Amazing ‘feet’ as Hartlepool fundraiser completes 195-mile barefoot walk

He’s done it - Hartlepool fundraiser Paul Suggitt has successfully completed his toughest challenge yet.

By Mark Payne
Monday, 24 June, 2019, 14:11
Paul Suggitt on the coast to coast.

Paul, 50, is set to have raised at least £8,000 for two great causes after walking almost 200 miles across the country in just 14 days while barefoot.

The ‘ultra adeventurer’ battled through constant pain, exhaustion, pouring rain and mental obstacles to complete the gruelling challenge which saw him walk from St Bees Head on the west coast of Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

Paul, a dad of two, said: “At one point I thought I had bitten off more than I can chew.

“I planned this 13 months ago and chose this time of year thinking it was going to be alright, then this weather bomb over us for most of the time.

“Going over the mountains in the Lake District was horrendous battling everything you could imagine.

“It was just so much more difficult barefoot as well. The pain was there constantly and it was about managing that as best I could.

Paul (right) with a friend on reaching the end.

“At some points I was walking 14 and a half hours a day.”

Paul received medical advice to stop during the last week due to the bad condition of his feet.

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But he compromised by extending the challenge by one day finishing on Friday, June 21. 

A number supporters and friends from Hartlepool had travelled to welcome him.

Paul had to go to hospital due to the condition of his feet after finishing the 195 mile walk.

But on Saturday, Paul went to the Hartlepool Urgent Care Unit when his feet turned purple.

He was given injections for tetanus, dipheria and sent home with some strong antibiotics and anti-inflamatary medicines.

During the journey, Paul said he received great support from strangers including many who had read about his challenge on his social media pages.

“People were coming out and intercepting me and giving me food parcels,” he said.

Proceeds from the walk will go to the North East based Chris Lucas Trust which funds research into a form of childhood cancer, and Hartlepool Ambulance Charity.

And Paul added: “I’m going to keep doing these challenges. This one was very extreme but it captured the imagination of a lot of people.

“The support I had helped me to get through it.”