Latest News

Canalathon – Completed It!

After months of planning the day was suddenly here and myself and 12 other walkers headed off from Tollerton Lane, Gamston, along the tranquil Grantham Canal to our destination of Woolsthorpe, 26.2 miles away in the Vale of Belvoir.

The day got underway with clear skies and a gentle breeze. We got off to a romping start and after 8.26 miles, arrived at the first pit stop 30 minutes earlier than expected. This is going to be piece of cake I thought, whilst devouring several pieces of Mary’s delicious Victoria Sponge. After refueling we were soon off again, destination Dove Cottage Tea Room, Stathern at the 17 mile mark.

As we continued on our route an unexpected sight appeared in the sky…the sun was coming out! This turned out to be the biggest challenge of the day with many of us not expecting the weather to be so warm. Luckily Greenfields team members had been given a Toolbox Talk on Sun Safety Awareness on Friday so we knew what to do! Slip, Slop, Slap (slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat!). More training needed for me though as I’d forgotten my hat, so big thanks to Issy for forcing me to take hers! We ambled along, dodged the swans protecting their cygnets (Did you know a swan can break your arm?) and arrived at the second pit stop as if we’d walked for 3 days in the Sahara and wondering what we’d signed up for!

Lunch was eaten, water bottles refilled and more cakes munched. As we rested the Red Arrows flew overhead, always a spectacular sight! We were especially grateful for the juicy oranges kindly donated by AMFRESH. Several family and friends stopped by to lend some moral support and re-enforcements arrived!! Greenfields staff members Rob and Ross turned up with fresh legs and energy to give us the motivation we needed for the final push!

The forward group had decided this was a sprint not a marathon so off they went in a cloud of dust! Rumour has it they decided to run the last mile but as I was 30 minutes behind I can neither confirm nor deny! What is confirmed though, is that despite only having to follow a canal, Ross got lost and somehow ended up on the old railway, adding to his mileage! The remaining Greenfields group sung and boogied along at a slower pace to the sound of Robs’ portable speaker and I have to give him a big shout out here, as his energy and encouragement was just what we needed for the final 9 mile slog to the finish.

As we neared the final stretch, blisters popping, the tree canopy closed over our heads bringing much needed respite from the sun. Then finally we saw it, in the distance… a yellow tabarded figure on the hump back bridge ahead… we knew we had made it! As we approached the smell of BBQ and cheers from the Grantham Canal Society Depot carried us the final steps…

26.77 miles in total completed!

Shoes and socks came off, burger and beer in hand we slumped in our chairs aching but contented.

So many people made this such a special day but a word of thanks to as many as I can.

John, who has been an absolute delight to liaise with whilst organising the walk, it’s been great to share over email our love of walking in the local countryside.

Mary, who’s baking skills are second to none.

Jane and the rest of the caravan crew who set up at both pit stops and keep us well fed but especially watered as it was very much appreciated in the unexpected heat!

All of the Grantham Canal Society members who made me feel so welcome when I attended their events meeting to discuss logistics for the day.

Also special shout outs to Angie, who amazed all us young’uns at Greenfields with her pure determination and Shelly who could barely move at the beginning of the week with a back injury, but completed the whole walk without a word of complaint.

And finally, a massive thanks to YOU…

Everyone who donated and made this whole endeavor worthwhile. To date we have raised over £1500 which will go directly to the Grantham Canal Society and help fund their restoration of Lock 13. After spending the day along this beautiful waterway I can understand what a special project this is. The people of the surrounding areas are very lucky to have such a dedicated team preserving this outdoor space for use over many, many more years.

I promise I’m getting to the end… Which I can’t put into much better words than those our Director Russ already has, so I’ll just quote him here, “58,490 steps (nearly 27 miles) yesterday with the most amazing people I could ever wish to complete a challenge with. Thank you everyone at Greenfields Countryside Limited and The Grantham Canal Society.”

So that leaves me with one final question…   Anyone for the Yorkshire 3 peaks next year!?


Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest Greenfields News.

Greenfields Countryside Limited