It is one down, 14 still to go as Jeff Stelling’s marathon walking challenge team scored off the first day of its fundraising feat.
The Sky Sports presenter set off from St James’s Park in Exeter today bound for its namesake in Newcastle as he leads a campaign to raise £500,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
The Hartlepool United fan was surrounded by men who are fighting the disease and supporters as the first section of the route was completed.
He will be joined by names from the sporting world as he completes the 400-mile task, which should end on Thursday, June 15, when he will have completed 15 marathons in 15 days.
Jeff said: “It’s started with a focus on the people who are dealing with prostate cancer, so the survivors, or someone who knows somebody who has had it or sadly know people who have died because of it.
“We’ve had a lot of support around, people coming out of their doors, beeping their horns, people pushing £20 notes into our hands and quite a few want pictures and are quite happy to put some money in the Prostate Cancer UK collection.
I was saying when we got to about 15 or 16 miles, we’re on the home straight, just another 284 to go.Jeff Stelling
“There’s been a lot of different people getting to know each other and we’ll be spending 10 or 11 hours together, so they’ve been telling each other their stories.
“One guy had his prostate removed two weeks and one day ago and decided he was going to make it for the first day.
“There’s a 46-year-old, incredibly fit, a tri-athlete, who has a young family - because this is not an old illness - who wants to make a difference and wants to make sure his family, his children are not facing the same as he is. “There’s one who was told last year he has terminal prostate cancer but he’s determined to use the time he has to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK to help others.
“It sounds a bit morbid, but it’s not and it’s been a lot of fun.
“I was saying when we got to about 15 or 16 miles, we’re on the home straight, just another 284 to go.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Hartlepool.”
Jeff and the team were also joined on day one by the charity’s chief executive Angela Culhane.
Sky Sports pundits and ex-players Jamie Carragher and Matt Le Tissier and legends including Gordon Banks will join him at various points.
For more visit http://marchformen.org/jeffsmarch.