Thursday will see nine TGO Challengers head for the hills for the 16th Annual PreWalkDaunder.
Typically, the Daunder takes place a couple of weeks before the Great Outdoors Challenge and is made up of Challengers in need of a bit of an airing, to get a little bit fitter (or perhaps a lot fitter, in my particular case) and to make sure all their kit is up to scratch prior to the main event. That way, if anything is found to be wanting then there is still time to change the set-up.
When organised properly it takes on all the obstacles to be found on a Challenge:
- Raging Torrents
- Raging Thirsts
- Steep up-hilly bits
- Steep down-hilly bits
In typical Challenge fashion, we have had years when the Daunder has suffered from wall to wall sunshine. We have endured freezing nights, huddled together like penguins for warmth in the piercing cold to share the flasks. There has been whole Daunders when the rain did not stop. But Daunderers are selected with care. No wimps on the Daunder. No bottling out on a Daunder.
This year, special mention must be made of our tenth, the missing Daunderer; Rich, who cannot be with us as he is currently stranded by the Icelandic Volcano, having to slum it in some swanky hotel in Uganda. He is slowly drinking his way through the cocktail menu and will miss his trip enormously. We shall raise our glasses to him on Thursday night.
And probably Friday and Saturday night too. And Sunday lunchtime. It is a true rehearsal for the Challenge, all said and done...