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Paragon Law: Always going the extra mile (or six)

On Saturday 18th September, ten of our employees embarked on what they thought was going to be an 18-mile walk. Unbeknownst to them the walk turned out to be 24-miles and instead of 8 hours it took 11. Estimation inaccuracies aside, this walk was raising vital funds for the RNLI to enable them to continue to deliver their lifesaving services. It was also our way of showing our support for the RNLI, something of which we feel is needed after the backlash following their involvement with the Channel crossings.

The conditions for the walk made the early start bearable: the sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze, and our only company was the occasional dog walker. However, whilst the weather was on our side, the clothing choices of some of the participants already put them on a disadvantage – but to be fair to them, our bright orange and blue t-shirts didn’t make for the chicest look. With our orange and blue shirts in tow we set off on what would become a long day of walking.

Three and a half hours and a questionable rest-bite by some members later and we had finally arrived in Gunthorpe. By 11.30am we were nine miles in which is a reasonable feat, the only thing is by this point we were already an hour behind schedule. It was at this point where we said goodbye to a couple of members and hello to some new additions. The well-intentioned decision to take a break at this point was soon crushed by the realisation that our rest also meant our muscles had rested which ultimately made it harder to get back into the swing of things. 

Despite the slow beginnings, things were looking up. The sun was in full force, morale was high, and we were making good ground. However, the novelty was slowly wearing off. Unknown to us, countryside and cows can (and will) become repetitive if that’s all you see for two hours straight. Nevertheless, the walk was made bearable with the thought that this repetition would be broken by the siting of a good old-fashioned pub. A siting of a pub was made, but on closer inspection it was a care home – luckily for us no attempt was made to enter, as that could have made for a very different trip and may have resulted in us going home much sooner than intended. Coincidentally (but apparently not related), this disappointment saw two of our team members go home. This was it: the final cut had been made. There was no dropping out from here.

The midday sun combined with the sheer thought of the distance resulted in serious contemplations being made in relation to whether swimming in the Trent was a reasonable way to shave three miles off of our overall distance. On reflection, a quick dip in the Trent wouldn’t have gone amiss, however, at the time the risk assessment did not cover this, and so, it was a no go. It was back to the drawing board and along the Trent we continued, only this time we were greeted by the welcome site of a quaint (albeit expensive) pub. For some of us, this was the perfect opportunity to have something which would hopefully take the edge off the rest of the journey. It was at this point where 18-miles was realistically looking like 20, but what was an extra two miles?

Drinks down, we set off on the final leg. Morale had decreased but after a few falls from a certain team member our spirits were lifted for another few miles. The 20-mile mark came and went, and we were still no closer to Newark. Fatigue and pain set in, with the words ‘just one more hour’ being thrown around every hour. Few words were said, instead all of our energy was being put into placing one foot in front of the other. Under an air of silence, we welcomed the sight of Newark Castle: we were finally in touching distance of the finish line, the 10-hour day was almost ready to conclude. We may have been as close to the castle as we had ever been, but mentally we were still so far away. To get to the end, many of us adopted new walking techniques, some of which may never be lived down. However, they did the job, and we were drinking pints by 7pm.

24-miles down and 10 hours later and we had finally completed the journey. We may have been a few team members down, but they were there with us in spirit. The pain which had to be endured was certainly outweighed by the money raised. Same again next year?

To donate please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paragonlawwalk