Sunday, 21 July 2019

Friends take on 110-mile, non-stop walk for charity

Friends take on 110-mile, non-stop walk for charity

TWO lifelong friends who grew up in Woodcote are to walk 110 miles non-stop for charity.

Stuart Maddock and David Capes, both 38, will set off from Louth in Lincolnshire at 6am on Thursday and plan to reach the Tees Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough about 48 hours later.

They will not sleep overnight and will take only short breaks to eat, rest and dress injuries to their feet.

Mr Capes came up with the idea to raise money for Lupus UK as his mother Barbara suffered from a severe form of the condition and died from heart-related complications in 2015, aged 62.

Her funeral was held at Our Lady and St John Catholic church in Goring, where her son married his wife Tina the year before.

Her husband Geoff lives in Bridle Path, Woodcote, and is a trustee of the annual Woodcote Rally, as is Mr Maddock’s father Martin, who lives in Wood Green with his wife

The Maddocks originally lived in Folly Green and the Capes moved to the house next door from Lincolnshire when their son was two.

The boys went to separate primary schools but played together in their spare time and both attended Langtree School in Woodcote.

Mr Capes, a carer for disabled adults, moved back to Lincolnshire in 2005. Mr Maddocks moved to Chesham after studying at The Henley College and becoming a structural technician in the building trade.

The men, who both have two children, remain close friends and return to the village frequently and Mr Maddocks exhibits his cars at the rally every year and volunteers as a marshal.

He did most of the planning for the walk, which will first take them through the Lincolnshire Wolds and across the Humber Bridge to Hull before they cross the open countryside to the north, including a 30-mile section over the North York Moors.

They will each carry large backpacks with up to six litres of water and enough food to last until they get to the next town or village and a first aid kit.

Neither man has undertaken an endurance hike before but they have been training by walking up to 20 miles at a time.

Mr Capes’ mother was diagnosed with lupus, in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, in the mid-Eighties but had suffered from the symptoms since her teens without knowing the cause.

She experienced pain in her joints and required heart surgery because the disease was attacking her organs but did not survive the procedure.

Her son said: “It undoubtedly shortened her life and is such an awful illness so I’ve wanted to do something ever since she passed away.

“I knew nothing about walking and am so thankful that Stuart got on board as this would have been a disaster without him.

“He has planned the route and ordered me to get a decent pair of trousers. Without him I’d have just set off to Middlesbrough in jeans and probably gone in the wrong direction.

“I’m looking forward to having Stuart with me as I wouldn’t normally be doing such long distances on my own and it will be a lot easier with some company.

“I have been doing a lot of walking and I’m surprised at how well I’ve built up the distances. I’m reluctant to say I’m confident as I know it’s a mammoth task but I’m getting along all right.”

The men have a target of £5,000 and Mr Capes has been responsible for fund-raising. He said: “It took a while for the money to start coming in and at one point I thought I’d have to donate it all myself. However, we’re now getting a lot of support and that gave us the push we needed to keep going.

“It will be tough but we’ll just power on through. People have said we should take breaks but if I allow myself to sleep I know I’ll wake up on the second morning and won’t feel like carrying on.”

Mr Maddock said: “David told me he was doing a charity walk and I agreed to join him straight away. When he told me the details I realised it was more ambitious than I’d imagined but I went away to look into it.

“We've had to plan it very carefully, right down to which pubs or cafés we’re stopping at. The most critical thing will be getting off the North York Moors before it gets dark on the Friday as we don’t want to get lost.

“We’ve each done about 500 miles of training. It’s hard balancing it around family life but I’ve grabbed the chance to walk whenever I can, usually in the evenings.

“I have no idea how we’ll stay awake — we’ll probably have to keep punching each other! There’s going to be an awful lot of coffee and full-sugar Coke and I might also buy some caffeine tablets.

“It sounds a bit haphazard but it has been well prepared. We’re not going to bring any music as there’ll be lots to catch up on, not least planning our 40th birthdays!

“I know we’re going to be in a lot of pain afterwards but we’ll be bringing some soft shoes and painkillers, which should help.”

To support the walkers, visit

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