In order to commence our school’s annual charity week, consisting of fundraising for 4 chosen charities, my peers and I participated in an overnight walk from Brighton Pier to Redhill. The walk was approximately 36 miles long, and took a total of 18 hours to complete, spanning from Sunday afternoon to the early Monday morning.

The walk began on a rather difficult note as inconvenient traffic delays meant the majority of us arrived at the pier slightly later than expected. This late start, accompanied by inconvenient rainfall and a grey sky, may’ve slightly dampened the mood of the group, who had been excitedly anticipating and preparing for the walk for weeks. Nevertheless, we set off in our fluorescent vests, and successfully reached the forest path within a couple hours.

The forest paths would continue for a large portion of the walk, we would come to find. Whilst initially, trekking through the mud seemed somewhat manageable (if you had chosen to wear a reliable pair of walking shoes, that is), the mud seemed to get deeper, sludgier and more slippery as the walk progressed. Much to our dismay, it was also inescapable on our specific route - the only solution being to walk over it fast enough so that your shoes wouldn’t sink in too deep, rendering you paralysed in the bottomless sludge.

Following a brief dinner break at Mcdonalds, we were back on path and feeling optimistic. However, as nighttime fell, we were once again trekking through what felt like endless miles of mud at times, worsened by the fact the dark made it increasingly tricky to see the path ahead - all that was visible was the mud in front and behind us.

Yet impressively, our group persisted (not without a couple falls into the mud), and within the early hours of the morning, the path started to improve as it became mostly flat pavements. This improvement to the route however, coincided with the intense emergence of foot and joint pain, and continuing the walk, albeit on a flatter path, became increasingly more difficult and painful. For some, this pain understandably proved to be too much to endure, and a few people chose to go home early for a well earned rest.

However, those who remained for the agonising final hours of the walk would slowly start to arrive back in Redhill. Finally being able to recognise our surroundings again, and realising how far we had journeyed, felt both relieving and rewarding. This feeling of accomplishment was furthered by the fact that our hard efforts on the tiresome walk had paid off, and we had raised an impressive amount of money for charity.

Overall, despite the difficulties of the walk and the intense foot pain which would subsequently follow the next few days, I would say my limp was worth it knowing I’d made a great contribution to charities. I hope everyone who participated on this walk is proud of themselves for their efforts and fundraising.