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Preparing for the Ordeal

In the month of June, 1904, spec1al training was commenced.

My garden work at home claimed my attention as usual, for Nature will brook no delay, nor await the convenience of any one.

Honestly, the training walks were anything but enjoyable, as a rule. Although I knew that the 150 to 200 miles which I walked every week was none too much, I felt I was wasting my time largely when walking. I knew that this outlook was foolish; but I could not bring myself into any other frame of mind. The greatest puzzle to me during my period of training was Geo. H. Allen.

The drudgery of training was such that I had to write down each Sunday my daily walking distances for the following week; and these lists were adhered to rigidly. I was learning what it meant to conquer the body. Heat or storm, rain or shine, in suitable or unsuitable weather, I kept myself at it. The consequence was that by the time the starting day came round, I was in superb physical condition, such as I had never previously enjoyed.

On Saturday, August 27th, I arrived in Penzance, in readiness for the start on the fallowing Monday, full of confidence; but in my most enthusiastic moments (and I have many) no idea of beating the record by 7 ½ days ever entered my head.

A quiet Saturday evening, and a walk of 10 miles along with my cycling attendant on Sunday morning, brought us to Land's End ready for the morrow.

Sunday was passed quietly away, then we both retired to rest shortly after 9 p.m.

As I lay in bed the flashes from the Longships Lighthouse, 1 ¼ miles distant, could be distinctly seen. Once the headlights of a northward bound vessel came into my line of view, as it rounded Land's End.

I lay a thinking for some time, wondering what the next three weeks had in store for me. Eventually I sank into a dreamless sleep, to awake at 3.30 a.m. the following morning.

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