Northamptonshire man to celebrate his 50th birthday at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

Mick Rogers getting ready to walk to Kilimanjaro NNL-141223-131701001
Mick Rogers getting ready to walk to Kilimanjaro NNL-141223-131701001

A Northamptonshire man will mark his 50th birthday at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, after walking the 5,500 miles from his home to the summit for charity.

Mick Rogers, known as Laird Betty S, has been training for more than two years in preparation for the epic journey, and even given up his job as a builder to commit to it.

The 49-year-old, from Burton Latimer, will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support along the way after his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He will start at Wicksteed Park, in Kettering on March 1, 2015, and walk to Cornwall to see his children before crossing the Channel and walking across 10 countries.

“I’m terrified,” he said, “but I wanted to do something extremely difficult.

“I will be walking 25 miles per day, which takes 12 hours, and my target is to reach 35 miles. I even got rid of my car so I wouldn’t be tempted to use it.”

Mr Rogers has been practising rock climbing, abseiling, exercising at altitude and he has reduced his kit to the bare essentials to keep it light.

His route will take him through France, Italy and Greece before reaching Africa, although he has altered his plans several times due to war and the outbreak of the Ebola.

He said: “It will take between four to six months, but that will depend on circumstances such as weather.

“If all goes to plan, I should reach the top of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, by my 50th birthday on August 9.

“If anyone wants to do something like this, start slowly, build core strength, stamina, then strength of mind eand never lose sight of your goal.”