MAIL reporter Richard Mennear is set to swap his notepad and pen for walking boots in a bid to raise cash for cancer research.
Richard is taking part in Shine 2011 this weekend – a 26.2 mile night-time walk though the streets of Manchester to raise vital charity cash.
It is the second time that the walking marathon has been held in Manchester and organisers have also arranged Shine events in Glasgow and London later this year.
He is aiming to raise £500 for Cancer Research UK, which has organised the annual event.
Richard will be completing the marathon charity trek alongside his girlfriend Kelly Smith, 23, her 21-year-old sister Dayna and their parents Ian Smith, 50 and Frances Smith, 49.
The 25-year-old, who lives in the Hart Lane area of Hartlepool, said: “This is the second time that we have taken part in Shine and our target is to raise £500.
“The atmosphere was fantastic last year and it was inspiring to take part in an event that raises so much money for such a good cause.
“The organisers give everyone a training guide in the months before so that you can get enough miles in the legs, which we have tried to stick to.
“We managed to finish it last year in about eight hours and it would be great to shave an hour off that time.
“It was pretty miserable at times last year as it seemed like it was never going to end.
“But we finally got there and we are confident of doing the same again this year.”
The walk, which takes in the Trafford Centre, Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground and Granada Studios, gets underway at 7.30pm, on Sunday, May 1, and “Team Smith” is hoping to complete the challenge before the sun comes up.
Each walker can choose from one of 12 different cancers to decide where their sponsorship money is spent.
Participants can choose to either walk the full 26.2 miles or the half marathon, which is 13.1 miles.
To sponsor Richard visit www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and select the link at the bottom of this story.