We’re always proud to take part in The Banham Marsden March, the charity’s annual fundraising walk in support of The Royal Marsden, which is one of the world’s leading cancer hospitals.
This year, our 18-mile challenge was a circular countryside route that started and finished in historic Henley-on-Thames. Setting off on their odyssey along the Thames Path, the team hailed the benevolence of the weather gods for the blue skies and warm spring sunshine. Those wearing shorts were feeling pretty smug, as the pessimists in thick trousers suffered from sweaty legs from the off.
Our canine companions, spaniels Ziggy and Pip, had the time of their lives, leaping in and out of the Thames and generally causing chaos, much to the amusement/annoyance of the rowing clubs on the river and the locals out for their mid-morning stroll.
We traversed fields full of lambs with red kites soaring overhead. We tackled boggy bridleways and mildly steep inclines that put our calf muscles into overdrive. We scrambled through woodlands full of bluebells and seemingly omnipresent stinging nettles (the shorts-wearing contingent weren’t feeling so pleased with themselves here). We even did a spot of foraging for wild garlic.
After a well-deserved Sunday lunch in a country pub garden, our marchers – now loaded with roast beef, beer and sticky toffee pudding – tackled the second leg. This is when the blisters started to kick in – the preppers who remembered to bring plasters were the saviours of the day.
After more than six hours on the move and an ascent roughly equivalent to four London Eyes, the team trudged back into town with tired limbs, sore feet and immense pride. Same again next year?
Thank you to everyone who sponsored us. Every donation makes a real difference to the lives of people affected by cancer.