Dougs Southern 50 2004

posted 6 Oct 2016, 07:52 by Dave Tomlin
At 8:00 on Friday night the Explorers who had been mad enough to volunteer to do the southern 50/50 left Warwick car park. About an hour and a half later we arrived at a school in a town on the outskirts of London (sorry can't remember name think it was Great something or other).

We slept, sorry did I say slept? I meant waited for it to become light, in a school hall about the same size as the Coten End Lower school Hall. Nearly all the explorers were sleeping there and it surprised me to find that most of them - even most of the bigger ones were doing the 30km route - wimps! Unfortunately, unlike the area the over 18's were sleeping in, which I have heard was relatively quite because they knew they needed rest to walk all the way, our explorer area was very loud until about 3:00 (we had to get up at 5:00).

And so after only a few hours of sleep we woke at 5:00a.m., had breakfast and a kit check and after some waiting left at quarter past 7. The team I was in contained Chris (who was team captain), Scott, Matt and Doug (me). Everyone would be recalled at 6:00am the following morning, no matter whether they were finished or not and since the teams all started with 2 minutes between each other leaving at 6am- to around 9am there was a generous time limit. The 50-mile teams left first followed by the 50km (which I was doing) followed by the 30km (wimps!).

The route had 15 checkpoints and a finish but that was for 50 milers. The 50km route and the 30km route left some of these out. We had to walk 1, 2, 3, 4,5A, 6A, 7A, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, finish. These checkpoints supposedly got closer at the end but it didn't feel like it!

Checkpoints 1,2,3,4,5 were really scenic because of a dense fog that gave the wood a erie feeling. We got to 6A without much difficulty and after a nice 6km "scenic detour" we arrived at 7A. I got rather painful feet and muscles on the way to 10 and felt really bad at 11. Number 12 was a really nice and jolly checkpoint in a warm hut with lots of food and my legs felt a lot better and I easily got to 13 where we unfortunately lost Scott who had been doing an excellent job map reading. 

We waited for nearly an hour for our other 50km team that never arrived with the intention of joining up with them to walk the rest of the way. We left at 11:30ish with the remnants of our 50 mile team and some other 50 mile team members.

14, 15 were agony! We had been told they were not far and I could barely move my legs. I was so tired I was mistaking cars for tents and trees for people. Every time I saw any sort of light I thought it was a checkpoint. We couldn't stop to rest for very long because then out joints would seize up. When, after what seemed like forever we arrived back at the school. I don't think I could have walked another meter.

Doug (2004)