‘Gruelling’ trek to Skeg for brothers

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A teenager from Eastwood has described an 83-mile walk he did for charity as ‘gruelling but enjoyable’.

Mark Holmes walked from Heanor to Skegness with his two brothers and brother in-law – completing the challenge is just 34 hours as planned.

But the 16-year-old said the hike – to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care – was extremely tough.

“It was harder than we first thought,” he said.

“We prepared for it well but the physical side was really hard. The aches and pains that we got made it tough.

“But it was still enjoyable. The banter that we had between us keeping ourselves going, and knowing that we were doing it to help other families,” he added.

Mark, his brothers David Vernon, 45, of Ilkeston, Sean Pickworth, 29, of Heanor, and brother-in-law Andrew Kennedy, 27, also of Heanor averaged five miles an hour to include food and drink stops and complete the challenge in time.

They raised an enormous £4,000 in sponsorship.

Sean, who organised the challenge, agreed with his brother that it was tough, but also said it was ‘brilliant’.

“It was brilliant. I loved it – except for the 12 blisters I got!

“It was a lot harder than expected but we all got through it because of the support we were giving each other.

“When we reached the end it was an amazing feeling. A milestone,” added Sean.

The brothers decided to raise money for Macmillan because they had family that had suffered cancer.

Sean said: “Macmillan is a charity close to everyone’s heart. They do a fantastic job, not only for the cancer sufferers but also for their families.

“Our family always went on holiday to Skegness so it was the perfect place to go to remember those that we’ve lost”

Training for the challenge included several 50 mile walks, regular ten-mile walks and two hours in the gym every day.

The brothers are hosting a charity night on September 20, where all the proceeds will be added to their total.

The ‘evening of mediumship’ will be held at Stepping Stones in Heanor and will start at 6.30pm. Call 07880 734 309.