Come rain or shine …

At a wonderful wedding last weekend, you could almost feel the electricity in the air – the crackling feeling of happiness!baby after bath #11

Have you ever had that ‘tingling’ feeling, when the anticipation of something so exciting is almost too much for you?

It’s the feeling you get in the run up to your child being born or the day you passed your driving test and suddenly you had freedom in the form of a key in your hand!!

That’s what it feels like talking to Tourists the night before the Oblivion Tour kicks off.

Every conversation, every Facebook message, every tweet is laced with a palpable sense of expectation.

Admittedly, this is tinged with some considerable amount of anxiety as we have come to understand the challenge of the Northern Ireland hills, but perhaps that’s why the excitement is so great.Start Commonwealth

You don’t have to watch very much of the Commonwealth Games to have seen the same emotions written on athletes faces – the training is done – now it’s the challenge!

Don’t get me wrong – in no way can we compare our little Oblivion Tour to what professional athletes take on, or to getting married, or to childbirth.

But these 14 people supported by our fantastic crew have battled injury and ill-health, fought to improve fitness and struggled to extend their stamina – each Tourist is taking on their own personal challenge.

But they won’t be doing it on  their own. The ethos of the Tour is all about doing this together (no-one gets left to trudge along on their own) and as well as the Tourists all helping each other, and the support we have had from family and friends, colleagues and sponsors – we are also getting great support and encouragement from many other different sources:

We’ve had offers of help from Ballynahinch Lions Club and Portrush Lifeboat Station. We’ve had great encouragement from Fellows Bicycle Co, McConvey Bikes, Belfast Thread and Northern Ireland Greenways and a number of others.

We’ve had great help from the hotels in Northern Ireland, the Canal Court in Newry, The Belmore in Enniskillen, The Bayview in Portballintrae and Jury’s Inn in Belfast.

But most of all, the support from Belfast County Council has been outstanding – especially Tommy, Lesley, Sandra and John. And it goes without saying that we are very much looking forward to meeting the Lord Mayor of Belfast.

The next few days will be a great test of commitment and endurance, especially if the weather continues to turn sour for us – 13,900 feet of climbing looks even more daunting in the rain!!

It feels great that £6,500 has already been received for Breast Cancer Care and the other charities we’re supporting.

The waiting is almost over  – Now it’s time to get going – see you tomorrow!!

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