Epic trek pushes port plodders to the limit

A PLUCKY band of ‘plodders’ from Shoreham Port have told of their elation after completing a gruelling 40-mile trek for charity.

Tuesday, 28th July 2015, 2:56 pm
Katie Orchin and Joe MacAllister, in the white, pictured with one of the plod helpers SUS-150728-143218001

Last week, Katie Orchin and Joe MacAllister, from Lancing, Piran Armes, from Southwick, and Luke Walker, from Worthing, tackled the South Downs Plod, raising more than £1,100 for the Horsham-based charity Action Medical Research for Children.

However, it was anything but a gentle stroll through the park for the intrepid team.

They were forced to trek, practically non-stop, for almost 14 hours, with only a slight break every six or so miles.

Katie, 27, who lives with her partner Joe, in Penhill Road, Lancing, said: “It was incredibly challenging. I don’t think you realise just how tough it will be.

“I will never forget the sight of seeing so many head torches lighting up the South Downs Way as we started our journey.”

Katie said the team had been training hard to prepare themselves for the challenge.

Over a weekend, Katie said she would trek almost a marathon – about 21 miles – just to get ready.

“Training is incredibly tricky to fit in,” she added. “It doesn’t sound very much but even that trek takes about seven or eight hours.

“So finding the time to train was hard. I did find doing half the distance mentally prepared me for how hard the real thing would be.”

The plod covered a stretch of the South Downs Way, from Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton, to Beachy Head, in Eastbourne. All the action began at midnight, with scores of people wearing high-vis jackets and armed with head torches.

It saw the Port Plodders tackling the daunting Seven Sisters before eventually crossing the finishing line in an impressive time of 13 hours and 45 minutes.

Katie, who was the captain of the port squad, added: “It was a real relief to cross the finishing line. We were elated and really exhausted.

“When we saw the finish line that’s when our bodies realised how tired we were.

“The plod was a gruelling and amazing experience.

“I will never forget the sight of seeing so many head torches lighting up the South Downs Way as we started our journey.”

The team raised £1,100 but expect this figure to rise with late donations. Katie thanked all those that had supported them. She added anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at www.action.org.uk/sponsor/portplodders

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