Cystic Fibrosis Trust organise an annual 1 mile bounce over the Humber Bridge from the north bank as a fundraiser. Unable to take part in 2011 due to the event clashing with the Paris Marathon, I was delighted to be asked to join in 2012 with around 60 others bouncing or supporting bouncers over the bridge.
Friend, Julie Donald (the one from many a marathon report) came along to support me – on her bike – think she underestimated the speed of bouncing. It was to make backwards running look fast. The event started at the car park on the north bank, where we assembled and headed up to the Bridge for the mass start. I’d pumped my space hopper up earlier with a car pump – but a child sized hopper was going to be a challenge. Some adults had brought their own hoppers – like the old 70’s look ones – and one chap had even been out practicing regularly!
I had underestimated what was before me. Off we went and I was struggling to get into the rhythm required to bounce let alone bounce for a whole mile. I seemed to bounce backwards a few times and we ground to halt swiftly as someone’s hopper popped 10 metres from the start! Julie took pictures and was amused by the hilarity of it all.
Once the grid lock cleared I quickly found that literally attempting to bounce the whole thing was a challenge and a half and many were taking a bounce/walk approach. I did become concerned as I neared the last of the bouncers, determined to bounce the whole thing. Arriving at the first tower I was feeling the second tower – the end line – seemed a lifetime away at the speed we were going – or lack of it! I caved in to the walk option in between bounces from here. I wouldn’t normally cave so easily but i was close to cramping/seizing up as a few times where I actually got into the bounce rhythm as well as finding that bouncing on a child’s hopper meant I had a lack of seating area.
Getting ready for the bounce
Another bouncer had the sense to bounce about 3 cable bases then rest. I more bounced a couple then walked a couple. Half way and over 20 minutes already! It didn’t get any faster either. Nearing the finish I realised how deflated my hopper was becoming – especially when I looked at pictures afterwards! I was even more demoralised at my efforts to find a ten year old CF sufferer had bounced the whole way – an incredible feat considering the impact this debilitating disease can have on CF sufferers’ lung capacity. I finally crossed the line after 45 minutes – Julie even having had a go at one point and agreeing how tough it was to go for long.
As I walked back across the bridge the hardcore bouncers were still on their way – bouncing it all with stops on the way for the breaks. A fantastic achievement. I may return in 2013 but with an adult hopper, some practice and hopefully no back injury from the gym the day before! However, sponsorship is still justified – if not because of me but for the 10 year old lad, Sam. It’s sufferers like him that this fundraising goes towards supporting.
Humber Bridge Bounce 2012
Lining up before the start - the many mad fools about to space hop over the bridge
With Julie after finishing
Finally the end is in sight!