Anyway, what more fitting way could there possibly be to end a mountain rescue fundraiser than with a mountain rescue call out? Nothing to do with me, you understand, but it did involve a bit of speedy walking on my part, down some slippery paths and grassy bits, which I might not have managed with quite such ease had it not been for the previous two weeks' practice!!
Flashback to earlier in the week and a conversation with Secret Boyfriend (apologies to anyone not understanding the reference here – subscribe to Mountain Rescue magazine, turn to Diary of an Editor, and all will become clear!) regarding the forthcoming weekend. At the time, I was anticipating the two days' long slog across Yorkshire, and already feeling a little creaky from the accumulative effect of all the previous days.
'If you so much as mention going for walk on Sunday,' I said, 'I might have to punch you...'
'Oh dear,' came the reply.
But then something very strange happened. Despite the aches and pains of the first 175 or so miles, by day thirteen and our last 15 mile stretch, I found a new spring in my step. Demob happy or suddenly super-fit? You tell me. Whatever it was, the thought of waking up the next morning and NOT lacing up my boots seemed quite strange – exactly as Roger (one of our Scarborough team companions for the Saturday slog out of Grosmont and a seasoned Coast to Coaster himself) had predicted.
So Sunday morning dawned and, bizarrely, it was ME suggesting a walk!! And off we set for Loweswater. It's raining. The cloud is down. My kit is still filthy and damp and, by rights, should be twirling its way round the Hotpoint by now but I'm loving it. And not a creaky joint to be heard!
So we're half way round our planned route, packet of Mini Cheddars and Mars bar shared between us, rain dripping off the waterproofs, when off goes the phone. The team phone... uh oh...
And, before I know it, we're walking back at the speed of light to the car so SB can get to the call out. Conversation's out the window, what with me watching my every footstep (lest he has another casualty on his hands), and the radio chattering away. Oh, and me having to breathe.
As it happens, by the time we got to the car, he wasn't needed, so it was back home for soup and toast, but demonstration, if one were needed, of just how mountain rescue impacts on team members' lives. You never quite know when that pager's going to go off, what the incident might be, or how long it might take out of your day. But there's one thing for sure: when it DOES go off – so does HE!