The mornings are getting darker, the days are getting shorter, and the temperature is dropping lower. Yes, autumn has well and truly arrived. But there was a little bit of summer left, just over four weeks ago …
Yes, you do remember! Team OSIM travelled down to our nation’s capital, to walk a marathon (not quite a thousand miles - but it’s a very long way, all the same!) and raise much-needed funds for The Donna Louise.
We’ve already grabbed a quick interview with Teresa, who told us all about the preparations for this mammoth challenge. And now we’re catching up with Dominic, to see how things went on the big day.
Game on! When you woke up that day, what was your first thought?
I want to go back to sleep (laughing)! No, I was quite looking forward to it really. I had all my kit and bag prepared ready, and I was very glad to see it wasn’t raining!
And while you waited at the start line, what was going through your mind?
No backing out now! More apprehension than anything. Could we make it round? Would we walk at a good pace?
Hundreds of people set off at 8am, plus one rhino. Did you see it? And did it finish?!
Yeah, it was amazing. She ran off ahead, and we didn’t see her again until the finish. She must have been knackered by the end!
Here’s a great shot of the Thames. How well do you know London?
Um, OK-ish. It was nice to walk by some iconic landmarks, but also walk the less well-trodden back roads too. London is a wonderful city, full of contrasts - and we really saw it, that day.
The streets look really busy. Local shoppers, visiting tourists, a bit of both?
Lots of tourists! So many tourists everywhere, it made walking along the embankment tricky.
As Team OSIM plodded along, what was the reaction from people passing by?
Pretty good. We had a few waves from passing cars, and shop owners. To be honest, it was busy, I think we all got lost in the crowd!
Flat streets, concrete pavements, tarmac roads – easier on the feet, right?
No (laughing again), definitely not! We really started to feel it in our feet, at the halfway point. Neither of us had trained on pavement. If we had, we might not have signed up (laughing very loudly)!
Nice photo at Horse Guards. Talking about nosebags, what did you eat all day?
Well, I came prepared with protein and snack bars. And we knew Discover Adventure (the organiser) was providing food at the ¼, ½ and ¾ distance.
So you didn’t call in at The Palace, for a quick snack with Her Royal Highness?
No … not sure she was in!
Lots of famous landmarks to see. Did that help, to count down the miles?
It worked as a nice distraction, yeah. I’d seen most of them before, but it was a nice break from staring at the pavement!
Lovely shot, but not exactly blue sky and white cloud. How was the weather?
Pretty perfect, actually. Well, for walking anyway. Not too hot, and not too cold. Most importantly – not raining!
What a sight! Your thoughts, as you approached the finish line?
Relief! And excitement. It did feel amazing, to cross the line. Not sure whether it was just fatigue or not, but I felt a real sense of achievement … or exhaustion maybe? And of course, my feet were very happy too.
Final question: you’ve walked a marathon, so what’s next for Team OSIM?
Ha-ha! Watch this space! We have a few ideas for next year ... and the year after that …
These two determined individuals (with a combined age of 80+, but let’s not go into that) walked 26 miles for charity and brought back two shiny medals (and a couple of blisters each, but let’s not go into that either!).
Everyone at OSIM UK is immensely proud of their HUGE achievement.
To date, the Virgin Money Giving fundraising page has collected almost £800, and we’d like to thank everybody for their amazing generosity and invaluable support.
To retrace Team OSIM’s steps (no pun intended!) on this 8-month journey, why not have a(nother) look at our blog: ‘Team OSIM takes to the streets of London’ and ‘Ten days to go: would you Adam and Eve it!’
Once again: Well done to Dom and Teresa, our local heroes!