Monday, 30 March 2009

Black Mountains Roundabout

Two of us from the team Simon and Ollie ( the rest bottled it ) are undertaking the 25 mile, 6,500 ft of ascent mountain marathon in the Brecon Beacons National park known as the Black Mountains Roundabout this saturday. The walk starts by taking the high road from Crickhowell. Passing Llanbedr, you climb 8 miles of whale back ridge - so very characteristic of the Black Mountains - to reach Waun Fach, the highest point in the range. From here, it is down hill to Pengenffordd , with cold drinks when you arrive. Mynydd Troed is a 1000 ft climb, followed by Mynydd Llangorse, dropping again to lower altitudes and more drinks at Pentre. You have done 20 miles by now and you're about to hit the wall - 1800 ft of it - before you top Pen Allt- Mawr, breeze along the ridge to Pen Cerrig-Catch and down, down all the way back to Crickhowell.

This is an idea of Simon's so we thought we would use it as a chance to get some good training in for the main walk in June, this will help us determine how we will cope over a vast array of terrain.This is some challenge so hoping for some good weather, knowing wales it will prob be the worst snow storm for 50 years..We will let you know how we get on over the weekend and will upload a few pics. Keep supporting the Spa2Summit team cheers..

The Route!

Just used MapMyRoute to produce this!

The Indoor Outdoor Show

From left: Ken, Ollie, Chris, Jonty, Grant, Scott and Pete

Saturday 28th March 2009 saw the Spa2Summiteers head to Birmingham's N.E.C. for the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Show. The objective was to spread awareness of our challenge, investigate potential supporters and gain insight from other fundraisers. Plus we're all enthusiastic for the outdoors so we had our own personal interests too.

Any businesses we felt might be useful were consulted and left with a press release and/or Macmillan leaflet. While we didn't expect any to leap immediately on our wonderful sponsorship opportunity, all said they'd visit our website and see what they could do.

Initially it was quite daunting to go up to an exhibitor's stand and talk to them about our product when they'd paid good money to be there selling us theirs but everyone (almost everyone - ask Pete) was very polite and enthusiastic.

We had also received our Berghaus base layers that Cotswold Outdoor had had embroidered with our logos so we all wore them to the event which helped spread the word even more.

A special mention must go to the exhibitors of Mapland Britain - a massive Ordnance Survey print of England and Wales that my brother would have spent weeks poring over if he'd seen it! Suzanne Hills and Chris Cromey very kindly allowed us to have photos taken on the map over the route we're taking in June. I believe Ken will be adding some photos later. A link to Mapland Britain's website will soon be added to the Spa2Summit website, take a look!

All members of the Spa2Summit team worked very hard drumming up support for our cause, I was particularly impressed with the effort that went in around the Bowmore Whisky stand. The lads seemed really keen to get them on board!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Our Macmillan Posters are here!

Over the last few weeks we have been chatting/emailing Claire at the Macmillan Gloucestershire office about the Spa2Summit challenge. She has been really helpful and has given us some very useful information. Through Claire we ordered our Official Macmillan Spa2Summit poster, which it is my great privilege to unveil to you now:

If you can use a poster, maybe at work or elsewhere, then please let me know. I have a supply available (A3, A4 or A5) or could forward you a pdf file for you to use electronically.

Help Team Spa2Summit to spread the spa2summity word!

On a Macmillany theme, the S2S Challenge is now promoted on the Gloucestershire Macmillan webpage, here.

An Encouraging Poem

Pat, Spa2Summit web maestro Chris's mum, has forwarded the following verses to me for inclusion on the blog.

Encouraging Poem

Onward! Ever onward lads!
Ignore those painful blisters.
It isn't far to Pen-y-Fan,
And there we'll see some vistas.

Meanwhile, forget those aches and cramps,
Forget the groans and curses.
Remember what you're walking for -
Those grand Macmillan nurses!

Thanks Pat!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

I Don't Like Wednesday's!

The Boomtown Rat's kept telling us they weren't fans of Monday, for me Wednesday is more of a problem. But before I fully quantify this statement, I just need to mention....

I LOVE COTSWOLD OUTDOOR - and I'm not ashamed to say so. After hearing the support which been offered to S2S by the Brecon Store, I too wanted to say thank you... cheers, you have no idea how grateful we are!

... but back to my earlier statement, why Wednesday?

