On Sunday 31 March, fourteen months after starting the Raad Ny Foillan Anti-Clock Challenge we will be hiking the last leg, from the Big Bend on the Sloc to Port Erin.
Compared to our 2016 / 2017 Clock-Wise RNF circumnavigation when the weather was kind, the sun shone and the wind was on our backs, this time the island presented a different face.
Right from the first day, back in January 2018, we were challenged by the weather. The wind as we came down towards the Sound that day was so strong that some had to literally link arms to avoid being carried away, Mary Poppins style.
And Leg 2 a month later, from Port St Mary to Derbyhaven wasn’t a lot better. As were the full-in-your-face gales blasting across the beach on the Point of Ayre to Sartfield leg and during the next leg to Kirk Michael. And then there was the rain; heavy, driving, drenching stuff on the Ballaglass to Ramsey leg. Such that in August the team decided the duvet was definitely preferable to yet more of Manannan’s weather.
And we had to dodge the tides. In the 2016 / 2017 RNF Challenge when we hit the beach sections, it was like the Red Sea opening up – the tides just receded before us. But this time round, we had to change the order of some of the legs for our original planned schedule clashed with impassable high tides.
So started the various “catchup” legs, to fill in on missed or changed stretches.
But as my mother used to say – “these things are sent to try you” – the tough times were soon forgotten and the wonderful memories remain of the camaraderie, the new friends, the chats on along the trail – the craic! – the exhilarating exercise, the dogs on the beach, the lunches – ah yes, the fantastic lunches! – and the teamwork.
And of course, the great photographs by our inestimable Treasurer, Jennifer, who seems to have her camera permanently at hand. (And we won’t mention the stern trail-discipline lecture some of us received on reaching the lighthouse at the Point of Ayre!)
A recap of this series of walks wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention what a pleasure it has been to have Jae and Adrian who have travelled from Across for each of the fourteen legs, and Pam, now with a job off the island, who has come back since for the Kirk Michael leg and will again be with us for the final stretch.
All good things come to an end, and on 31 March 2019, our Anti-Clock Challenge will, too.
The logistics for the day:
- Start – the Big Bend, half way up the Sloc,
- Departure time – 10:00am
- Expected walking time – three hours?
- Lunch – we are booked at the Falcon’s Nest, in Port Erin
During lunch, those who have walked with us “every step of the way” will receive their highly sought after Certificates of Accomplishment and other exciting memorabilia to hang around the neck or to keep close for an evening dram.
If you didn’t walk each leg but would like to join us for lunch to celebrate with the victors, that’s absolutely fine, you will be very welcome. The more the merrier; just please just let me know; contact details are below.
The main point of the Raad Ny Foillan Challenge walks is they are fund-raising walks in aid of the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospice Care at Home Trust. All funds raised by the Trust go to Hospice Isle of Man to fund palliative care nurses who work with the terminally ill in their own homes on the Isle of Man.
This year walkers are asked to self-certify that they have walked and that they have paid for each leg of the RNF Anti-Clock Challenge. A form is attached. Please download it here. When complete, please email back to me.
You haven’t completed all the legs yet? Perhaps you have a few legs still to go for the RNF Anti-Clock Challenge and won’t be able to complete them before 31 March? I know a few who are determined to complete the Challenge but have maybe three or four legs still to do. Don’t despair. The Committee, wtmb, are agreeable to you completing the outstanding legs, settling the walking fees – of course – doing the self-certifying bit, whereupon Chairman Ron will be happy to present you with your prized Certificate of Accomplishment. He may even buy the drinks!
Just one more push! Now where have I heard that recently? We started the first Raad Ny Foillan Challenge in the summer of 2016 the night before the historic vote in the UK to leave the EU. We will be finishing the second RNF Challenge two days after the anticipated (now likely delayed?) departure. Like Brexit or loathe it, we can reflect that we will have walked twice round the Isle of Man during the time the politicos have been trying to sort it all out!
Whats next? We will be organising a series of walks up, through or down the Manx Glens. We will advertise in these Hospice at Home News blog pages, and importantly, on our Whats App group. If you aren’t a member of this group and wish to join us for future walks, please contact me, Jennifer or Ron with your telephone number or email address so we can add you to the list.
Thats it. Here’s hoping to see as many as possible for the glorious Last Leg of the Raad Ny Foillan Anti-Clock Challenge,
<JohnnyK at Manx.net> (purposely changed to prevent a million spam-bots joining the fun!), or ph 825721.