The Cure Parkinson's Trust (CPT) supporter Jon Selby (pictured above) along with two friends, recently took on the brilliant Cotswold Way Challenge. Walking from the historic Royal Crescent in Bath to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire the team covered the 100km distance with 2,000m of climb in just two days! Here is Jon’s fantastic story...

“I made it! A full 100km walk through the stunning Cotswold countryside raising money for CPT, a fantastic cause.

The Cotswold Way Challenge takes you from Bath to Cheltenham, winding its way through the leafy green countryside and small picturesque villages of the Cotswolds. Sounds idyllic right - but that’s 2500m of climbing over 100km in one go. I hadn’t appreciated quite how far 100km is when I signed up, but it's a long way. A really long way. Put in perspective, I pounded 140,000 steps into my Fitbit in 2 days.

Saturday started in glorious sunshine as I climbed out of Bath with two friends who had roped me into this deal. Before long the sun was to become our arch nemesis as it relentlessly bore down on us. Even finding a small breeze on the top of a hill felt like the waft from an oven door. A definite low moment was when I drained the last drop from my water bladder with 4km to the next refill. 

Towards the end of the afternoon we passed a house where a father and son were supporting us with buckets of cold water and a hosepipe. They deserve a medal - such a perfect way to cool off.

Reaching the mid-point at Wotton-Under-Edge around mid-evening we were treated to a fantastic spread of hot food. This was just one of the many stops which were so well stocked and provided medical assistance should you need it. With our stomachs fully fuelled, we headed off into the cool of the evening for what we knew would be the stretch with the toughest terrain. Despite the strenuous walking, the cool of the night and the stars in the inky black sky were a beautiful setting.

As morning dawned we dropped from Coaley peak into Stroud and this was where my friend Tom and I ‘bombed’. We totally ran out of energy and had to keep forcing down the flapjacks and skittles just to keep shuffling. A brief pause was had whilst I tended to Tom's blisters out of the boot of a passing friends car - surely a low point for both of us. No sooner had we headed off than our support friend reappeared from a local fast food chain with a couple of burgers. Oh joy of joys - both the kindness and the calories propelled us forwards into Painswick where more calories were taken on board.

Having something substantial inside you really makes you feel alive. That is until I dozed off, walking across a golf course. The momentary lapse startled me. I had to get moving. Packing a hit of glucose on top of the recently imbibed burger gave me the kick I needed and I covered the last 21km at a blistering pace.

This was certainly a tough challenge in ways I hadn’t imagined. But when the low points hit, it was the support of friends, the memory of my Nanna and the realisation that people who suffer with Parkinson’s do so every day, that spurred me on. It’s a privilege to have completed this for CPT and to be able to contribute a little towards the fantastic work they are doing.”

CPT would like to say a huge thank you to Jon and friends for their incredible support and brilliant fundraising efforts taking on this huge and exhausting challenge to raise awareness and funds for CPT.

To read more of Jon’s story or to support his fundraising please visit his fundraising page. If you feel inspired by Jon and would like to take on a hiking challenge in support of CPT take a look at our trekking challenges or contact Julia to discuss your fundraising ideas.