So, we did it again! Yesterday we walked 24 miles around Edinburgh with the Kiltwalk raising money for the Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home - giving dogs (and cats!) like Missy a second chance to find their forever homes.But first, the 24 miles!
They had shaken things up this year and the route was reverse to last year, and two miles shorter, starting at Holyrood and finishing at Murrayfield.
The only complaint I had for the entire day was related to that: not the two miles, goodness no, the different start and stop points. We parked at Murrayfield and, whilst coaches were being provided to take people to Holyrood, no dogs were allowed on the coaches. I had realised that in advance, and so had to organise a taxi to pick us up and drop us off (big shout to Central Taxis for being dog friendly!). Whilst we could have got a tram, that would have meant adding a significant amount of walking to an already busy day. But as far as complaints go, it wasn't a big deal - the cab cost the same as the shuttle bus would have and we got there nice and easy, it just seemed an odd thing to do for a dog friendly event.
It was overall a better event than last year. Despite not training (again! I swear, next year if we decide to give this another go we will do some training) we kept up with the main bulk of the crowd, which really added to the atmosphere of the day. We bumped into lots of other dogs and discussed the different charities people were walking for. Some were well known large charities and some were smaller charities that we hadn't heard of - everyone agreed though that it was nice to have an event you could choose a charity for as it allowed a lot of the smaller ones to be seen.
|9 miles in and playing in Musselburgh|
The weather wasn't as kind as last year with a chill breeze and some showers, but we marched through it and, when the wind dropped and the sun came out, we were treated to a pleasant few miles to dry up and enjoy the view. As always, Missy was keen to make friends both on the walk and off it. We allowed her off the lead when it was safe to do so and she was off saying hello to other walkers and finding dogs to play with. I'd made her a little vest out of an EDCH t-shirt and it certainly made her stand out and be seen, although it turned out a little long, so I will need to trim it before the next event we do!
Meals were very similar to last year (soup for lunch, mac and cheese and a burger for dinner) but there was a lot more choice for snacks during the 24 miles. Some of the pit stops had dog biscuits too, which Missy appreciated, and there were plenty of dog bowls about offering water. With the help of Missys spectacular "cape", we were spotted by some of the EDCH volunteering team and got our photos taken for the website and Missy was much admired before we all set off again.We realised we had found pace setters fairly quickly in the walk - a group of bees always seemed to be a few people in front of us and a few dogs were generally always just behind us, and that really helped keep up going along.
As we reached the Blackhall pit stop, we realised we had a good chance of finishing the walk in 8 hours, taking more than an hour off of last years time. So, despite the hills (what an audacity of the local goegraphy, saving all the hills to the end!) we powered on through and made the last mile in 12 minutes. So, 24 miles in 7 hours, 57 minutes - got to admit, very pleased with that!
As expected, the hubby and I are a bit stiff and sore today, but all things considered we're doing very well. My arthritis was very manageable and today, barring one small blister, my feet are pretty ok. Missy spent her morning walk chasing squirrels, so obviously the paw balm and paw massage last night were all she needed!
We're talking about maybe doing the Aberdeen walk next year, for something different, so watch this space!