A VET from Garstang has completed a gruelling “megahike”, covering 50 miles and a 7,000 feet of ascent on the Pennine Way and Pennine bridleway in just 19 hours to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Danny Callery, a veterinary surgeon from Lanes Vet Group, took on the challenge along with practice manager Janet Dell and her daughter, Kirsty, raising £3,600 for the children’s charity MedEquip4Kids.
Danny said: “I was 49 and at least a stone overweight and Kirsty and her friends were in their thirties and rather slimmer.
“To get fit for the training walks, I set about doing as much walking in the Lake District as possible – this was a wise move. The first training walk was on the ‘megahike’ route and about 15 miles –I could hardly keep up.
“Over the next few weeks the group went on weekly training walks, which got increasingly lengthy and tiring before the actual ‘megahike’ day arrived on a very wet day after torrential rain overnight.
“We started at 4.30am in the morning and by 5.30am some teams were asking the organisers if they planned to abandon the event!
“By lunchtime we had walked 25 miles with sodden feet – well sodden everything really.
“Our support crew tended to our blistered feet, dried out what they could of our gear and were generally fantastic.
“Increasingly as we progressed we saw some sorry sights, with people with huge blisters or wrecked knees being pulled out by the ambulance crews – mountain rescue were also on site.
“The last four miles I was hallucinating and thought I could see rats running along the verge – the rats were hallucinating, too, and thought they could see an old man with shorts and luminous white legs about to finish this walk!’’
The group finished at midnight and were greeted by the support team and champagne and strawberries. Danny’s team finished seventh out of 46 teams entered.
Already a tent set up by the medical team was treating the feet of arriving teams, with one person actually suffering from trenchfoot.
The last team to finish arrived seven hours later and 16 teams did not manage to finish.
l Anyone wanting to make a donation in support oif the efforts of Danny and his team can still do so by logging on to www.justgiving.com/theurbanramblers.