A HARTLEPOOL teacher has his walking boots at the ready as he prepares for a gruelling 190-mile trek in memory of a great friend.
Mick Fenwick, 29, along with his close friend Richard Jefferson, 29, are walking the equivalent of a marathon every day for seven days as they aim to complete the coast-to-coast walk.
Duncan Alexander was just 18 when he lost his life to lymphoma, and now the men are to complete the challenging feat as a tribute to their close friend.
Money raised from the walk will go to the Friends of the Leeds Centre for Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma.
Mick, who has worked as assistant head at High Tunstall College of Science in Elwick Road, Hartlepool, for the last 18 months, said: “Duncan was an extremely positive person, and throughout the time of him being ill he remained positive.
“Even a week before he passed away he came on a night out with his friends and he told us all he thought he was through the worst of it.
“He was just such a strong, well-known and popular character.”
Mick added: “I used to do a lot of walking with Richard when I was younger so it’s quite fitting.”
The duo will walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay starting on July 28 but will be joined by someone else on the sixth day of walking as they come into the Richmond area, where both Mick and Richard were born.
“Me and Richard were in Richmond after a 26-mile training walk and we saw Duncan’s brother, Ali.” said Mick.
“He said how he thought what we were doing is fantastic and how Duncan would be proud and he asked whether he can join us on the sixth day.”
Despite the intimidating thought of a marathon-a-day, Mick is under no illusion that the men will complete the challenge without any problems.
Mick does a lot of fell running in the Lake District and the North Yorkshire Moors while Richard, who now lives and works in Leeds for Santander Cards UK, plays football, swims and does a lot of mountain biking.
Mick said: “We did the Hadrian’s Wall walk last year which is also coast-to-coast but narrower so it isn’t as far. Normally it takes seven days to finish that walk but we did it in three and a half. But we didn’t go about the fundraising side too much but this year we want to make as much for the charity as we can.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor the men in their challenge or follow them in their preparations can do so on www.jeffandmick.co.uk