"My advice would be to go on practice walks, test out your shoes beforehand and don’t try to go too fast too early!"

What inspired you to fundraise for North London Cares?

I wanted to fundraise for North London Cares as through volunteering at Social Clubs, I could see where the money was going and the difference it makes to the older neighbours and wider community. 

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 How you prepared for your challenge?

The idea of walking 50K was quite daunting at first, as I couldn’t really remember a time I had walked more than 15-20K - and even that was very rare!

To get myself ready, I tried to get some practice walks in beforehand. We had a Whatsapp group for everyone from North London Cares who was participating in the challenge, and that was great for motivation, but also to organise practice walks together.

I went on two practice walks with people from the group and one practice walk on my own. These were about 20K long and it was great meeting some others who I would be walking with on the day. I also walked as much as I could when I was going to work (about 5K each way) or to visit friends.

One big benefit of the practice walks was to figure out the right shoes and socks to wear. In the end I wore running trainers with hiking socks and prayed for no rain!

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What the challenge was like on the day, and how did you feel after you completed it?

I got to the start in Putney after a big breakfast (and big dinner the night before) and met up with everyone else taking on the challenge for North London Cares.

We set off together but quickly ended up in smaller groups based on our walking speed. The weather was great and the walk to the first break point was fairly easy, thanks to the practice walks.

By the time I got to the halfway point, my feet and legs were starting to get very tired but my spirits were still high. I slowed down for the rest of the walk and by the time we got to the last checkpoint, I was pretty tired and sore but the end was in sight!

At the finish line there were people cheering and lots more food and hot drinks available. I met up with some of our group who had finished earlier and waited to cheer a few others who finished after me.

After the challenge I felt proud to have completed it and to have raised money for North London Cares.

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Any advice for anyone taking on a similar challenge?

My advice would be to go on practice walks, test out your shoes beforehand and don’t try to go too fast too early.

Want to join our team of walkers in 2019? We're taking on the London 2 Brighton Challenge on 25/26th May! To find out more, click on the link here. 

Caroline Fraser

Posted by Caroline Fraser on Thursday 17th January 2019

Caroline is a volunteer for North London Cares. In July 2018 she took on the Thames Path Challenge and walked 50km to raise money to bring more neighbours together to share time. 

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