- How did the idea of participating in an ultra walk first come about?
- Given the mental strength required in addition to the physicality of the event, did you have any special exercise for your mind to keep you going, even when you so badly wanted to stop!
- Lastly, any more walks, planned for the future?
There are inspirational stories all around us, and one such is from
Silverfitter Pete Davey. Pete was diagnosed with Leukemia in February 2014, and had to undergone intensive chemotherapy which concluded in September 2014. Pete recently completed an Ultra Challenge - just a year after he finished chemotherapy - a 100km walk from London to Cambridge.
Pete, a Mill Wall supporter, will be Silverfit's Nordic Walking
instructor at Silverfit sessions in Mill Wall FC scheduled to start in
I have always been involved in sport and been competitive, I was an endurance cyclist but in February 2014 I was diagnosed with Leukaemia and didn’t have the stamina to continue whilst undergoing chemotherapy so I used to walk to maintain some sort of fitness. My chemo finished in September 2014 and I suppose I pushed myself into regaining my fitness and looked for a challenge to prove to myself I ‘still had it’ so in March this year I saw the Ultra Challenge to walk 100km (62.2miles) from London to Cambridge, this appealed to me as a real Challenge and I signed up for it
2. You raised money for Bloodwise, is there any special reason why this was the charity of your choice?
Bloodwise was formerly Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, as I had been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Leukaemia (CLL) and received six months of chemotherapy, I received such good care and attention from Doctors, nurses and especially my key worker at the UCLH I felt it was only right as I was doing the challenge and it was in part a charitable event that I would try and raise money for Bloodwise. It was due to the support and generosity of so many friends, colleagues and acquaintances I raised over £1000 for which makes me so grateful to everyone who donated.
3. Given the walk would take over 20 hours, how did you prepare and how long did you have to train for in the preceding months?
Having been an endurance cyclist I had some idea how to gauge my fitness and my capabilities as my training regime progressed. I am a Nordic walking instructor and was walking about three miles per session back in March. I started to increase this with normal walking monitoring my distance and time, this increase was gradual as I was still feeling the after effects of the chemo and wanted to increase my stamina not regress it. I suppose my training started in earnest in April this is when I really started to increase my distances and was then walking up to forty miles per week, far short of the 62.2 miles I was going to walk in one day. By June I was walking thirty miles plus at a single training session and I was doing this twice a week plus my other short walks and Nordic walking but mid-June I sustained an injury to my foot diagnosed as Bursitis from over training. I consulted a sports Podiatrist who strapped and treated my foot as I thought this may put an end to my challenge but I was lucky as I had planned to start tapering my training from July in preparation for the challenge and the injury forced this upon me. I had by now estimated with the training and times I had achieved that I could try to complete the challenge in 22 hours but due to the injury I felt this may well lapse somewhat and that finishing may be a better target!
4. How did you manage your personal/professional/social life given the intensity of the training? How important was the support of friends and family in the lead up to the event, and during the event?
I had great support from friends who I walk with on short organised walks weekly with Age UK and Enfield council and from those Nordic walking, I was encouraged by the support and donations so generously given by these friends in the lead up to the event. Preparing and programming a training regime is important to keep focused whist maintaining a normal home life. Throughout my training my wife was very supportive although she was concerned the actual challenge was too much to take on so soon, less than twelve months after completing my chemo. She supported me on the day by putting progress reports on Facebook and many friends were replying to these and encouraging me on, but her support was unrivalled when she was there at the finish to great and welcome me.
Stopping never entered my mind, I was there for the challenge not only for myself but for all the people who so generously donated to my sponsors Leukaemia Research. I do meditate regularly and practice Tai Chi I find both help so much with mental strength, I am also a great believer in mind over matter and failure to finish was never an option. I believe also that physical fitness helps so much with mental strength. I have said that I was competitive in sport but I am lucky I have a great deal of determination and willpower to succeed in things I do.
6. What is your advice to others looking to take part in such endurance events? Any tips?
As I have said I was an endurance cyclist so was very aware of both the physical and mental strength that is required to take on such an Ultra Challenge, however, anyone looking to challenge themselves or others will need to train, and train seriously. I witnessed many competitors along the way struggling, some on hills, some on off road conditions. My advice is to look closely at the challenge, the terrain you will encounter, the elevations you’ll climb and do your homework, it’s no good training on flat terrain if you will encounter steep hills, similarly don’t train purely on roads if your challenge takes you off road. Don’t take on a challenge that you are not fully committed to complete, my challenge was hard, very hard but no less than I knew it would be, if you have any doubts don’t over commit go for a challenge that you feel you can complete.
7. You're a Silverfitter, would have any special advice to over 45s who might be apprehensive that fitness and events like ultra-walks,
marathons, etc are for youngsters only?
