Walk the Wall challengers return!

Hadrians Wall challenger Alan  Weston

A stroke survivor from Cottered completed a challenge to walk the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall in a week to raise £5,000 for Carers in Hertfordshire.

Alan Weston, 62, together with four other men, finished his 84-mile long coast to coast trek from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria  to Wallsend on Tyneside on Saturday 14 June. 

Alan set himself the challenge as a testimony to the power of recovery and to give something back to those caring for loved ones after he was nursed back to health by his family after suffering a stroke aged just 47 in 1999.

Thanks to Alan's daily blogs we have been charting his progress, which has touched the hearts of many across the county. So who better to have the last word on this modern-day pilgrim's progress for carers than Alan himself!

Here in his final blog, Alan tells us of how the final day found them: 

"Saturday dawn with us in the Hadrians Way Guest House at Heddon-on-the-Wall with the last 15 miles going through the heart of Newcastle to complete the challenge. The morning started with an early breakfast for just after 7am as we aimed to complete the walk by 4-5pm to allow for catching the train home at 7pm"
"A dull drizzle hung across the Tyne Valley as we ventured forward for one last time. Richard who had struggled with a knee injury complete with leg brace, pain killers and a borrowed hiking stick joined us. Andy had 7 blisters, mainly on one foot, John had a painfull instep and I had the knowledge that on both preceding days my Achilles Tendon had swollen and became painful from about the 11 mile walk ... David wanted to know what the fuss was all about, well we needed encouragement. We began with a motivational thought for the day ... would it be enough"
"We set off through woods and sheltered paths working our way down to the banks of the Tyne and made good time over the first 4 miles deciding not to stop at what proved the only open coffee stop before we reached the Gateshead Millennium Bridge some 10 miles from our start! By now every step hurt but we were again the "Not so Famous Five" and were within sight of , albeit a distant sight of the finish. Half an hour later having found some coffee and eaten a packed lunch we set off ... our pace was interesting and had little semblance of our starting enthusiasm, The sky had brightened and there was no wind to cool the humidity...On we went tracing the official path. On the long majestic Tyne past stag parties and fisher men looking at these middle-aged hikers in their their travel stained and dusty gear weighted down by day packs  pretending they were athletic!"
Hadrians Wall walk"Well that last 5 miles took all we had and more but finally as we neared Walls End we were greeted by other walkers setting out with encouraging comments that it was only another 20 minutes, We rallied and for the next hour plodded dejectedly through paths that seemed to still want to go up and down until at last Segedunum and the former Swan Hunter ship yard came in sight ... separated from the path by a long chain link fence!"
"So near yet so far and within minutes we made it to the end. Challenge complete! Now for the real pain...could we get our boots off! Thank you all who have supported our walk, thank you those that have followed it and most of all thank you to those who have sponsored me to walk for Carers in Hertfordshire."
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Alan Weston

Listen to Alan talking about his Walk the Wall Challenge on BBC3CR. CEO Sue Reeve is also interviewed about her time in office and her legacy as she steps down after 19 years. 


Photo show Alan Weston, left, with fellow walkers David Gibson, from Ware, and Andy Karn, from Cottered. The other walkers not pictured are John Lee and Richard Swartz. More photos are on Facebook.


You can also listen to Alan being interviewed about his challenge on BOB FM.



Sue Reeve interview on BBC3CR

Alan interview snippets on Bob FM

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