Fresh from their “Tough10 for Super Sam” in 2017, our Automation Engineer, Martin Candlish and his wife Lynn organised a charity walk taking in 40 miles of the Annandale Way here in South West Scotland to raise money for Super Sam’s Fund for The Brain Tumour Charity.
At 5am on Saturday the 14th of July, 13 bold walkers left Moffat. Along the way they picked up participants in Lockerbie, Hoddam and Brydekirk and by the time they crossed the finish line in Annan they were 43 people strong!
The day started a little foggy when the 13 began the journey, but this quickly cleared to reveal the beautiful Moffat hills in the early morning sunshine. Spirits were high as they hit the first refreshment point and picked up an extra person, then they headed towards St Anns taking in lovely views over the Edwardsrig Plantation.
There were some blisters and minor niggles as they made their way into Lockerbie to the mid-way check point at the Royal Bar. The fantastic reception received there renewed their motivation and after a quick pit stop, they set off again with an extra 13 recruits, including Super Sam’s Dad Graeme and APD Project Engineer Garrie (after they finished their pre-walk pints!)
The route to Hoddam progressed through the Eskrigg Reserve and down to Kettleholm, where unfortunately a few people had to retire. It needs to be appreciated that this challenge is no mean feat and at this point people had walked for more than a marathon over cross country terrain, so everyone did amazingly well.
By 4pm they'd reached Hoddam and the weather conditions continued to be good. After a quick pit stop and picking up more recruits including a few keen youngsters, they made their way to Brydekirk.
For those who had been hard at it since 5am it was becoming a real effort to put one foot in front of the other. When they got to Brydekirk they had a reception at the Brig Inn, took on some food and gathered more recruits on the journey including the youngest of them all, 7-month old Aria.
The push was on for the finish line, with only 3.5 miles to cover to get there. After a brief stop at the Cuthbertson Bridge to leave a memento of the day, an inscribed padlock, the finish line was almost in sight!
They reached the finish line and reception at the Blue Bell just after 6pm, where some walkers were battered and weary, some were just elated to get a seat and a pint, but one thing that united everyone was raising awareness for this fantastic cause.
Martin and Lynn are already planning the 2019 event, so stay tuned for what's next!