6 months ago, Steve Lavender thought that it would be a good idea to support the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity by taking on the challenge to walk 26.7 miles from Manchester (Hadfield) to Sheffield (Chapeltown). Helen Wray and Beckie Roberts both agreed to take on the challenge too; and so at 06.45 on Saturday 13th August, Teresa Lavender drove the nervous threesome from Penistone to Hadfield, Bankswood Park for the 08.00 start. 

StartlineSteve, Helen and Beckie at the start line.

 Steve gave some insight about the journey the three took that day:
“Following a brave attempt at a warm up Zumba Class hosted by an athletic young French volunteer, 270 of us started on our challenge.  Overnight rain made the trek up to the Woodhead tunnels (7 miles) a real mess but the gentle incline and cool weather meant we arrived at our first refreshment stop at 11.00.

7 miles doneBeckie, Helen and Steve 7 miles into the walk.

The next section over to Penistone was much more of a challenge as we left the railway and climbed hundreds of feet up and over the Pennines, descending down to re-join the Trail at Dunford.  With a long tiring trek along the line to Penistone (16 miles) we checked in at 13.50 and were treated to a fabulous buffet, drinks and chocolates to fuel us up for the next section down to Wortley.  Helen, Becks and I were pleased to see Teresa again who let us sit and recover whilst she kept us stocked with teas, coffees, cakes and chocolate.

Becks and Helen at 10milesBeckie and Helen at mile 10.

From the relative luxury of the Penistone lunch break, we made our way down to Finkle Street, Wortley.  I found this the most difficult section as it was tiresome, boring and seemed to go on for ever.  All three of us realised that the main challenge was just beginning and the next 5 miles would need a big effort.  The final section over to Chapeltown left the Trail behind and we walked through fields, over stiles, through bogs, meadows and woods.  Whilst the walk was much more varied, we were tiring considerably and aches, pains and blisters made it hard work.  Finally we made it to a heroes welcome completing the 26.7 miles (at 18.50) in around 11 hours. Once again Teresa was on hand to help us enjoy the fabulous buffet provided for the finishers and to drive us back to Penistone.

Mile 21Helen and Beckie mile 21.

I would like to thank Helen and Beckie for their support and companionship throughout the walk.  It was a tiring day but well worth it and most rewarding.  It was wonderful to hear that between the 270 of us on this Mighty Hike Marathon Challenge, we raised almost enough money to pay for 2 Macmillan Nurses in a hospital for a year.  That makes it all worthwhile.”

Well done guys!  Everyone at Lavender International are very proud of your achievements.
Steve, Beckie and Helen are still taking donations.  If you would like to donate, please visit their Just Giving Page

Macmillan Mighty Hike in numbers:
26.7 miles
270 hikers
66246 steps
6787 calories burnt
Average Heart Rate 130 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate 178 bpm!!!

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