27 January 2016 by Benedict Southworth
Yesterday I walked a few miles with Jo Brand on her Sport Relief Hell of a Walk. It was fascinating to see the support crew, her trainer and two TV crews filming her every move. Wandering lonely as a cloud she is not!
All along the route people were waving to her, shouting good luck and giving donations. As we approached Hadfield, Jo became the pied piper to a group of schoolchildren and mums with buggies.
Ramblers’ members from Manchester and from our affiliate group in Glossop met her after she’d spent a windswept morning coming across the Pennines from Sheffield.
What I saw was bravery, someone battling through the obvious pain and fatigue. I also saw someone whose ability to cut through that pain to make contact with people was hugely impressive. Of course, she is a professional, but in my personal experience there comes a point on a long distance walk when you just want to get your head down and crack on. She was head up and cracking jokes.
In doing the Hell of a Walk I hope Jo acts as an inspiration for others, not just to raise money, but to use walking as their way of getting fit. She is due to arrive in Liverpool this Thursday.
If you get the bug and want to walk with people to keep up your good intentions, we support short health walks of up to an hour in England and Wales. Our members organise short walks of between an hour and two hours all year round.
Not all of us would start by walking a 150 miles into the prevailing wind in January, surrounded by media and waving to well-wishers the entire way. So my bobble hat goes off to Jo.
We have helped Sport Relief with our expertise to create a pack for raising money by walking a mile.
PS: I also bumped into the Glossop Mountain Rescue Team who do great work helping people who get lost in that part of the Peak District. I was able to thank them for they work. I also promised I’d let people know that they are holding a recruitment drive in February. http://www.gmrt.org.uk