Widewater and the glove compartment dog

Carl Walker
Carl Walker

I’m Dr Carl Walker and I am running the Brighton marathon for the fantastic Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice. In order to make as much money as possible for the hospice, the Herald have kindly agreed to share a regular column on my training which focuses on the work of the Hospice and my running encounters around our fantastic Worthing and Adur district. As part of this endeavour, I’ll ask some local people on each run to take photographs of me with the Sussex scenery and Chestnut Tree top as l do different routes around through our beautiful area. So, if you see a chubby man in orange coming toward you with a phone camera you’ll know what to expect. Many thanks for anything you can give.

Most people know the obvious about Widewater- that it is the stretch of lagoon that lies between the sea and the Brighton road as it veers out of Shoreham beach and toward Lancing and that it’s a man-made feature and is hidden from view by houses along the road

What people don’t know so much is the incredible variety of birds that visit the lagoon, which include herons, swans and other wildfowl. Now I’m not someone who knows much about birds. You could stick wings on a rabbit and tell me it was a rare form of big eared eagle and I’d probably believe you.

Anyway today wasn’t a warm summer evening. It was a cold Wednesday evening when I set off from my House in Worthing. I had got to the Lancing sailing club when I spotted what I thought might be my photographer for the day. My training photograph was kindly taken by Robert, a dog walker who originated from Worcestershire but has been down here since he retired. Although to be fair, taking my photo was the least that he could do since his dog chased me halfway from Lancing sailing club to Shoreham beach.

Having grown up on Shoreham beach I know this area well, and I always enjoy going back, even if I do have rat-sized dogs hanging on to my legs. However I’m faced with a choice when I get to the bridge that bisects Widewater a half mile or so from Shoreham beach. The choice is a seven mile run or a five mile run. I convinced myself that I had been sufficiently terrorised by the glove compartment dog as to warrant an early exit. The Church of the Good Shepherd would have to wait another day to witness my ungainly stride. Now of course such decisions do not endear my muscles and cardiovascular system to the rigours of the oncoming marathon but they do get me back to drinking a beer and watching Masterchef a bit quicker and the value of that can’t be underestimated on a cold evening. So I gave a final wave to Robert and headed back via the A259 to hear Monica and Gregg put some chefs through their paces.

So folks, the reason I’m running and the reason that The Herald have been kind enough to let me write this blog is to raise money for Chestnut Tree House and for the children and families that they help so much. If you can, please go to the link below and give whatever you can to this.