A young dad from Milton Keynes is walking the width of Great Britain to mark the 10th anniversary of his mum’s death.
Simon Bradley, from Oakridge Park, is covering more than a marathon per day for two weeks as he completes the ‘waistline walk’ to raise money for Willen Hospice.
In 2006, Simon, then 21, lost his mum Sally to ovarian cancer. A year later, Simon embarked on his first sponsored walk - covering more than 300 miles as he walked to St Ives in Cornwall as he raised more than £5,000 for Willen Hospice, who cared for Sally. She was just 46.
This year, Simon, now married and a dad to two-year-old Noah, is taking on his latest challenge to mark the 10th anniversary of Sally’s passing.
“To put it bluntly, I cannot run for toffee,” Simon admitted. “I’ve tried several times to get into the groove of going out for a jog on a regular basis but my body and brain absolutely hate it, and I have never felt like persistence would make me enjoy it any more.
“On the other hand, I seem to be blessed with the ability to walk at a good pace – pretty much indefinitely.”
Already a week into his walk, the 31-year-old has had to battle through wind, rain and one of the hottest days of the year, but has surpassed his target of raising £2,000 for Willen Hospice.
Simon added: “I’m amazed at the rate people have donated, and some have been super generous, and the range of people too. Friends of friends, parents of friends too. Thank you so much to everyone.
“But I’m not going to put the target up, even if I think we can smash it out the park.
“Seeing it trickling in is such a huge source of motivation for me.”
On Tuesday, Simon’s route will see him walk through Buckingham and Milton Keynes before heading out towards Stotfold on Wednesday, when for the first time, he will be walking with friends and family rather than on his own.
“We’re so proud of him,” said wife Nicci, a teacher at St Paul’s. “Noah has missed him a lot, so he will be so happy to see him for a couple of nights.
“The support he has received has been incredible and we hope it continues right to the finish line.”