When my friend Aashi died suddenly of a heart attack earlier this year, I really wanted to do something to stop this happening to other people.
I have done a few walks before, so I thought I would try something even longer to fundraise for CRY. I decided to walk 26 miles – a marathon – along the Essex Way, which is near where I live.
My mum helped me organise it and we decided to start 26 miles into the Essex Way and walk back to the beginning, at Epping station.
On the day, we got up really early to make the most of the daylight and drove to the start just before 7am. My mum and I set off, and my dad, with my brother Alexander, came to meet up about 10 miles in to refuel us.
We felt pretty fit at that stage and had walked really fast.
The day then started getting quite hot, and it became much harder and slower. On the way, we met two women who looked at our CRY t-shirts and asked if we were walking for charity.
When we explained what we were doing, they found a five pound note in their rucksack and donated it to our cause We also kept ourselves going working out some riddles my mum’s friend sent us.
We were late for our next meeting with my dad and Alexander, but we still knew we had a lot of time so it didn’t matter. We rested with them and then set off for the last 7.5 miles. After the rest, we felt better, and the day was getting cooler.
It was about 6pm as we reached Epping Forest and there was a long walk through the wood. The last 15 minutes or so were in fields and roads up hill and we were going very, very slowly by that stage!
We reached the station and had to climb over steps to get to the plaque that announces the beginning of the Essex Way, and we didn’t enjoy the stairs!
We were very tired but very proud to have gone so far and raised over £1,500 in the process.