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Adventurous Herald staff complete 180-mile trek – and a half marathon

Adventurous staff at the Plymouth Evening Herald have helped to raise more than £25,000 for disabled children after taking part in a 180-mile trek and a half marathon.

Deputy editor Bill Martin and picture editor Pete Holdgate – a former Royal Marine – spent six days walking from Land’s End to Plymouth along the South West Coast Path, before being joined by colleagues to run the Plymouth Half Marathon.

And despite the walk being harder than he expected, Bill said the mammoth fundraising effort – in aid of the Herald’s Give A Child A Chance campaign – was still a “great experience”.

  • Pete (left) and Bill (far right) with Ian and Jim
  • The challenge began last month when Bill and Pete set out on the 180-mile trek with former Royal Marine Ian Perkins and former Paratrooper Jim Hunter, walking an average of 30 miles a day.

    Bill said: “Some days we were walking for about 12 hours which was about two hours longer than planned and was mainly due to the terrain.

    “I thought we could do about three miles an hour but we ended up doing under that.”

    However the team were determined to complete the walk as planned, stopping over at Porthleven, Coverack, Porthscatho, Mevagissey, and Looe.

    Bill said: “The good thing about doing the trip with three ex-forces was that there was never any question that we would change our plans.

    “The days when we did above 30 miles were tough days, but on the shorter days we would sit down for lunch at a pub.

    “It wasn’t all blood, sweat and tears!”

    But after completing the trek at 3.30pm on the Saturday, Bill and Pete had to face the prospect of a half marathon the next day.

    Joining them were several other Herald staff members including editor Alan Qualtrough, deputy chief sub-editor Charles Elder, feature writer Martin Freeman, assistant news editor Andy Phillips and photographer Paul Slater, as well as around 100 readers who were also raising money for Give A Child A Chance.

    Bill said: “It was a great day. My legs were a bit tired but I got a sudden burst of energy at three miles to go.

    “It was a really good atmosphere with everyone in their special running vests and friends and family cheering us on.”

  • All the money raised will help improve facilities for the 7,000 children and their families attending community child health services within Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

    The charity will help children in Plymouth who are either disabled or have mental health problems and have to use unsuitable and outdated buildings.