Bob’s Walk for Maggie’s Fife began today. FFP editor Allan Crow is taking part and blogging every night.
You can donate online: BobsWalk2015
There can surely be no finer setting to start a walk than in the shadow of the Kelpies.
They still sparkle on the most overcast of mornings, and looked down as Bob’s Walk began its longest walk yet to raise funds for Maggie’s Fife - 117-miles in nine days which will take the core walking team through three regions, over two bridges, and into two Maggie’s Centres.
Actually, make that 119 miles!
Day one’s schedule of the Kelpies to the canal basin in Linlithgow was marked down as 15.5 miles, but my trusty wee pedometer was showing 16.8 miles by the time I sought the refuge of a bench for a blissful seat!
And by the time I got home it showed 17 miles spot on.
The walk was fantastic and, once again, we were joined by friends and family, as well as guests Tu Edwards from Maggie’s Fife, and Paul Grant of Mackay Marmalades, who are our event partners.
Paul is doing the first two days which will take us from the Kelpies into the Kingdom, from where we wind our way round the coastal path, arriving in Dundee next Sunday.
There was a fab photo-call to get us on our way - huge thanks to all who came along and gave their support - and the location was a great place to raise awareness of Maggie’s with our fantastic banners. Oh, and the box of Caramel Logs and Mars Bars were greatly appreciated!
Once underway we made the short journey along the canal towards the Falkirk Wheel, another stunning sculpture in Bairns’ country.
We bumped into other charity fundraisers - they were on bikes, we were on foot - before heading up the hill to walk behind the giant, gently revolving wheel, and on to the Falkirk Tunnel.
It’s 700m long, dark and wet so head torches were donned as we made our way, single file, through the darkness, with only the occasional drip from the roof to catch us unaware.
Must admit it was a bit strange trying to gauge distance in the dark -more than once I could have sworn I was right behind someone, only to find they were a good ten feet or more ahead. Maybe it was down to having one eye on the water the other aside of the barrier. Didn’t really fancy an early dip!
We followed the canal path along to Polmont, enjoying the sight of the occasional fisherman or passing barge - it really is a fantastic walk, one worth taking in our foot or on bike.
Lunch was outside Tesco where we made good use of the grass verge running down the side of the building as the drizzle started to fall almost on schedule.
By now I’d claimed the prize for the first blister of the walk - four miles in and I got that ‘uh oh’ feeling and quickly delved into my rucksack for the fabled Compede plasters! - so it was sheer bliss to kick my trainers off for half an hour, even in the rain!
From there it was a straight route from Polmont to the Avon Viaduct and on to Linlithgow.
Once again the canal side threw up some surprises - delightful waterfront cottages and buildings, and the occasional canoeist out for a gentle paddle.
The drizzle continued for over an hour before easing off, and the final few miles were done under cloud, but the cool air was very welcome for all.
And the punnet of strawberries waiting for us back in the car were simply delicious ...
Sunday sees us return to the canal centre to begin Day 2 which takes in 13 miles, some of it on the roadside - so if you see us heading to the bridge (look out for the hi-viz jackets and Maggie’s Walk white t-shirts, give us a toot!
We’ll be walking along to Kirkliston and on to Tesco, South Queensferry where we plan to meet up with sponsors FMC Technologies from Dunfermline to welcome them on board.
After that it’s over the Forth Bridge to Inverkeithing Ferrytoll, for the start of our Fife journey.
>> Bob’s Walk is sponsored by Mackays Marmalade, FMC Technologies, ACA Sports, Shadow Blinds and Dundee & Fife Chiropractic Clinics.
>> Huge thanks to O’Connell’s, Kirkcaldy, and Morrisons’s Invertiel store for their generous donations.
>> You can donate online: BobsWalk2015