Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Leeds Beckett 6 week walking challenge.

3 million, 144 thousand, 916 steps – that’s how many steps the CLT team did who took part in the University’s step challenge in 2015 (this equates to 1,572 miles). The team comprised myself (team captain), Becky Sellers, Georgi Sinclair, Kate Hoban and Lyn Edwards and our only goal at the start of the six week challenge (to walk to equivalent of going from Lands End to John O’Groats) was not to be last!! At that stage we didn’t know the fitness levels of the other teams, nor how much we were able to do ourselves.

In the six weeks of the challenge we found ourselves going on as many of the additional walks arranged by the Wellbeing team that we could manage, in addition to going out ourselves on the other lunchtimes. I also put on some historical walks around York (it got me out walking on a Sunday when I might otherwise have spent it hunched over the computer writing!).

Kate walked a massive 170,000 steps while at Download Festival and Lyn clocked up some impressive daily totals nearing 30,000 steps dashing about Headingley campus taking photos during the DEAP Learning and Teaching conference. Meanwhile, Georgi and Becky got out and about in Portugal and Cambridge respectively, adding more steps to their totals. I didn’t go anywhere specific, but each week I aimed to raise my total and achieved 200,000 steps in my last week. We all did more walking going to and from our offices each day, but also ended up doing things like jogging on the spot waiting for the kettle to boil, pacing up and down while adverts were on!

It was a great challenge to take part in – particularly doing it in a team as you felt you had to keep up your individual steps for the sake of the others in the team. It was also terrific fun to see where you were on the interactive map each week after the Wellbeing team plotted your weekly steps.

First week we were in the vicinity of Andover, Hampshire and surprised to find ourselves in 11th position – that was unexpected and delightful. Week two found us skirting Sheffield (although we dropped back to 14th position – probably from sitting back on our laurels!). Then onto Scotland and just short of Dunbar – at that stage we were up to 12th. The fourth week we were just 20 miles short of John O’Groats and about 10th position. The question was what should we do in the last week knowing we had reached our goal? Upon checking we discovered we were in 9th position and that spurred us on, determined to remain in the top ten. That was our best ever week when several of us managed to beat our own record of daily steps as we all made a final spurt to the end of the six weeks.

And the result ……… we came in 4th! Admittedly many teams got to John O’Groats before we did and then stopped the initial goal being to get to JoG, but our personal goal was to do as many steps in the six weeks as we could. I was so proud of the effort the team put in.

Are we exhausted? Yes!

Has it made us want to get out and do more walking? Definitely. I, for one, will be doing more lunchtime walks instead of sitting at my desk, although I am relieved not to pace up and down the kitchen each evening!

Deb Chapman, CLT

PS In case you are wondering why we called ourselves ‘1,000 Walking Cranes’ – the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats is approximately 1,000 miles and we had an origami session at an awayday where we made cranes. If you make 1,000 cranes it is good luck….. J