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This is my first blog post, and though it is not my first attempt to use English I’ll apologise in advance for the incorrect grammar, spelling, typos and general idiocy that this post will surely exhibit!

The point of this particular post is to discuss the Bogle Stroll 2011 that I have signed myself up for. The event is taking place at 7pm on Friday March 4th 2011. The Bogle Stroll 2011 is organised by Manchester RAG (Raise and Give), which is a part of the University of Manchester Students Union, an excellent organisation that oversees and supports charity fundraising by Manchester Students.

The Event – Bogle Stroll 2011

The Manchester Boggle Ramble Route

The Bogle Route - Source Bogle.org.uk

Firstly, do not be fooled, the Bogle “Stroll” is deceptively named. It is an extreme 55-mile endurance test that will likely provide podiatrists with plenty of patients for the foreseeable future.

The 55-mile urban walking route takes the form of a ‘figure-of-eight’, with its hub at RAG’s headquarters at the Manchester Students Union. The course is split into two legs.

The first leg of the journey tackles the South of Manchester. Starting from Manchester Students Union participants will toddle along to Manchester Airport and Stockport before returning to the Students Union approximately 10 hours later, in time for breakfast!

Breakfast provides the perfect opportunity to rest and re-energise tired limbs and minds (it also promises tea and coffee-which is a bonus!)

After breakfast, the participants will embark on the final leg of the journey, which ventures to the North of Manchester via Failsworth, Farnworth and Salford.

On average, the Bogle Stroll takes 21 hours to complete. So that is the equivalent of flying to Beijing…and back.

The Bogle Stroll will undoubtedly be a relentless test of physical and mental endurance.

The Challenge

In a team of five, I’ll be participating in this year’s Bogle event. We have set ourselves the target of completing this distance in less than 20 hours.

To exhibit the challenge that the Bogle Stroll will pose to me, it is relevant to give an idea of my own fitness and abilities. I cannot shower myself in glory. My present level of fitness is probably comparable to Colonel Gaddafi’s sanity.

However, I have been known to walk to the local supermarket and even run for a bus.

Training

My training began on Tuesday 22/2/11, less than 2 weeks before the event. This is not purely a consequence of stupidity, but due to the fact that I only signed up for The Bogle Stroll 2011 a few days ago. Still, not the healthiest position to be in, I admit.

For my first training session I walked a distance of 10 miles in 3 hours. I accomplished this feat in skinny jeans and a pair of high-top Nike’s that should have been binned years ago! I have decided to rethink my attire for the main event. The main reason being that once I got home and rested for a few minutes I could barely stand from the pain in my feet!

Last night – my second training session – I went for another 10-mile practice walk. With new trainers I felt reinvigorated. I completed the same distance in the same time. Consistent or lack of improvement?

I’ll be looking to increase the distance this weekend when I have some time to do a 25-mile walk on Saturday.

The problem for a 55-mile walk event is there really is very little opportunity to do a complete practice run, considering my work commitments and need for sleep! As a result, it will only be on the actual day that will I find out if I am capable of this distance!

Walking Equipment

Now, if I ever want to retain the use of my limbs, I’ll have to be well equipped. The essentials will be:

  • Comfortable trainers! Though the Nike high-tops may look cool, experience has demonstrated that they will show no mercy.
  • Tracksuit bottoms. As described to me by my girlfriend, “Jeans will chafe”. Ouch.
  • Food and Drink. And no, this is NOT a pub-crawl.
  • A hat. Manchester in the beginning of March will not be hot.
  • Spare socks. Could have been an easy oversight but these will be paramount in the prevention of blisters.
  • A mobile phone. In case it all ends in tears and I need to call a cab!

The Outcome

I hope to complete the 55-mile distance. It may seem naïve/stupid/implausible, but to aim for less would defeat the purpose of this challenge. Yes it will be painful, tiring, long and difficult, but reactions to life’s challenges help define who we are.

Christie Cancer - Please Give Generously

Please click this logo to donate now

Apart from my own personal goals, I am – along with my teammates – hoping to raise as much money as possible for the Christie Cancer Charity. The Charity funds projects for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, which operates outside the scope of the NHS. The Christie is an international leader in research and it is one of Europe’s leading cancer centres, treating over 40,000 patients a year. If you would like further information on the Charity please visit http://www.christies.org/.

If you would like to sponsor me, please go to www.justgiving.com/boglestroll5 . Any amount you are willing to give would be appreciated. I personally want to thank those of you who have read this far and despite my ramblings still decide to donate. If we all contribute we can raise at least more money than the banks pay in tax.

For more information on the stroll or if you’re thinking of perhaps taking part next year, then go to http://www.bogle.org.uk/.

Psst! – If you have any tips for me leave them in a comment!

Right, I am off for a walk!

Phil.

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