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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

2007 and 2008; and bad news in the 2009 draw

In 2007 I experienced a bout of very poor health - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or ME as it used to be called) - and was signed off work for a considerable period. I hoped to be well enough to take part in the 2008 Challenge. My entry was successful, and I submitted by FAR my most ambitious route to date, being a reworking of my original 2000 route with several additional big hills thrown in for good measure. My route vetter said it was going to be tough - but achievable.

Then in January I had a relapse, and I had to take a very difficult decision. If I were to hope for a recovery only to find, come April, that I wasn't going to be well enough to take part then it would be unlikely that anyone from the standby list could make all the necessary arrangements to take part at such short notice. On the other hand, were I to withdraw in January, then somebody from the standby list would most certainly be able to make use of my place.

There was only one responsible option. So, with a heavy heart, I picked up the 'phone and told Roger that I would not be taking part in the 2008 Challenge after all.

Another year passed, and by Autumn 2008 I was feeling well enough to be able to hope that I could take part in the 2009 Challenge. So my entry went in ... the draw for places was made ... and I was told that I was number 60 on the standby list.

This seemed pretty hopeless, but you never know ... and as luck woudl have it, and to my very great surprise, some time towards the end of March Roger said it was beginning to look hopeful, and early in April I learned that I would indeed be walking across Scotland in May. This year, however, they had introduced a quota for the most popular start points (of which Oban is one) and these had long since been filled. So I couldn't just pull out my 2008 route and use that. I was going to need to plan a whole new route. (Goody goody! What fun ...)

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