2 hours and ten minutes, that’s all it took our intrepid team of athletes comprising our PGM, Deputy and Assistant PGMs and the Provincial Wardens to complete their 7 mile circuit of the Royal Parks and Palaces on Saturday.
It was of course the result of months of training in which muscle and sinew had been honed in a fitness schedule designed to reach a peak of excellence on the day. So dedicated was Prov Grand Junior Warden Kev Reaney that he took to his bed the afternoon before to conserve energy, and didn’t emerge until the day of the walk itself.
A cool morning with a leaden sky greeted the day as all the walkers gathered at Mark Masons Hall resplendent in hi-vis vests, and with supplies of bottled water and fruit. The Pro Grand Master sent the teams off with the knowledge that the total raised from sponsorship then stood at an amazing £321,000.
The Provincial Teams each left Mark Masons Hall in alphabetical order at 2 minute intervals to be guided along the way by a stalwart gang of cheery marshals.
There followed seven gruelling miles of glorious parkland, lakes, fountains, palaces, memorials, and a lot of tourists who looked at bit flummoxed to see this band of mature yellow-vested blokes meandering through the parks. Many stopped them to ask what they were doing and sent them on their way with a cheery wave, and shouts of ‘well done’. No doubt there will be many holiday snaps of these mad Englishmen (and a Scot), that will find their way home to the USA, Japan and Australia.
And then it was all over, the last stretch down the Mall and then a welcoming party lining the steps at Mark Mason’s Hall to applaud each and every participant back home. A job well done.
Of course there is always a danger of delayed dehydration setting in after such exertion; sensibly our band of walkers immediately set about taking on liquid in various hostelries in the Capital – better safe than sorry !
Special thanks to Trevor Parvin for his excellent arrangements and support for the team, and a huge thank you to the brethren of our Province for supporting our team with Sponsorship totalling almost £9000 !
Report by WBro Roger Fielding ProvGSW