A steely fundraiser is pulling on his walking boots for a mammoth 135-mile trek along the Norfolk and Suffolk coastline. Ricky Clarke, from Ipswich, is starting his energy-sapping challenge on 29th April, in support of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The 46-year-old will be setting off from Hunstanton and plans to walk the coastlines of both counties before finishing in Felixstowe. He will be wild camping along the way and expects his trek to take around a week, with his daily target between 25 and 30 miles.
“I’m buzzing for it and can’t wait to get started,” said Ricky, a machine operator for Ipswich printing business Fuller Davies. I walk and hike a lot of miles throughout the year, but have never attempted anything so strenuous and continuous.
“I’ve wild camped a few times in random places and hiked many miles, so now it’s a case of putting both together. It’s going to be an adventure and I love being at one with nature. I find it so uplifting and that’s one of the reasons I love hiking. Those highs will hopefully spur me on and see me over the finish line.
“One of my heroes is Ed Stafford, who’s the only man to walk the length of the Amazon. It took 860 days to complete but if he can do that, I’d love to think I can do the Norfolk and Suffolk coastline!”
Ricky, who has two daughters, Poppy, 14, and Luna, 11, first approached EACH about taking on the challenge in October.
“I wanted to give myself something to look forward to and now it’s full steam ahead,” he said.
“It’s great to give your mind a focus and your soul a boost. Speaking to the team there amplified those feelings. I’m taking this very seriously and it’s ingrained in my mind.
“After a final blow-out at Christmas, I’m now watching what I eat, have cut out alcohol completely and am training hard to build up more upper-body strength, in readiness for carrying my backpack. Between now and then I also plan to get many more miles of training under my belt.”
To sponsor Ricky, head here. He can also be followed on Instagram via footslog_farmer. Ali Butler, EACH Community Fundraiser for Suffolk and East Essex, said: “This is an amazing, exciting challenge and we really appreciate Ricky’s support.
“He’s clearly very focused and determined and I’m sure that resilience will keep him going during the tough miles. We wish him well and can’t wait to hear about his walking adventure.”