The final weekend of the 2020/21 season was finally upon us and that meant the final weekend of my 10 month long journey. The 1st walk was back on the 2nd of August and after it, I realised I had underestimated the size of the challenge ahead. Fast forward 10 months and it’s nearly complete. I wouldn’t have been able to get here without all of the people who have encouraged and supported me. I have been blown away by the generosity of so many especially given the impact of the pandemic and words can’t express my gratitude to you all.
It had been over a month since Walk 18 but since then Gordon McHugh, Sheila Thomson and myself completed 26 miles of the Kiltwalk. We were also joined along the way by Charlie Cronin, John Gunn and Brian Haughey Snr, with the guys each completing around 11 miles of the walk. It was a great day and in total over £33k was raised.
Throughout the season I had hoped all previous walkers could complete the final walk together. Sadly, with ongoing COVID restrictions this wasn’t possible and there would be an 8 person limit. Both days saw a full capacity of 8, there were a few making their first appearance and several already familiar with the walk.
For Walk 19, I was joined by
Hospice Trustee Lady Susan Haughey
Hospice Chief Executive Gordon McHugh
Hospice Ambassador Brian Haughey Snr
and Mike Branagan
We completed the walk in 2 hour 43 minutes and all agreed it felt much faster due to the great company and the laughs we had along the way. As you can see from the pictures, Hope, the Hospice Mascot was at Celtic Park cheering us on. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of this team as they were so supportive and raised so much collectively in sponsorship.
Walk 20, the final walk, was arranged for the following day with the 8 walkers been made up by
and ‘The Two Gary’s’
The Two Gary’s are Gary Morton (husband to be of Christine) and Gary Smith (husband of Sarah). Thankfully both ladies brought far less drama the previous day on their walk.
I’m sure they won’t mind me sharing a story from the day about how this double act ended up together. Since the walks have started several walkers have left one car at Celtic Park and arranged a lift to the Hospice. This means when the walk was completed there was transport available and the person who’s car was at the Hospice had a lift back to their car. I was impressed when Gary and Gary teamed up and had already planned this.
The group all met at the Hospice and after a few pictures set off as normal.
Half a mile in……. Gary number 1, Gary Smith reveals his car key, which is required as his car is at Celtic Park, is still in Gary M’s car. Both Gary’s decide to run back to the car and promised to catch up. The group adjusted the pace to ensure the boys could restore the group back to 8 as quickly as possible. However as 5…10…15 minutes past we started to worry, I called the guys to ensure all was ok.
Step forward Gary number 2, Gary Morton.
Gary has travelled all over the UK with his job but for some reason headed towards Eaglesham instead of Peel Park at the first roundabout the boys came to. In short, the total opposite direction. After a few expletives and a further 10 minutes the guys finally caught up with the group.
The incident will stick with the guys for a long time but it did provide plenty of laughs along the 2 hours and 31 minutes of walking.
Although the walks to Paradise are now over, I still plan to walk to the Andy Cameron Golf Day at Cathkin Braes on the 27th of August. Anyone golfing that day is welcome to join.
The JustGiving page will be left open for a few more weeks whilst we pull the final numbers together so if anyone would like to donate please do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-haughey .
I will provide one final blog in the coming weeks hopefully with a final total raised and with a breakdown of some of the headline numbers from all the walks.
Thanks again and stay safe