Hartlepool barefoot walker preparing to make 195-mile Coast-to-Coast trek without shoes to help charities

An intrepid and inspirational Hartlepool fundraiser is getting ready to hit the road again.

Having previously walked, ran and cycled 10,000 miles in under a year for a North East charity close to his heart, reformed couch potato Paul Suggitt is in training for his most challenging adventure yet.

Paul Suggitt is welcomed home to Hartlepool after completing his 10,000 mile challenge in 2017.

Paul Suggitt is welcomed home to Hartlepool after completing his 10,000 mile challenge in 2017.

This summer, the dad-of-two, will attempt to cross 195 miles of mountains and trails in 13 days – barefoot.

He is now in training for the coast to coast along Wainright’s Walk between Cumbria and Robin Hood’s Bay, in North Yorkshire.

He got the idea after encountering another ‘crazy adventurer’ while on his travels.

Paul, 50, of the town’s Naisberry Park, told the Mail: “This is probably going to be my biggest challenge mentally and physically, despite doing 10,000 miles in 336 days last year.

Brest foot forward, Paul Suggitt (right) walking barefoot around the town in training for a barefoot challenge, pictured with Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher.

Brest foot forward, Paul Suggitt (right) walking barefoot around the town in training for a barefoot challenge, pictured with Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher.

“That’s because it is barefoot and consistently for 13 days.”

Paul, a website and app developer, aims to complete 15 miles a day as he takes in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.

“That doesn’t sound a lot,” said Paul. “But when you are going up and down mountains with no socks and shoes on it is a challenge in itself.

“It will be just me battling the elements.”

Paul Suggitt during a practice walk for his Barefoot Challenge

Paul Suggitt during a practice walk for his Barefoot Challenge

Once again Paul is doing it to raise money and awareness for the Chris Lucas Trust which funds research into a very aggressive form of child and teenage cancer.

And he will also be raising money for Hartlepool Ambulance Charity which raises funds for life-saving equipment and training.

Paul, who is also a presenter with Radio Hartlepool, has already begun his training including walking barefoot at Holy Island in Northumberland.

And in October, he walked 14 miles around a relatively flat Hartlepool in four hours as part of a clean up day by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Hartlepool gym Ian Glass Fitness has also been helping Paul to get over a leg injury he sustained during his 10,000-mile challenge in 2017.

He added: “A lot of it is going to be mind over matter because my body will be telling me ‘you can’t do this’.

“Hopefully, it will inspire people to get out a bit themselves and get fit in the process.”

Paul will be wearing a live tracker during the barefoot challenge so supporters can join him on the route or just follow his progress from the comfort of their own homes.

Any local sponsors can contact Paul via the website www.ultra-adventurer.com or on Facebook at Paul Suggitt – Ultra Adventurer.