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RAF Museum 101 Walk: Day 1

After a very successful day - not without pain and some chafing, Nick Sanders talks to Paul Hudson-Knight Head of Marketing of the Royal Air Force Museum about his and Robin Southwell's first day as part of their RAF Museum 101 Walk.

NS: The day started early for both Robin and I, with both of us arriving at RAF Cranwell at about 8.00 am, with Maggie Appleton CEO of the Museum and Barry Smith one of the Museum's Directors. Both of us had enjoyed a good night's sleep, but I do have to admit that I was slightly apprehensive about walking 23 miles in a single day - which was something that I had never done before. 

Nick and Robin at RAF Cranwell with the Commandent Cranwell. Air Commodore Peter Squires



We had a great send off from Cranwell with Commandant Cranwell, Air Commodore Peter Squires taking time from his hectic schedule to assist with a short press call and photographs. Then we were off at 8.20am, with our support team in tow.

Thankfully, the weather was just on the right side of warm for us. After a mile and a half we picked up the pace and it was then that we made an amazing discovery. In our respective roles for the Museum, we have all visited Lincolnshire and Cranwell on a regular basis. Usually, we either come up by train or drive. So the beauty of the Lincolnshire countryside is not something that we had really considered before. However, making our away along various country paths it was clear that spring had truly sprung.

We were able to maintain a good pace throughout the morning and covered 14 miles in total, accompanied by both Maggie and Barry. 

Robin and Alan, outside of the Gates of RAF Cranwell


Our first mistake was stopping for a pub lunch. After 30 minutes of relaxation we suddenly realised how stiff we were, and it took us about a mile before the group were able to get back up to speed. That said as we crossed from Lincolnshire into Nottinghamshire the pace slowed. This challenge, despite all the training is going to be really tough!
 
Other highlights of the day included passing through Cotgrave, which was captivating-  and we were incredibly lucky with the weather, given that downpours were forecast for the afternoon. Our exertions finished at 4.45pm when we reached the entrance to Whatton Prison!
  
All of us have ended the day in pain. This is the first time that any of us have walked 23 miles in a day and even a long hot soak in the bath hasn't really helped with aches and pains, particularly in my lower back. Hopefully a couple of pints tonight before bed will help! 



Also, there has been quite a bit of chafing taking place, so tomorrow, the intent is for both Robin and I to wear looser fitting and cooler clothing. Other than that the only other minor discomfort has been a bit of cramp during the course of the afternoon. Hopefully this won't slow us down tomorrow, as our next leg to Castle Donnington is 24.5 miles - so another marathon in another day! 

Before, I sign off, I would like to thank everyone for the support that they have given us to date. It really helps with our morale to know that so many people are routing for us. Tomorrow will be an early start, and I think that after today it will be starting with plenty of stretching to loosen up those muscles that have tightened up over night!' 


If you would like to learn more about Nick and Robin's 101 Challenge and how to support them, please visit: RAF Museum 101 Walk.
 

Paul Hudson-Knight, Head of Marketing
About the Author

Paul Hudson-Knight, Head of Marketing

Paul Hudson-Knight joined the Royal Air Force Museum as Head of Marketing in early 2008, having previously worked in event organisation & commercial radio. He first visited the RAF Museum in London in 1982 and fell in love with it then. His intention is to introduce the Museum to a new generation of young men and women so that they may be as passionate about it as he is.

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