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Since November 2012, I've been spending as much of my weekends as possible training for a 192-mile walk across northern England, from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay, beginning on Sat 7th Sep and finishing on Thursday 19th Sep 13. I’ve chosen to raise money for Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire in memory of Paul Hayward, my partner John Hayward’s cousin, who died in 2011 aged only 44 years, leaving behind his wife, Crystal, his three young children, Jacob, Archie and Florence, and all of his family and friends.
Walking the C2C is a long-established personal ambition. I plan to stick to Alfred Wainwright's original route as much as possible as I walk from the Irish Sea to the North Sea alone, unaided and without the benefit of any rest days. I have allowed thirteen days for the walking, and will be spending twelve nights in various accommodations along the way at Ennerdale Bridge, Rosthwaite, Grasmere, Patterdale, Shap, Kirkby Stephen, Keld, Reeth, Richmond, Ingleby Cross, Clay Bank Top and Glaisdale. The day sections will range from 8 to 25 miles and will include a mixture of challenging mountains, ridge walks, coastal cliffs, hills, moors, fields, footpaths, tracks and roads. I will be using a baggage company to carry my luggage between the overnight stops, but I will be walking the entire route without the use of any vehicles myself. I will also be undertaking another personal challenge along the way, which is to keep the drinking to a minimum in order to focus on completing the walk successfully. I’m so confident that I will be able to achieve this that I have agreed to donate the same amount of money as I have spent on beer by the end of the walk to the charity.
The highlights of my training so far have been completing the Leeds Country Way in 5 stages, walking the Wakefield Way (so far in 4 stages), climbing Whernside in very deep snow, Ilkley Moor in the ice (with a hat!) and many other challenging walks in the Peak District, South Pennines and Yorkshire Dales. I am planning to complete the Lyke Wake Walk at the beginning of May, the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in June and Ben Nevis (which will be my third ascent of the mountain) in August. My partner John Hayward, and his son, Connor Hayward, have been supporting me with my training, completing many of the walks themselves, notably the 75-mile long Wakefield Way, which all three of us are working towards completing together.