Ready to Roll
Monday 9th February 2015 @ 09:53 by Becky Cahill
News
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Two adventurers from Denton are planning to skate across the Netherlands. Intrepid duo Emma Timmis and Emily Pitts are teaming up for the unusual challenge of skating across the country from Overdinkel to beyond Amsterdam.
Emma is the remarkable woman, who in 2011, became the first female to run the length of the Freedom Trail in South Africa.
She featured in the Tameside Reporter last summer, just before she set off to run across Africa – for a second time!
Speaking about her African adventure, Emma said: “The highlight of Africa was definitely the wildlife because I’m a big animal fan.
“I used to work for the RSPCA so seeing all the different wildlife was just incredible. I saw elephants, plus giraffes and warthogs every day in the morning.”
Now Emma is back in the UK and has  teamed up with her good friend Emily to start another extraordinary challenge.
Emma, 30, said: “As far as I am aware, nobody has done or attempted this before. I have no idea where the concept came from.
“Between us we have no experience of skating, or of the Netherlands, but I have no doubt that we can accomplish this.”
Emma met Emily through rock climbing.
Emily, 36, juggles a few jobs (sometimes four or five at a time) and has a 13-year-old daughter.  In her spare time she climbs and she also runs a climbing website (www.womenclimb.co.uk). She also makes art (www.emilypitts.com).
Emily explained: “Were planning to skate from the east side of the Netherlands to the west, just past Amsterdam, all the way to the coast.
“The journey is about 120 miles. We plan to do about 15 miles a day, although we’re only just learning to skate.
“I went to a roller disco last year so I know I can stand up on skates!  We have friends at the Manchester Roller Derby (MRD) and we spoke to them a little while ago about different aspects of the skate, what might be difficult and whether the distance we want to do is achievable. We’ve also spoken to
people about gear and equipment.
“When we were thinking about it, we wanted to do something fun together as friends and because Emma has run across Africa, we thought about going across a country.
“We had some criteria. We wanted somewhere flat, with good roads and somewhere not too far so the Netherlands ticked all the boxes.
“Being low cost was really important as well. We wanted to show people that you can go somewhere and do something really unusual on a budget.”
Emma added: “We have one person coming with us as a support team and we’re all driving together so hopefully they’ll be able to carry the tent in the car and then we can just pitch up the tent somewhere.
“We’re also looking at using couch surfers and seeing if anyone will put us up for the night.
Emily said: “I’m using contacts – anyone I know from school, or who I’ve met in my life who lives in the Netherlands.”
Emma said: “We are trying to get sponsorship in terms of the equipment we need. We have been advised it would be good to have good quality skates.
“Obviously you could get cheap skates off eBay but I think for the distance we’re covering it would be nice if we could get skate companies to sponsor us with some equipment.”
Emily added: “We think in total for all of us and for everything, it will cost us about £1,000. And we will be there for a fortnight, so we’ve allowed two days for travel each side, eight days and then two days spare in case anything goes wrong.”
Emma and Emily are expecting the daily 15 mile skate to take around two or three hours.
They are set to leave the UK on May 20.
Emily said: “Obviously we need to do some training and hopefully our training will tell us whether this is realistic and then we will go and do it.
Emma added: “We’re going to start training as soon as possible. We are going to try and raise around £500 towards a tree planting project.”
Emily said: “Our Dutch adventure is all about doing something we haven’t done for many years on a very tight budget and meeting new people along the way.
“You don’t have to be a millionaire to do an adventurous thing, and sometimes it’s better having to create a project on a shoestring, because you’re forced to be inventive and resourceful.  You meet all sorts of people too.
“Everyone should go and have an adventure. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!”
For more information and to keep up to date with Emma and Emily, visit www.thegreateskate.com