DEDICATED pals completed a towering effort to raise funds for a town charity - a 148-mile walk from Hartlepool to Blackpool.
Gale force winds, numerous injuries and up to 30 miles of walking on the roads for five days solid greeted Pete Noble and Chris Ward, both 31, Peter Smith and Paul Thompson, both 30, as they took on their mammoth challenge.
The lads even had to make last-minute changes to their schedule after their tent broke on the very first night.
But despite the troubles, and the pain, the motivated group managed to complete the walk and have so far raised £3,700 for Hartlepool & District Hospice.
Ten days after reaching Blackpool Tower the lads are still feeling the after-effects of the challenge, but are extremely proud to have done their bit for the Wells Avenue-based facility.
“It was tougher than we all expected it to be,” said Pete Noble, who organised the walk.
“I didn’t realise just how much strain walking puts on your body.
“We started out at a fairly good pace but by the end we were moving at snails speed, we limped into Blackpool.”
Pete, a managing director of his own communications firm, who lives in Pavilion Close, in Seaton Carew, with his partner, Marie Hudson, 35, a dental nurse, added: “We did have a few things that we had to battle against.”
“When we started out on the Monday we were walking into a headwind of up to 80mph, it was the tail-end of Hurricane Katia.
“We were planning to camp in a different campsite each night but our tent broke on the very first night.
“We ended up sleeping in a garage-type building on a campsite one night but fortunately our support drivers managed to sort us some accomodation.”
Pete is delighted to have raised as much as they have for the hospice, a charity close to his heart, but is reminding people that they can still donate.
His mum, Pamela, was cared for by staff at the hospice before she died of cancer three years ago.
“The work of the hospice is absolutely tremendous,” he added.
“The way they cared for my mum while she was ill and all of our family after her death was fantastic.”
Sandra Britten, of Hartlepool & District Hospice, said: “This kind of fundraising is extremely important to the hospice and to see our local community supporting their local service in this way is heartwarming.
“Everyone at the hospice would like to say a huge thanks to the boys for their efforts in completing the walk; it sounds like the odds were stacked against them at times.
“To have finished the walk and have raised around £3,700 already is a massive achievement.
Please, if you haven’t already, go to their Just Giving page and see how much you can boost their efforts.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/Hartlepool2Blackpool.