Blistered feet and the loss of four toenails is worth it as friends raise £15,000 on 102-mile trek for cancer charities

Peter Walker and Richard Sanders completed the Cotswold Way for charity with dogs Milo and Ruby
Peter Walker and Richard Sanders completed the Cotswold Way for charity with dogs Milo and Ruby

Two friends from Northamptonshire who trekked 102 miles in three days accompanied by their faithful pet dogs raised £15,000 for two cancer charities.

Peter Walker and Richard Sanders took up the challenge of walking the Cotswold Way to raise money for charity.

Peter, from Crick, chose Bowel & Cancer Research because his dad died of bowel cancer at the age of 58. Richard, from Kislingbury, chose Cancer Research.

“We’ve been walking together for about 10 years around England and abroad. The Cotswold Way seemed like a suitable challenge and we thought we might as well raise some money at the same time,” said Peter, 53.

All began well in Bath when the first 50 miles north were bathed in sunshine.

“The views were fantastic at the summit of each hill so the climb was always worth it,” said Peter.

The next 34 miles were blighted by 11 hours of continuous rain.

“We couldn’t see a thing – just drizzle. We had to use a compass to navigate. We’d been training for six months, but there are a few more hills in the Cotswolds than in Northamptonshire – this was the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis three times.”

Copious blisters and the loss of four toenails didn’t stop Richard, 53, from striding stoically to the finish in Chipping Campden.

Their faithful four-legged companions Milo and Ruby staged a sit-down protest on day three so were allowed to travel in the back-up team vehicles, ably steered by wives Caroline Walker and Bridget Sanders.

“I’m sure my dad would have been proud of our walk,” said Peter. “He was unaware he had bowel cancer and by the time it was diagnosed it was too late: he only lived six months.”

Chief executive of Bowel & Cancer Research, Deborah Gilbert, thanked the pair for their achievement.

“More than 16,000 people die of bowel cancer every year. Our aim is to make sure no one dies of the disease in future and we can only do that with the help of fantastic supporters like Peter and Richard,” she said.

Anyone who wants to add to Peter’s total can do so at www.justgiving.com/walkerbyname. To support Richard, www.justgiving.com/richardsblisters

For more information about Bowel & Cancer Research, visit www.bowelcancerresearch.org