I decided to set aside a specific 'physical' day for extra training. Therefore I have plumbed for a day which I should spend simply sitting at a desk at work! I decided a few weeks ago, to increase my mileage on the Wednesday Lunch Run from work, which is now approaching 4 and a half miles, along a surprisingly tough all-terrain route, whilst keeping, so I'm reliably told, at a constant 7mph. You can see the route here, (so if you see some bloke in shorts along the over road on weds, give us a wave!). This is followed by an extended walk home from Gloucester Town centre, which can be up to 5 miles. Therefore after a 10 mile trip fitted in and around a working day, I collapse home feeling both physically and mentally tired.

But lets remember, this is but a drop in the ocean to the exhaustion daily felt by people and families coping with Cancer. This is after all why we're doing this. To enable Macmillan to provide support to those in need. If your reading this entry, please don't forget to donate... or just put it off to do it another time. Go on to our justgiving site... it'll only take a minute!

For now, thanks... I'm off to bed.... and enjoy your Wednesdays!!

Monday, 16 March 2009

HUGE Thank you to Cotswold Outdoor!

We have been bowled over by the level of support that we are receiving and today we need to give a special mention to Cotswold.

The wonderful Nicki Strouts from the Cotswold Outdoor store in Brecon has worked hard to secure support for us from Cotswold who have now donated hundreds of pounds worth of necessary equipment and given us big discounts on much more.

We want every penny to go to Macmillan Cancer Support and with their kindness and generosity Cotswold Outdoor are helping this happen.

So I speak on behalf of the Spa 2 Summit team when I say that we can't thank you enough for what you've done!

Check out their website on

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Music for Walking

Now there are a few obvious ones, "500 miles" by the Proclaimers, "the Hardest Walk" J&MC, "I walk the line" by Johnny Cash, but these are not necessarily the right tunes to drive you on after walking 50 miles, knowing the hardest 20 are still to come. What songs would you suggest that have that "Eye of the Tiger" thing that will help us to keep going? We could build the ultimate Spa2Summit playlist!

I nominate "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse (or maybe "Eye of the Tiger"..?)

If there are sufficient nominations maybe we could have a poll to nominate the official Spa2Summit song, which we could then record as a charity record!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Just a quick post to notify all followers of this blog that the official website of spa2summit is now live.

Friday, 6 March 2009

It appears that i'm actually training...

Just thought i'd put a quick post in here to say that the reality has been brought home to me and my fear of being left behind (all the others seem to be training properly) has incited me to some action.

I'm now cycling to work and despite having got home tonight well after 7, i decided to go and get some miles under my belt. I did 6 miles in 1:46 which gives me an average of 3.4 mph which I was happy with. My new Camelbak served me fantastically which should deal with the dehydration issues i had on the 20 miler.

I've even joined a gym...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

In conclusion... this is nowhere near the end

Hello everyone!

Hope all is well. I know everyone else has given their view on 21st of Feb's 20 mile practice walk, but I thought I'd be the slow one and add it 2 weeks late!

Well much was learnt. Firstly, it was quite evident we are all a chipper lot, and despite a 7 hour walk, I think we were all pleased to be in the company of each other from the first to last second, and start a whole team vibe. Secondly, our feet. I had a beauty of a blister, which has started to heal now, and have started running again. That will be one of the most important aspects of this walk, good shoes, good socks and good preparation. I think the prep walk sounded down to a few, myself included, exactly what we are undertaking. Its not a case of a 'turn-up-and-walk-it' attitude and it never was, it's gonna be painful, difficult, tiring and we've got the reality check yet of finishing on top of a 2,900 ft mountain called - Pen y fan.

But that is where you all really can assist!!

As long as we raise a good amount for Macmillan, the summiteers are more than happy to put in the hard work! But we need you!! Our justgiving site is always open, so please do sponsor/donate. Additionally, on the official website, which will be up very shortly, a page is planned, which will be highlighting materials and things that would assist, whether that's your company on a leg of the walk, or if you are a business that can help toward essentials for us to complete this event with the goal of making a sizable contribution to Macmillan Nurses, please then get in touch. So check the website, and lets do this thing!!

Keep smiling (and I'll keep training!)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Test geo-tagged photo

Test geo-tagged photo, originally uploaded by JontyHewlett.

OK, getting geeky now ;)
Thanks to a hint from Kenburg, I turned on Geo-tagging on my phone. What is it? Well Geo-tagging is where the phone gets the Longitude and Latitude from the phones in-built GPS and adds that Data to the picture.

I can then use email-submission to upload the picture to Flickr. From there I can then add a new blog entry including the picture.....Oh yeah and Flickr very nicely reads the GPS data in the photo and automatically put's it on the map a map for you...

So hopefully we can now blog from our phones as the walk progresses, and the pictures will automatically be put on a map showing the walk - ain't technology grand! ;)