Alicia Bagshaw, 23, and Holly Scurr, 37, set off on their Boxing Day quest around the Guild Wheel, to Garstang and back on the A6, through Broughton, Woodplumpton, Fulwood, finishing outside the RSPCA in Preston where staff, friends and family waited to congratulate them on their achievement. The trek has helped raise vital funds for the RSPCA Preston branch to help provide food and blankets for the dogs and cats. Both women, who are animal lovers and own dogs, decided on a walk after learning of the hardships the animal shelter faces especially in the run up to Christmas. The idea came about when they were on a spontaneous 10km walk around Preston, first discussing walking the Guild Wheel, which would take approximately around eight hours which then grew to walking a marathon. Within an hour the women had set up a GoFundMe page for 24 hours of non-stop walking.
Alicia and Holly who both work at BAE Systems in Warton as an engineer and project manager respectively, trained four days a week at the gym mixing yoga, weights and HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training) alongside evening and weekend walks to ready them for their mission. However, this did not prevent blisters and sore legs and feet.
Alicia said: "We set off on the 26th December at 8.36am – a day earlier than planned due to weather conditions. I had been ill all Christmas Day and had a temperature and Holly had just recovered from being ill for a few weeks – so we weren’t at our peak physical ability. We walked through every weather condition possible. Later into the walk the hail started hitting our legs which felt so painful. We relied on our motivation and determination to pull us through to the finish line, with the support of our friends and family.
"We rang the McDonalds on the Capital Centre at Preston and spoke to a lady called Jo, who donated us each a meal and a drink. Holly's husband Mark then met us at McDonalds and brought her some trainers and socks as her trainers got wet in the rain. Both Holly and my family were always a call away and met us along the route with supplies and joggers as we had underestimated the cold."
Breaks were kept to a minimum and the longest pitstop was 30 minutes at a time due. To keep them warm, Alicia's mother Karen provided the women with Starbucks drinks on Preston Docks and banana bread for the last part of the Guild Wheel.
Alicia added: "For me, the A6 was the hardest part, the hours seemed to go really slowly and we were both starting to feel the pain in our legs. I had really bad pain at the back of my legs behind my knees and Holly had really bad pains in her thighs. Hour 15 was the hardest and it seemed to take a lifetime to get to the 20 hour mark.
"We would like to thank everyone who has donated to our walk including our family and friends for their support over the 24 hours. We will be purchasing the items on the Preston RSPCAs wish list from Barkers in Garstang and hand delivering them in the New Year.
"We both can't walk and slept most of the next day but we are starting to feel slightly better. We managed to do 57.38 miles which equated to 115,703–119,756 steps and 4,379 – 6,175 calories burnt. We both agree that it was one of the hardest challenges we have undertaken but it is also one of the best things we have done! I personally cant explain how proud I am of us both. I would potentially do it again with more training and planning (and better weather) – Holly said she never wants to do it again and will sponsor me instead. I haven’t thought of any New Years Resolutions but I am sure I will come up with another challenge and bring Holly along in the venture reluctantly!"