Wednesday 9 October 2019

14. My Kilimanjaro Training - 6 Months in - The Final Lap, Thank You and Next Stop Tanzania!

Howdy folks!

The end is here! my training blog for Kilimanjaro has finally come to an end after 6 months after a whopping 77 gyms sessions, 16 training walks covering over 150 miles of adventures around the South East and one week hiking in the fells of the Lake District - I think that's enough training!

I have not been back to Africa for 12 years now after spending five months living in Ghana volunteering on a tennis project in 2007 and decided to sign up for the experience one year ago, feeling like a year was a long time to mentally prepare for Kili and 6 months to get myself physically ready to take it on. I'm now writing my final blog from my preparations which has pretty much consumed my life and given me a test of real discipline and a positive focus through 2019. I have encountered so many kind people along the way, in the gym, out up high in the distant mountains of the Lake District and along my many training hikes with their words of encouragement and support of my cause for M.E sufferers which has affected more people than you would think.

Its been a long road and its finally over!, but now visa, vaccines, training, Pack For A Purpose donations from WHSMITH and braids done I'm all ready to make my return to Africa!

But again, the biggest journey is yet to come....

Final Weeks....

So here's the low down on the last pieces of news from the final leg of my training journey taking on the local media of South West London...

107.8 Radio Jackie - The Sound of South West London

Yesterday I went down to the radio station in Tolworth to talk to the news team about my climb and to raise awareness of Action For M.E and the work they do to help sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - you'll be able to catch soundbites of my interview on Sunday 13th October during the hourly news feeds.

Tune in Sunday if you can! 

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The Sutton and Croydon Guardian have also been kind enough to publish my Kili challenge in an online article you can read here!

Gym Training Over! 

On Monday I finished my last and 77th session at what really had become my second home since April at my local The Gym Group, Sutton who's friendly staff and community of members have been so kindly generous with their knowledge and support throughout the journey of my training (and loyal membership ha!) helping me promote my climb. I've been going easy on my last couple of weeks in the gym trying to repair my muscles and aching body and thank the staff for all their help and teaching me how to box! (you never know what you might encounter on the wilds of Kilimanjaro?? haha!)   

also got a fair few protein bars too for free!

Last Training Walk

Over the last few weeks I visited my what I have called my 'third home' local hill training ground Box Hill in the Surrey Hills as my last training walk, having hiked up and around the hill 6 times over 6 months. I realised I had been training so long when the ponies I would see on the hike were getting bigger each time I saw them!

I finished my 'boot time' adventures by following the 16km around Boxhill to neighbouring Dorking and called it a day from the Surrey Hills.

The final lap...

Final view from Salomons Point - and my well worn boots...

Blister kit, knee straps, layers, layers, layers : mock packing my 92 litre duffle bag - not as easy as you think! So much to think about for an expedition....I actually went and picked up an extra pair of Craghopper ladies hiking pants to take with me, courtesy of a sale in Ultimate Outdoors.

As of June 2019, Tanzania has enforced a ban on single-use plastic bags in a bid to tackle Africa's plastic pollution problem. It's amazing when you think about what you stored in plastic when you travelled as they now will only allow plastic 'ziploc' bags for liquids in hand luggage - or so I believe!    

Thank you so much to you all who have supported and followed my adventures of my Kilimanjaro build up over the last 6 months. Sure went quick didn't it! I have been awed by your belief and donations that have poured in my final week with a grand total going to 'Action For M.E' of......drum...roll....


My sister and I can't thank you all enough for your kindness and generosity with the thousands of other people you are helping who's lives have been robbed by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

So tomorrow I will be flying to Tanzania to begin the challenge I've been training hard for all year. Seems pretty surreal.....nervous and exciting too, its going to be the toughest, painful thing I will ever attempt. I hope it will be a great adventure and all be worth it!

Image result for it's not the destination but the journey that matters

And whatever is to come, I'll give it my best shot and see what happens, that's all you can do right?

Want to follow my adventure? 

You can follow our journey on Kilimanjaro at Kandoo Adventures Facebook page who will be posting daily updates of our climb from 13th October - do check in to see how we're doing!

Ashante Sa and wish me luck!

Thank you for the training ground stop Tanzania!

Or just sheer craziness! 

Training Walk Distance Total  (6 months) : 241km + (150 miles +)


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