Charles Jardine, the founder and director of the Fishing for Schools initiative, undertakes his greatest challenge yet on 7/8th April – the #WessexWaterChallenge. This 24-hour event will see 65-year-old Charles fish for trout at three Wessex Water Reservoirs and run the 60 miles between them, all in the space of a day. You can sponsor him here

There are now less than five weeks until Charles Jardine undertakes the Wessex Water Challenge, so let’s find out how his training is progressing.

Charles says: “I had a really hard-core weekend! On Friday morning I went out with my old friends at Downton Running Club for 5K of intervals, sprints and other gruelling stuff. Then it was off to Tucking Mill at Monkton Combe, Somerset, where children from our South West Fishing for Schools programme were holding a sponsored fishing competition for the #WessexWaterChallenge.

It was a lovely session with 12 children from Three Ways Community Special School in Bath who really enjoyed their fishing and managed to raise around £100 for the cause – a fantastic effort! Another class from the same school will be doing the same in a couple of weeks’ time.

On Saturday I joined a small running group led by Tim Harris of the Bournemouth University sports department. Tim had us running around 5 miles along the Bournemouth seafront in the cold and the rain – involving steps and the Branksome Chines – deep narrow ravines cut into the cliff face. It was brutal but really toughens you up!

I gave a talk to one of the oldest and most prestigious fishing clubs in the country on Sunday – the Piscatorials in Salisbury. Also on the bill were Jack Perks a cameraman and presenter whose work has appeared on Countryfile and Winterwatch and my old friend the photographer Don Stezaker .

And with the Wessex Water Challenge so close now there are no days off, so I ran around 4k over the hills around my home on Sunday night.

I visited the South Eastern Fishing for Schools team on Monday and Tuesday, so had a run around their home ground – the Lenwade Pike Club Lake.

Then tomorrow (Wednesday) I ‘m off to the gym in Downton for circuit training and out with Downton Running Club again in the evening.

I need to aclimatise myself to running in the dark – there’s going to an awful lot of that during the challenge, as I shall be making my way from Hawkridge Reservoir, near Spaxton, to Sutton Bingham overnight. That’s about 46 miles and I am determined I shall not be using any sort of wheeled transport. I have been offered the use of a horse if it all gets too much for me – but seeing as I’ve never even sat on a horse before I’m not sure that would be such a good idea!

Anyway, until next week, yours aye


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