It is only four days to go until Mr Coleman embarks on his walk from RHS to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham and nearly everything is prepared:
I have all the maps ready, a blister repair kit (although none so far in training), two funky pairs of walking trousers, loads of T-shirts thanks to Doug Frame (modelled by my tutees who are joining me on the first leg), B&Bs booked, groovy new boots that I think I’ve managed to break in just in time, and, most importantly, some awfully uncomfortable, unattractive compression stockings to try to prevent my leg going a strange orangey-red colour due to some persistent blood clots.
I’m a bit nervous. My longest practice was a 26-mile walk from Stowmarket back to school in half-term via the Gipping. It’s a beautiful walk for anyone who fancies it, but mind out for the bull roaming the path near Needham Market. My shortest full day once I get underway will be about 32 miles, as I follow the Stour to the Haverhill area. In fact, the training has opened my eyes to what a gorgeous part of the world we live in. I’ve stumbled across paths on the peninsula and along the Orwell and Stour I’ve never seen before.
Huge thanks must go to everyone in the school community who has pledged money to the Patient Welfare Fund. Parents, staff, pupils, friends and family have been extremely generous, and we look set to break the £2,000 target at https://www.justgiving.com/dancolemanrhs/
Thanks too (or the blame) must go to Brigadier Beaton for being the inspiration behind it and a hugely supportive force since, and Clive Rennison, whose support and organisational skills have more than made up for my deficiencies in this area.
Mr Coleman plans to get to Birmingham on 4July at around 4pm but this is just a rough estimate. Follow this blog to find out how he is getting on. If you would like to make a donation to the RCMD Patient Welfare Fund, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/dancolemanrhs/