Kimberley duo complete epic hiking trail in USA for charity

They've done it! Alison and Simon fly the flag to celebrate at the summit.
They've done it! Alison and Simon fly the flag to celebrate at the summit.

A mammoth hiking trail, spanning almost six months and 2,190 miles, has been completed by intrepid Kimberley duo Simon Richard and Alison Shelford.

Simon and Alison have conquered some of the toughest parts of the Anerican wilderness on the renowned Appalachian Trail.

And they have defied illness and adverse weather to raise more than £4,300 for the military charity, Walking With The Wounded (WWTW), which helps wounded and war-ravaged ex-servicemen and women to reintegrate into society and find new jobs.

“We did it for Walking With The Wounded because no-one asks to go to war,” said Alison.

The trail, which runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, is the longest hiking-only route in the world, covering 14 US states. The duo set off on February 28 and reached the summit of Katahdin, 171 days later, on August 17 when they proudly flew the Union Jack in celebration.

Simon and Alison raised £1,200 before their journey by organising a Northern Soul and Motown music event, and they have generated a further £3,100 since they were in the US with the help of a JustGiving page. A final push is planned when they get back home to Kimberley.

As a result of their extraordinary efforts, they have supported six veterans throuugh WWTW’s mental-health support prgramme, Head Start.

Gary Lamb, of the charity, said: “We look forward to meeting Simon and Alison, and are exceptionally grateful for their support.”