Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TGO Challenge 2011: Waiting, waiting, waiting

On Monday morning I found myself up very early watching Twitter and being more drawn in than I usually am. The reason was simple: people in the United Kingdom were getting their letters informing them of their acceptance into the 2011 TGO Challenge. Colin Ibbotson (@tramplite on Twitter) was going further and checking if people he knew were on the list and passing out the sad news that some of us were not.I must admit to a much deeper sense of sadness that I did not get in. I was, perhaps unreasonably, surprised that I did not. Perhaps I had fallen into a mistaken belief, an Internet fostered legend perhaps, that applicants outside of the UK pretty much always got in. I hope that belief was mistaken because I'd hate to ponder the alternative.

What surprised me was the depth of my sadness as I learned with increasing certainty that I had not made the cut. I was reconciled to the fact when I received confirmation that I was on the waiting list, number 20, from Roger Smith later in the day. It is remarkable I felt quite so strongly when you consider the amount of effort one has to put out, even if you live near the Scottish Highlands, to take part in the TGO Challenge. I don't think I have formed the deep ties that many other Challengers have formed, seemingly quite quickly in some cases, so I don't have a real good reason why I felt the way I did. I suppose the community feeling the Challenge engenders is stronger than I already knew.

I will still create a route for 2011 and hope that within the next couple of months I manage to creep up the waiting list into the select lucky few that will take part in the Challenge next year. It's not as if I would have made any reservations for plane flights or hotels right now so having to wait is not going to be horrible at least if it only lasts until early next year.

-- Post From My iPad


John Manning said...

Hi Ken,

Sorry to hear you didn't make the first draw but have hope - the waiting list usually whittles down somewhat so I'd say there's a reasonable changce you'll be over here. Not walking myself this time around but hope we'll both be able to be in Montrose for the dinner - me by train you, hopefully on foot!

TeacherPatti said...

Ken, I'm sorry you didn't make the first cut. Can you plan something really cool locally during that same time??

Kenneth Knight said...

Patti, I might be able to come up with something interesting but it would almost certainly lack the community experience. The closest you could probably get would be to spend time on either the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails where hiking communities do definitely form as people attempt their through hikes or long section hikes. Even that isn't quite the same as it is a defined trail (though not an easy trail in either case) you are walking.

I've plenty of time to move up the list so we will see what happens.