It’s ‘challenge done’ for our all-weather walking duo

We've done it: Richard Crossland, left, and Brian Windle, right, at Kirk Yetholm. Picture courtesy of www.richardscancerwalk.co.uk blog, through which Mike Pritchard updated their progress
We've done it: Richard Crossland, left, and Brian Windle, right, at Kirk Yetholm. Picture courtesy of www.richardscancerwalk.co.uk blog, through which Mike Pritchard updated their progress

A standing ovation when he headed back on to familiar turf at Todmorden Cricket Club last Saturday clearly announced one thing - challenge done!

Richard Crossland and his co-walker Brian Windle, with driver Tony Taylor, spent three weeks and endured just about all weathers to complete the 270-mile Pennine Way challenge for Richard’s Cancer Walk, which will benefit cancer charities Rays of Hope at St James’ Hospital, Leeds, which funds research into creating a vaccine for liver cancer, and the Colorectal (Upper and Lower GI fund) and Chemotherapy Centre (Jane Garforth Fund) within the Macmillan unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Richard has battled cancer on three occasions in as many years and in return for the care and help he has received wanted to give something back.

They completed their walk in the sunshine at Kirk Yetholm in Northumberland, with a dozen walkers including Richard’s daughter Helen accompanying them on various parts of the route.

On the way they have endured thick mist, downpours, brilliant sunshine, miles of boggy path despite better weather above and a fall by Richard when he took a tumble over some rocks - and have raised in excess of their £5,000 target by some distance, with money still coming in.

In the event, partly due to the odd wrong turn, they clocked up 291.45 miles over 19 days to the finish on June 7, in all 117.5 walking hours.

Richard said: “I feel great, I feel fit and I didn’t really have a physical problem other than really painful feet, more because of the chemotherapy and it leaves nerve damage so you tend to damage the feet without realising it.

“I got through about £50 worth of blister pads but they did the trick and I couldn’t have finished without them.

“I didn’t finish with any blisters and Brian was in good fettle at the finish too.

“One of the most painful things was sunburn - we had the sun on the back of our calves as we finished the walk.”

By Monday morning this week, Todmorden CC stalwart Richard was back doing some work at the club’s Centre Vale ground!