Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

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keibat
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Real Name: Keith Battarbee (BaB 1955-Xmas 1962)

Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by keibat » Tue May 28, 2013 12:51 pm

Dear fellow Old Blues,
WALKING THE TRANSPENNINE CHALLENGE FOR CR MIRFIELD
Image
Across the last weekend in June, Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 June (Midsummer Weekend for the Nordics), I’ll be facing the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever tried: walking from Manchester to Sheffield, over the top of the Pennines (over Woodhead): 100 km in one go (60 miles for the non-metric). This is the TransPennine Challenge, a fund-raising event for charities: see:
http://www.transpenninechallenge.com/index.php
Any money that my sponsors contribute will go to the Community of the Resurrection (CR) Centenary Appeal at Mirfield. I’m supporting the CR Appeal because I’m a Companion (a supporter and friend) of the Community, which I first visited half a century ago. Their own website is here: http://www.mirfieldcommunity.org.uk/index.php
A couple of years ago, the monastery’s church had to be closed for major renovation when the heating and lighting systems broke down, and it has now been radically revamped as a more open space – a stunning interior (see the picture). But they still need to carry out major renovations or newbuild for their residential quarters, which are increasingly no longer fit for purpose.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m originally from East Yorkshire; school at CH, university at Jesus College Cambridge; taught for three years in Germany, and have then lived and worked in Finland for 40 years, teaching English and North American Studies at the University of Turku. I retired from teaching in 2012, and my wife Ruth and I are based in Manchester for the current academic year. I’m also training to be a Reader in the Church of England; so - to respond to a parallel older thread here on the Forum – here is one Old Blue who does go to church :-)
The TransPennine Challenge starts in Didsbury, in southern Manchester, and makes its way up the valley parallel to the A628 over Woodhead Pass, then descending down the Don valley to Penistone and via Rotherham to the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield: a measured 100 km. The total ascent over the itinerary is 1040 m. So it’s a long way, and there’s quite a lot of uphill legwork involved.
I’m training for this by doing gradually longer day hikes along the canal towpaths of Greater Manchester and the Pennines, and upland hikes in the Peak District.
If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so in one of two ways:
(1):
using a credit or debit card, you can make a donation through my JustGiving page:
https://www.justgiving.com/Mirfield-Appeal
or (2):
within the UK, you can donate from your phone, texting “GORE92 £N” to 70070, where £N = your chosen amount, e.g. £2, or £5, or £25 …
(GORE92 refers to Charles Gore, who founded CR in 1892).
Whichever method you choose, ALL the money donated will be passed on entirely to the CR Centenary Appeal.

CR and I will be very grateful for your support!
Keith Battarbee
(Prep A 1954) Barnes B 1955 - Christmas 1962
Last edited by keibat on Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mvgrogan
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Re: Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by mvgrogan » Fri May 31, 2013 6:35 pm

Post the picture, Keith... the one of you in your walking gear!
Maria Vatanen nee Grogan 6's (6:12) 81-85 BaB (BaB48) 85-87

keibat
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Real Name: Keith Battarbee (BaB 1955-Xmas 1962)

Re: Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by keibat » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:43 pm

by popular(?) demand, the photo is in place

michael scuffil
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Re: Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:15 am

What Keith doesn't mention is that in his youth he seriously toyed (can you 'seriously toy'? I don't know) with the idea of joining this (or maybe a different) monastic community, a circumstance I alluded to in a speech I made at one of his weddings, as, had he implemented the plan, it would have put something of a damper on the proceedings. But maybe the kilt is a kind of subconscious nostalgia for the monkish habit which was, so to speak, cut short.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Eruresto
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Re: Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by Eruresto » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:36 pm

Hope you enjoyed the walk! I have a deep affection for CR, and recently had an open day there. The church - upper church in particular - is gorgeous.
Joshua Bell: PeA 2002-2008, GrW 2008-9

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mvgrogan
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Re: Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by mvgrogan » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:48 pm

This is an extract of an email I received this from Keith last weekend, in fact the same day we met up for a beer at the medieval market, here in Turku!

Here, after a week’s delay, is a report on my TransPennine Challenge walk from Manchester to Sheffield across Midsummer weekend, 22-23 June.

Well, I made it to the Finish. Not a great time (total inclusive of all stops approx 29:45; we haven't been sent our official times, which may discount the time spent at the 50km midpoint, where we were scanned both in and out separately). Actual total time on the trail was something around 26 hours. But the time was never the (main) point anyway; completion was!
Day 1, 50 or more precisely 55 km, went very well. I took half-hour breaks at every rest station (distances varied) and some short breaks inbetween as well, with a few stretches and brief snack. The first 25 km was the cruellest – I'd expected the high Pennines stretch to be the worst, which is why I'd already done that as a training walk, but actually the foothills around Hyde were gruelling, with multiple steep ascents and then one very very long, uneven, and muddy, descent.

But at the end of the first day, I was comfortably maintaining a pace around 6 km/h I would reckon, and felt fit and in balance.

From there on, it became much harder. I coped badly with the hours of darkness, which was also when we had the worst of the rain (otherwise, most of the time it just spat at us, and apart from covering my backpack, I was able to ignore it); I got really, really tired, so at one point, hunkered down behind a bus shelter and went to sleep for 20 minutes; and at the small-hours rest station, gave up altogether on walking in darkness, and took an hour's sleep in a tent.
But all that 2nd day, I just didn't have the stamina. My natural walking pace reasserted itself insistently, so I would walk briskly for a bit and then have to rest; I ended up leapfrogging with other walkers doing a much slower pace. And by late morning, my hip joints were beginning to seriously complain. So the last 10 k went in little spurts, and coming down the steps to the Finish line, each step was a painful effort.

I went to the massage station at the Finish, and they worked on the walnut that had appeared in my left thigh muscles and in general on a lot of tension in the legs – surprise, surprise! And then spent the rest of the day Recuperating.
Many thanks are also due to Ruth for constant support, and to our physiotherapist Gerry, without whose advice and stretches I don't think I would have been able to do it.

All in all, I'm very glad I did the Challenge – you feel really sorry for those who had to drop out: I heard of one walker whose knee gave up, and saw quite a few whose blisters were just more than they could cope with, and one who was taken down with bad diarrhoea – she was taken off to hospital. On the other hand, I saw a couple of walkers who were not much more than hobbling along, in serious discomfort, who nevertheless hobbled right to the end.
....
I won't do 100k again, but might do another 50k sometime. Oh, and I have raised and exceeded my funding target – and donations are continuing to come in! This morning (Saturday 29.6.) I went for my first, gentle walk since the Challenge: just up the river and back here in Turku, about half an hour. But I’m looking forward to doing some more hikes on the Pennines when we get back to England.

Love to all, Keith


YES, he has survived to tell the tale!
Maria Vatanen nee Grogan 6's (6:12) 81-85 BaB (BaB48) 85-87

Fjgrogan
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Re: Walking the TransPennine Challenge for CR Mirfield

Post by Fjgrogan » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:08 am

Well done, Keith. It shames me to realise that you and I are of a similar age and I am struggling to get to the local bus stop. Must be something to do with all that fresh Finnish air over the years!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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