Hartlepool couple to take on Kilimanjaro trek

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An energetic Hartlepool couple are hoping to be on top of the world by completing a gruelling challenge

Dave and Susan Owens will be embarking on a nine-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest free-standing mountain in the world – next weekend.

The only thing we can’t prepare for is the altitude.

Dave Owens

The pair, from Hart Village, want to raise £5,895 – the same figure as the height of the mountain – for Macmillan Cancer Support.

They will be joined on their quest by friends Julie and John Caldwell, who they met in southern China, where Mr Owens worked in the offshore industry for the last three years.

Mr Owens, 59, said: “We wanted to fundraise for Macmillan because in May last year my wife lost her mum to cancer and during that same time Julie’s father passed away, and both had been helped by Macmillan.

“So one night trekking up Kilimanjaro was mentioned and we all thought it was good idea. We’re funding the trip ourselves so all cash raised will be going directly to charity.”

The couple, who have just moved back to the Hartlepool home, have been spending a lot of time walking in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Mr Owens said: “In China everywhere was flat, but lived on the 26th floor so we did spend a lot of time climbing up the stairs to help us prepare. We have put a lot of miles in the but the only thing we can’t prepare for is the altitude, so we’re just going to have to see how that goes.”

The four pals who call themselves team Team Tsingtao – after their favourite Chinese beer – have to far managed to raise £464.

To sponsor the group, visit www.justgiving.com/Team-Tsingtao.