Monday, 27 June 2016

Sonia and Louise walk the 'Big Walk'

Louise Preston
During the second week of June, the University of Sheffield supported two teams of staff to walk over 120 miles over six days along the Trans Pennine Trail to to raise funds to support refugee academics and students here at the University of Sheffield. More details are available here.

From the IR Group, Sonia Rizzo and Louise Preston joined these teams on the 'One Day Challenge', an 18 mile walk from North Sheffield, via the outskirts of Barnsley and Rotherham, via Meadowhall and back to Sheffield. Neither of us had ever done anything of this magnitude before and were feeling quite nervous, but excited about the challenge ahead.

We set off early on the Friday morning from the picturesque surroundings of Tankersley Premier Inn! We were very keen to make good progress on the walk and found ourselves part of the group at the front. This meant that we were required to navigate the sometimes slightly difficult to find signposts of the Trans Pennine Trail as well as keeping a steady pace. Even though the sun didn't shine for us, the rain help off and it was great to meet and share time with other University of Sheffield colleagues.
Louise with a herd of deer behind her, in Wentworth Park (Mile 6)
We were fuelled by lovely home made fruit cake  and a strong flask of coffee but as the walk got tougher, our thoughts turned to those colleagues who had already walked over 100 miles and more importantly, those that we were raising money for. We finally finished the walk after 5 hours and 40 minutes, and despite being told that it wasn't a race, it was nice to feel that we had really challenged ourselves.
The walk was a fantastic experience for a really deserving cause, made more resonant by the death of Jo Cox MP the day before the walk. We carried her memory with us and we were both utterly delighted to raise just short of £500 before we started on the Friday morning. Our total now stands at nearly £600 and if you would still like to sponsor us, our page is here.

We did it!

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