Three years ago both Marc (my son) and Steve took part in the Ghurkha challenge , a 100km run in a day over the South Downs , with all proceeds raised going towards Oxfam & the Ghurkha welfare trust.
Despite taking part in separate teams there was much banter in the lead up to the race and during training sessions.
Marc and his team completed the course in 16 hours 31 minutes with a final position of 25th out of 527 teams.
Steve and his team finished in 21 hours 16 minutes.
After the banter had diminished the two of them discussed completing another long distance challenge but together and for a charity of their own choice, this was how the Coast to Coast walk from St Bee’s head to Robin Hoods Bay came to be
The challenge was to complete the route with a self imposed target.
Supporting a charity was decided upon with ease, with both Marc and Steve having owned themselves or through family greyhounds and as such they decided they wanted to support ‘Greyhound Gap’
The walk was very enjoyable and through meeting many people along the route and the amount raised £2550 coupled with the encouragement received made up the minds of the 2 that they would look to complete a challenge each year with the theme being:
- long distance walk
- coast to coast
It was agreed that if this was to become a reality that they would like to professionalize themselves with a website and to attract new team members that shared their goals in raising awareness and publicity as well as sponsorship for Greyhound Gap.
- South to North Wales
- West to East Ireland ( Republic)
“The coast to coast routes each year are more than just a walk. It’s an adventure it’s about the people you meet and the relationships formed. It’s about geography & history that you pass through. It’s about getting your feet wet at the beginning and the end! It’s what you learn about yourself. But most importantly it’s about raising funds and awareness for the Greyhound Gap.” – Marc Norman (03.07.11)
“In life you do the right thing…not for a medal…not to be hailed a hero…but simply because IT IS the right thing to do.”
‘Walking the beat’ seemed an ‘apt’ choice of a title with all the team members having a link to the police.
This years walk has been tweaked to 220 miles over 10.5 days (21 miles average per day).
As always the walk is dedicated to the memory of Sandy with whom Marc had a very special bond. Last night Marc came round and spent some time at Sandy's spot and had a talk with her, Sandy may be gone but she is never forgotten she will always hold a special place in Marc's heart.
Greyhound Gap are trying to raise £100,000 as a deposit to buy their own kennels as currently they have to use a normal boarding kennel which means Lisa has limited access to the dogs, all of greyhound gaps dogs are thoroughly assessed before being put up for adoption, having their own Kennels would mean Lisa could always be there and spend more time with the dogs. The cost of having dogs in kennels runs to over £5,000 a month plus on top of that there is all the veternairy bills to pay. Gap is lucky that they have an army of volunteers who work tirelessy to raise the money to keep gap going, it is a never ending task
The boys are now en route to Scotland to begin the walk tomorrow, please come back each day to hear all about their adventure.
I underlined the not being a hero bit because last year the boys came across a group of young girls doing their Duke of Edinburgh award, one girl had become very ill and with weather closing in and no mobile reception Marc and Steve carried her down the side of a mountain and for many more miles before they could call an ambulance, she was whisked away to hospital and they were later told their prompt medical help saved her life. The parents were so grateful they wrote to Suffolk police and much to their embarrassement they received an award. After safely handing her over they then walked back to the mountain to finish that days walk properly, finally they reached the pub they were booked into very very late amid much appaulause, unfortunately they were so exhausted by then they turned down all the offers of drinks and collapsed into bed. The landlord did however supply them with a fab packed lunch for the next day LOL.