A group of intrepid Isle trekkers completed an epic 40 mile sponsored walk to raise thousands of pounds for a charity close to their hearts.
The 15 residents from across the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield in Doncaster finished the Great Strides 65 East Team Challenge to raise nearly £6, 800 for the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
The circular route on July 2 began at Whitby Abbey and proceeded along the rural Esk Valley Walk to the town of Goathland, setting of the TV drama Heartbeat. The trek then went eastward over the North Yorkshire Moors, passing through the Langdale Forest, before curving north at Ravenscar and following the coastal Cleveland Way path to the finish line at Whitby.
Crossing the finish line as a team was a heartfelt moment for the group as many of them have had a personal experience with cystic fibrosis.
One team member has a son with the disease, another has a brother and someone else has a cousin currently battling it.
Meanwhile, one teammate lost her 16-year-old cousin to cystic fibrosis in 1995.
One of the walkers, Mollie Brooks, said: “It was far harder than I could ever have imagined.
“A complete emotional rollercoaster, yet absolutely amazing.
“I did not know I could push my body to the limits that I did.
“We couldn’t have been more lucky to have an amazing team who pulled together and got each other through it.
“I couldn’t have done it without them all.”
They walked the route in less than 17 hours, meeting the official challenge set by the trust.
They then went one step further by going the extra distance back to Whitby Abbey, where they arrived all together, having walked 42 miles in 17 hours and 45 minutes.
From the moment they began at 6am until they finished just before midnight, the walkers had slogged through mud and peat bog, traipsed through grass and weeds, limped over pavement and gravel, and trekked up and down endless hills.
The 40-mile route incorporated six checkpoints, where support cars driven by team members’ family and friends provided food, water and first aid support.
They were accompanied by a trained guide, who helped them to read maps and make their way across the multiple terrains present on the challenge.
Around 10,500 people in the UK have cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening inherited disease that causes the lungs and digestive system to become clogged with sticky mucus.
The trust provides support for families and helps fund scientific research in the fight against the disease.
Anyone who would like to sponsor the team can still do so.
Visit their JustGiving pages at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/greatstrideswalk-isleteam and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Helen-Young20. The pages will remain open until August 1.