Ian conquers final hurdle

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MOUNTAIN-TREKKING dad Ian Richardson is back home after a week of conquering Britain’s highest peaks.

And as he reflected on his mammoth fundraising venture, the Hartlepool businessman – who did it all in memory of his wife and daughter – said: “I think they would have loved what I have done.”

Ian, 38, lost his wife Joanne, 40, and daughter Mya, six, in an accident on the A1 in Newcastle in August last year when their car was hit by another which was travelling the wrong way along the road.

Ian himself suffered four smashed ribs, a popped rib cage, a bruised lung and heart, whiplash, broken toes and cuts in the smash.

Yet last week, just eight months on, he yomped up Ben Nevis, Helvellyn, Scafell and Snowdon.

Finally, on Saturday he joined friends and family for a mini-yomp up Roseberry Topping, near Great Ayton, in North Yorkshire.

He told the Mail: “There was a tearful moment at the top when I sat there and thought ‘my girls are with me’.”

More than 250 people turned out for the mini yomp and Ian, of Blake Close, in Billingham, said: “I am mega grateful to them all.”

Royal Marines, children, parents and grandparents, including friends of both Joanne and Mya, joined the two hours of walking which helped to raise funds in memory of the tragic mum and daughter. They came from as far away as Hull and North Tyneside.

Ian, who runs his own marketing and communications firm on the Queens Meadow business park, in Hartlepool, looked back on his adventure and said: “It has been tough but it has been hugely rewarding.

“I’ll be walking like a cowboy for weeks though! It is so hard on your legs when you are coming back down the mountains.”

He praised the men who accompanied him on the Big Yomp – Billingham residents Marc Dickson, Richie Defty, Dave Robson, Johhny Armstrong, Keith Jackson and Mark Little – and said they had had great support throughout the adventure.

And he laughed as he recalled the moment he came face-to-face with his final challenge – tackling Roseberry Topping.

“A few weeks ago, that would have seemed tough,” he said.

“But after what we have done in the last few days, we stood at the bottom, looked up and said ‘is that it?’”

The walkers hope to have raised at least £7,000 to be split between two charities, the Royal Marines Charitable Trust and a memorial fund for Joanne and Mya to support children who have lost loved ones.

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