Two’s company on trek across country

A CHARITY walker is at it again with plans for a 110-mile trek to raise money for charity.

Brian Baines, 42, from Hartlepool, was left with feet covered in blisters after walking from Maryport in Cumbria to Hartlepool Marina in three and a half days last year.

Now, exactly one year on, he is planning to do it all again. But this time he will have some company as

he will be joined by his friend Martyn O’Riordan.

 Brian said: “I am hoping we can do it even faster than last year. This time, there will be two of us to encourage each other.”

Brian is once again hoping to raise £1,000 and will share the money between Hartlepool and District Hospice, a fellowship for disabled people on Teesside and the Jo and Mya Memorial Trust Fund, which was set up by Ian Richardson, 38, after he lost his wife Joanne, 40, and daughter Mya, six, in a car accident on the A1 in Newcastle.

Ian and his younger daughter Ava, now aged one, survived the crash and the fund aims to support children who have lost loved ones.

Brian and Martyn are both workers with Barnardo’s in Hartlepool.

Brian said: “The plans are exactly the same as last year. We will start from Maryport and get back as quickly as we can.

“I am hoping we could do it in two or three days this time. Once we get started, we will crack on and only stop for breaks of half an hour or an hour.

“Last year, I was doing well, but I had to stop for a while in Barnard Castle because my blisters were so bad.”

The coming weeks promise to be busy for Brian, who has been selected to be part of the Olympic torch relay before the London 2012 Games.

He said: “I am really looking forward to it and I certainly won’t be selling the torch!”

The fine details of Brian’s point where he will carry the torch will not be known until four days before the run. But his family in Essex are already planning to show their support.

Brian was nominated by his mum Eileen Ashley, 60, to carry the torch He said: “She is coming up for the run and I have booked her a room in the Grand Hotel.”

To back Brian on his walking challenge, contact him on 07505 724805.