlie, Ant and Kate