400 miles to combat cancer

THREE Woking men are to hike more than 400 miles from John O’Groats to Glasgow in aid of a cancer charity.

Paul Huggett, 45, his business partner Phil Hazelden, 51, and Phil’s son Ben, 19, will be raising funds for the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation run by musician Mike Peters.
Paul said that Mike, who has had three diagnoses of blood cancer in various forms, was a huge influence on him in his teenage years.

“He and his band Alarm have such a tremendously positive outlook on life. His message is that if you have a dream and want to do something, then you should do it.

“It was very enlightening to me and the positive thoughts have stayed with me,” Paul said.

Paul, who lives in Send, will end his part of the journey in Glasgow while Phil and Ben will continue on to Land’s End.

They plan to set off on 12 May and hope to reach Glasgow by 19 June.

Paul, a former Winston Churchill School pupil who attends the Woking Vineyard Church, is a keen hiker and backpacker and said the idea was to be self-sufficient and carry as much of your supplies and equipment as possible.

“We will have to organise a food drop at a hotel in the Highlands, but apart from that, I will have everything with me.”

Paul has put in many miles of training since last February, including a 100-mile hike in the Brecon Beacons.

His main training ground is Newland’s Corner, near Guildford, and Martha’s Hill.

“I do a lot of running locally but to simulate what I’ll be doing I need hills.”

Paul joked that his wife Nicky will be delighted to see him go on the trip.

“She is very supportive – she runs with me and will be following me on the internet.”

Paul said Nicky will be looking after the youngest of their three children.

He said one of the worst aspects of a very long journey was homesickness.

“You get go from very high to very low and back again very quickly. In the Pennines, it was raining and we came across a barn that was very warm and suddenly we went from feeling down to being happy.”

Paul said one of the attractions of the long walks was the simplicity. “Your main thoughts are ‘where is the next water source’ and ‘is my pack dry’”.

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