Blake Lapthorn raise money for Earl Mountbatten Hospice

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At 6:45am on Sunday 15th May, Ruth Johnson and I boarded the red funnel ferry in Southampton and headed to the Isle of Wight. Our chauffeur and co-walker John Hepworth was waiting to meet us at Cowes where we proceeded on to our starting point at Bembridge.

We set out at 7:55 from Bembridge with the sun shining and a light breeze. Within ¼ mile into the walk we faced our first everest, Culver Down. Although no more than 100 yards long, the hill was incredibly steep but definitely worth it. After climbing like mountain goats to reach the top the views were stunning. From the top of Culver Down you are able to see along the coast of the Island and out to the solent and mainland in the distance. We ventured on across the island through lots of dirt tracks, fields and farming land. There was a definite country smell in the air. We found our fourth co-walker, Simon Burge just after 2 miles. Unfortunately due to ferry mishaps he had had to meet us along the route.

The four of us plodded on and reached our first check point without any hassle. We were averaging a good 3 miles an hour and were all still feeling motivated. The next part of the course took us on lots of wonderful downhill sections, through shaded woods and out onto sandy tracks. We reached mile 9½ with the sun still shining, however I was looking a little more gloomy. The muscle in my left hip, which has been a recurring problem, had started to ache and I was conscious of trying not to compensate with my right leg.

We carried on to Carisbrooke Castle to reach the half way mark. By this point I had started to focus my mind to lunch which helped me clamber up the last hill to the half way mark. We stopped at 11:40 for a 20 minute lunch break, devouring our sandwiches before heading on to the next marker.

Disaster struck shortly after we set off however. My hip had decided that as I had stopped for a rest it too would rest and had decided to tighten up. Needless to say after 100 yards of limping along I decided to pull out of the walk rather than do any further damage. I reluctantly hobbled back to the half way mark whilst my team continued on to the end.

The remaining walkers continued down to Mottistone, along to Freshwater and in to Alum Bay, completing the walk at 16:30, a total time of 8 ½ hours including stops. A great achievement for the team and a great training session, bar my attempt. Fingers crossed for the big walks!

All money raised from the walks goes to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. The hospice is the only one on the Isle of Wight and provides care to over 800 terminally ill patients for free. The only way they are able to do this is through donations and fundraising so the walk is a massive contribution to this. For more information on the Hospice, visit their website here.

Alicia Marsh

Trainee Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

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