Many younger people I’ve heard say ‘I couldn’t walk 10 miles let alone 62.2 like you’ but you could, start training gently don’t push yourself too hard to begin with, do only what you feel comfortable with, the saying ‘no pain no gain’ is rubbish, if you get intense pain you lose interest, motivation, yes you will get some muscular pain if you are new to physical exercise, you’ll get out of breathe and tired especially if you are in a sedentary job but then relax the training. Nutrition is also important a good wholesome balanced diet helps with stamina, also get plenty of rest as your body will need to repair itself. It is important you stay motivated, recovery time is just as important as the training itself, programme your training, don’t set your targets too high, take advice from others who have done such challenges you want to do, try and get a training partner and have fun. I had not long completed chemotherapy when I signed up for this challenge and had to work on my fitness, my stamina, and mental state. It will take you time as I have experienced but if you have the willpower and determination you will do it, but don’t overdo it.
Yes, on the 20th of September I am walking the London Bridgathon, criss crossing the bridges over the Thames but that is more of a fun walk and only 20km. My passion is cycling so I may try a short event or two next year but I would also like to do another walk but that’s the future and at the moment I am still high on the adrenaline rush from this one.
Our last edition of the year 2015, and competitors and volunteers who weathered the wet and windy conditions were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow!
Please see the results and some pictures below.
|Race No.||Forename||Surname||Gender||Swim Time||Run Time||Total Time||Position|
A great evening in Hyde Park again despite tube strike and forecasted heavy rain - the sun was shining on us and the many enthusiastic participants & Silverfit team made it a wonderful event. A big thanks to The Gym Group Vauxhall for their support as well! Please see the results & some images below.
|Race No.||First Name||Surname||Gender||Swim||Run||TOTAL||POSITION|
|R 22||Anne||Bennett||Female||11.34||24.40||36.14||3RD RELAY|
|R 25||Rose||Baker||Female||7.05||20.58||28.03||1ST RELAY|
|R 37||Helen||Morgan-Rees||Female||NA||NA||34.52||2ND RELAY|
|R 39||Emily||Engel||Female||15.31||NA||Swim only 15.31|
Another great evening at the Serpentine in Hyde Park with our second Aquathlon of the season! The results are below. Thanks for your patience and we look forward to seeing you all at our third Aquathlon in August.
Thanks to our many lovely volunteers to help us make this wonderful event possible!
|NUMBER||NAME||M/F/RELAY||SWIM TIME||RUN TIME||FINISH TIME||WINNERS POSITON|
|4||Baiju & Anne McCubbins||R||12.18||24.86||37.04|
|7||Claudia Neira Torne||F||9.20||25.15||34.35|
|14||Gemma Phillips||F||9.53||22.50||32.03||3RD FEMALE|
|18||Erika Salazar||F||7.44||22.76||30.20||2ND FEMALE|
|23||Andrew Farrell||M||7.20||20.14||27.34||3RD MALE|
|33||Gareth Vickers||M||11.08||15.50||26.58||2ND MALE|
|38||Harriet Brettle||F||7.32||21.02||28.34||1ST FEMALE|
|39||Mel & Adam Madgin||R||8.48||23.78||32.26|
|41||Rose & Brett Baker||R||7.17||20.92||28.09||2ND RELAY|
|47||Patrice & Joakim Cohen||R||11.43||21.97||33.40|
|48||Tom Frost||M||7.20||18.15||25.35||1ST MALE|
|51||Ivor & Aoife McNamara||R||8.15||18.87||27.02||1ST RELAY|
|56||Oliver St John||M||14.17||25.98||40.15|
On Friday 26th, June 2015, Silverfit launched its newest addition to their Silver Days at Broomfield Park, Enfield. The event was attended by the local community of Palmers Green and several guests of honour including Steve Trew, one of the best known names in World Triathlon as a coach, race commentator, journalist and novelist. Other guests of honour included Jacqui Bainbridge, Head of Service from Christian Action Enfield.
To kick off the launch a welcome speech was given by Steve Trew. Steve, a local Enfield resident, said, “ I am delighted to be here today. We are in a new age of ageing; lives and expectations have changed massively and getting older now is a new beginning . There is a life beyond retirement and opportunities to enjoy new activities. It’s great that Silverfit offers a choice of activities. Keep moving and don't focus on activities you don't really enjoy doing. Just do whatever you do, and make sure you enjoy doing it then you are much more likely to continue in an active lifestyle. Keep Silverfit for life!”
Following the speech, guests were treated to a free class of Latin American Dance or Nordic Walking or a guided walk in Broomfield Park. In keeping with Silverfit’s belief of social interaction, guests were treated to tea, coffee and refreshments after the activities.
With the launch of Silver Fridays at Broomfield Park, the local community can now benefit from the Silverfit sessions, which are already being enjoyed in 7 other London locations. Every Friday participants will be able to choose from various activities, including Latin American Dance and Nordic Walking, to get fit under the guidance of fully qualified instructors. Not only will participants reap the benefits of physical activity but they can also enjoy the camaraderie of being with people at a similar level of fitness who are also neighbours in the area.
All images ©SusanneHakuba”Read