Lakes challenge for fundraiser

Abby Huxtable takes a well-earned five minutes at one of the peaks.
Abby Huxtable takes a well-earned five minutes at one of the peaks.

Local girl Abby Huxtable writes about successfully completing her Year of Events raising money for Macmillan Cancer Research in memory of her dad.

My final and most difficult challenge was the Lakes in a Day event. This is a very tough 50-mile race on foot from the North of the Lake District to the South.

Abby heads past a Lakeland tarn during the Lakes in a Day race.

Abby heads past a Lakeland tarn during the Lakes in a Day race.

I started the race well, feeling comfortable over the first section from Caldbeck to Threlkeld and making good time. The weather was definitely in her favour, with a clear, bright cool day, making navigation over the moorlands much easier!

I then headed across the challenging second section to Ambleside. This section covered over 2,000m of ascent in 18 miles and summited the peaks of Cough Head, Calfhow Pike, Great Dodd, Watson’s Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd, Raise, Lower Man, Hellvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike and finally Fairfield!

I was certainly getting sick of climbing and descending mountains by the time she reached Ambleside at 5pm; tired, thirsty and hungry and feeling a bit sorry for myself!

After some food, drink and encouragement from friends and family, I set off again for the third section of the race. I was starting to feel the miles but was now around an hour ahead of my target time and feeling positive about finishing now the big climbs were behind me.

I settled into a steady rhythm through the lower fells and got a strong hour in before darkness fell.

The navigation was going quite well and I kept ticking off the miles in the darkness, not feeling too tired, though my legs were certainly starting to ache!

After trotting through the last half of the section with a fellow racer, I finally made it to the final food station, still well ahead of my target pace and just keen to finish.

After a quick bite to eat and again refilling mu water, I set out once more for the final 8 miles or so to Cartmel, the cheers of my family helping me to get my legs moving again.

Finally I saw the lights of Cartmel in front of me and knew I was well under a mile from the finish! I rustled up a bit of a run to finally cross the line at just gone 11.30pm; 15 hours and 36 minutes after I started.

Now I have just about recovered from my Year of Events, I have been counting up all the very generous donations I have received so far and have smashed my original target of £1,000. The current total stands at a whopping £1,700 with a few donators still to pay up.

I would like to extend an enormous thank you to all who have donated so far; many, many individuals and also Abacus Removals, Hands That Heal Physiotherapy Clinic, Pocklington Music and Community Publications. I could not have done it without the support of you all and the memories of my dad to keep me going. Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me.

You can still visit www.justgiving.com/Abby-Huxtable if you would like to make a donation online.