Coast to coast walk for charity

Shin splints, aching legs and poor weather were just three of the obstacles overcome by a Brandon man to raise funds for charity.

Keith ‘Skiff’ Kent walked 192 miles from coast to coast to raise �675 in aid of St Nicholas Hospice, which cared for his mother before her death.

The long distance walk started at St Bees, on the Irish Sea, and crossed through three national parks – the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors – before finishing at Robin Hood’s Bay, at the North Sea. It took Mr Kent and his friend, Adam Sewell, 13 days to complete the walk.

“We carried everything we needed in rucksacks and stayed in B&Bs along the route,” Mr Kent said.

“It was hard work. I suffered shin splints, which were very painful, for the last five days of the walk, and my leg swelled up really badly. But it was worth it. You get to a point where you think ‘why am I doing this?’ and then you remember what you are doing it for.”

The pair first considered the walk two years ago and then spent time training for it, while Mr Kent also lost a stone-and-a-half in weight in preparation.

“My mum spent time at the Hospice – her last days were here. I always said I’d do something to raise funds and in the end I did – but it took me six years to do it,” he said.

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“I got so much out of the walk. Looking back, it was hard but all of it was fantastic – the scenery, the people I met along the way – everything. The weather wasn’t very good, but you just keep going, don’t you?”

Thepair were greeted by people clapping and cheering them into Robin Hood’s Bay, before they took part in a tradition set by many of those who have completed the walk in the past. Mr Kent said: “At the beginning of the walk you’re supposed to pick up a stone at St Bees and dip your toe in the Irish Sea, and then at the end you throw your stone in the water and dip your toe in the North Sea. Of course, we made sure we did it.”

Hospice community fundraiser, Sue Long, said: “Well done to Keith and Adam for completing this walk on behalf of the hospice. They did so well, and we are very grateful for all they have raised.”