Richard Dunwoody said this afternoon he is feeling “rather spaced out” but that his 72-mile trial walk in 72 hours went “very well”.
The ex Champion jockey started his trial in Newmarket at noon on Sunday, finishing at 11am this morning. The walk was a preparation for his 1,000 Mile Challenge, which he will start on 29 May.
In the 1,000 Mile Challenge, Richard will walk 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours, tracing the footsteps of Captain Barclay who first walked 1,000 miles in Newmarket for a bet of 1,000 guineas.
“It’s been an interesting 72 hours,” he told Horse & Hound. “I did know it was going to be tough, but this has given me a true idea of what it’s going to be like.”
Proudly announcing he had no blisters after the trial, Richard walked each mile in about 13 to 15 minutes — and said walking at night took the longest.
“I was walking a mile either side of 1am, 3am and 5am — and at 3am there’s not a lot going on in Newmarket.”
As well as giving Richard some idea of what will be involved in the 1,000-mile walk, the trial also gave his support team a change to run through everything before the final event.
Officials walked with the former jockey up and down the Bury Road in Newmarket, volunteers manned the horse crossings, a nutritionist was on hand to help him eat enough carbohydrates and protein. The University of Ulster has been running regular psychometric tests, reaction, cognitive and bloods.
“It’s been pretty interesting — my reaction time dropped off quite sharply on Tuesday,” said Richard. “I didn’t sleep much the first night, two nights ago I got 3 or 4 hours’ sleep — last night I got five.”
He said he hadn’t had as much stick from the lads in Newmarket as he was expecting — particularly over an advert he did recently for Paddy Power.
“I was expecting to get a lot more ‘ride like the winds’ than I did,” he told H&H.
Richard Dunwoody will be walking the 1,000 Mile Challenge from 29 May to 10 July, in aid of Alzheimer’s Society, Racing Welfare, SPARKS and Spinal Research.
You can follow his progress on Twitter (www.twitter.com/richarddunwoody), Facebook (Richard Dunwoody-Challenge) and via the website www.dunwoody1000mile.com