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Southern 50 Hike 2018 Bedswsj Team

Date: 11th Feb 2018 Author: Gerald Law

Our weekend started Friday evening at Ross Park with fish and chips, only the best from west way! We had a lift on one of the recovery mini busses courtesy of Jack Cornell and his Dad, many thanks for that! We arrived slightly early so a game of Uno did tide us over into check in time. All checked in we made our way to our sleeping areas for the night. It was a tight fit but we were better off then the people sleeping in the hallway I suppose.

After a bit of sleep we were up at 6 am Saturday morning. Time for us to clear away our bits and have breakfast all before our kit inspection. Unfortunately we had forgotten our team first aid kit. Minimal requirements were a few plasters and 3 triangular bandages in a waterproof case. In go the plasters and 3 of our unit scarfs into a plastic bag which did suffice. We set off at 8:28, which was our time slot.
We made good pace from checkpoint 1 through to 4 and we were set for a 7-8 hour finish. As we walked the 30k route we split here from the 50k and 50 mike walkers, all the way to checkpoint 14. This was roughly half way and we had been going for about 3 and a half hours. Upon reaching checkpoint 14 we were fed fish finger sandwiches. We also took the time to plot he rest of the checkpoints. A slight mishap with maps left us sat there for about 20 minutes, obviously not a good thing to be doing but needed to be done. After working out what was going on we set off, initially at a slower pace but ground and time was made up. We took one slight wrong turn but managed to get ourselves back on route.

We eventually found our way to checkpoint 16 (if I remember correctly) where we stayed for a quick break, but by the time we left darkness had set upon us. We managed to find our way well enough through that, unfortunately at a slower pace due to the days weather, which left us trudging through pretty consistent mud. Checkpoint 17 was a quick one, checked in and gone again (with jelly babies). That was home stretch back. We made it back with the final countdown (it seemed the perfect the opportunity) playing as we approached the school.

The rest of that evening was spent relaxing in our area, which was slightly different to the previous nights as we had moved one along and this one had a working light. It was a case of wash and changing before dinner. I also saw a post on the southern 50 Facebook group for one of the media team members of the uk contingent for the jamboree about having a quick chat. That ‘quick chat’ turned into an interview, which I was no going to do at first after being mistaken for one of the adults! We have been told will be posted on the uk Contingent page.
Sunday was the wind down day where everything was cleared out and put away followed by the presentation. This is where we got presented our certificates. The man struggled to pronounce Bedswsj, understandably of course! Got thorough the enter part well enough of course (we assume that was just a slight mistake when we signed up). We also took more from the weekend then pride and certificates, several pints of milk and a loaf of bread believe it or not! We were not allowed to leave before taking some of the left over food and drink!

The final time was 11 hours and 5 minutes. Not the best time but considering the situations we had to overcome the team did incredibly well to overcome the situation, it would of been so easy to take the quick way out and make the call which would of seen us picked up.
Believe it or not an 80’s playlist powered us through the day and kept us going (courtesy of Devran and Emily). The time was not what we were going for but with everything put together (weather navigation issues etc..) everyone did brilliant.

Hopefully in a years time you will see a similar post but telling you we got in under 8 or 9 hours.
Many thanks to every volunteer at the event, it was thoroughly enjoyed and we hope to see you again next year!
Please do take part people, it is an extremely well run event and is a massive achievement. Don’t be put off by the distances!
A massive well done to our team and everyone who took part!
Article by Stephen Avis (Griffin Explorer Scout and member of the Bedfordshire World Scout Jamboree 2019 Team)

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls