This is the first of a three-part series following our Financial Director, Keith Jenner’s journey to challenge himself physically and emotionally as he remembers his mother’s caregivers, MacMillan Cancer Support, in her final days. He has set himself a challenge to raise the recognition and importance of the care and support they provide to so many in need and to raise as much sponsorship money for them in the process.
“In April 2017, I will be walking 106 km (nearly 66 miles) around the Isle of Wight. Starting in the morning of 29th April, I should finish some time the following morning. I am doing the walk to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. They helped my mum when she was dying from cancer in 2005 and provided support to us as family. They have also assisted other family members and friends.”
“Fundraising is hugely important to Macmillan. Without people doing events, running marathons, climbing mountains, and donating in all the other ways that one can, Macmillan wouldn’t exist. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure.”
“As a child, I enjoyed walking with my grandfather. We would regularly walk 10-15 miles. As an adult, and after trying other methods of keeping fit, I decided to stick with the one that I have always enjoyed the most.
Some while ago I invested in a watch to set targets and ensure that I get nagged if I do not walk enough during the day. As a result, I now regularly go for short walks in the evening. Of course my wife insists that she would have happily nagged me free of charge and on an hourly basis if required!
At the beginning of this year I began to go for longer walks. My original plan was to aim for a long distance walk such as the Trans Pennine Trail or Thames Path. Time constraints made this difficult so I have instead concentrated on one day walks.
Since the end of April I have done half a dozen walks over 10 miles including two in excess of the 26 mile marathon distance. My longest so far was 33.75 miles across the Pennines from Penistone to Stockport in just under 9 hours. That seemed like a long distance but is only half of my final challenge.
“I decided that I wanted to do a walk for MacMillan Cancer Support. My wife and I have in the past done 10 mile walks around London for charity but I decided that I had to set myself a real challenge. I heard about the Isle of Wight Challenge via a friend of a friend and decided that 66 miles in one day was the target I had been looking for.”
“When my mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, my family were really grateful and impressed by the help that we received from MacMillan. Since then I have had other friends and relatives who have also been affected and MacMillan’s support remains steadfast. They have been the main charity that I have donated to since that time. After my mother’s death, my father arranged a collection at her funeral and later arranged an event to further raise funds for MacMillan. As a result, my brother and I arranged a collection at my father’s memorial service after he passed away.”
The Isle of Wight Challenge consists of a 106 km (around 66 miles) walk around the island. It can be done either in one go or in two parts over two days.
“I will be doing the one-day walk, starting on the Saturday morning and finishing some time on Sunday morning.
In order to meet this challenge, I will need to double the distance I have previously walked in one day, walk during the night, get used to carrying a backpack and pace myself as I currently tend to walk too quickly.
“In September or October, I am intending to walk the 66 mile distance of the Challenge during the course of two consecutive days.
During the winter I will continue to do the occasional 10-20 miles walks as well as regular 2-3 miles. During January I will introduce the backpack to my longer walks and as the event gets closer I will be following a more formal training routine.
To make things slightly harder, I will be on holiday over Easter next year, and get back only a week before the Challenge, so will have to work hard to keep myself going whilst away. Perhaps that is where my wife’s nagging could come in handy!
When the 29th of April comes, I hope to be confident of being able to complete the challenge, but won’t know for sure until after it is done.”
You can follow Keith’s journey by subscribing for free to Cameron Forecourt’s quarterly E-Zine Fuelling Matters. Just visit www.fuellingmatters.co.uk