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Pals team up to walk from Mansfield to Skegness

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A testosterone-fuelled trek is being planned this summer in an effort to stamp out cancer.

The Walk of Life is a new challenge launched by John Boden, who joined by his friends, will walk between Mansfield and Skegness over three days to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

With a tagline, ‘together we’ll stamp out cancer’, the idea came after the 43-year-old’s wife, Debbie, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

John, of Bridle Close, Stanton Hill, explained: “It totally turned our lives upside down and I felt totally helpless.

“I decided I was going to do a charity walk on my own, but it’s spiralled and all my friends have joined in.”

The 75-mile male-only trek will start underneath the clock in Mansfield Market Square and finish at the clock in Skegness town centre.

They will split the walk over three days, with the participants due to camp each evening.

On the final leg into Skegness, they will be joined by women and children in Robin Hood fancy dress to ‘create more of an interest’.

Planned for 29th May, John and his friends have been busy training each Sunday, including trips across to Derbyshire to complete hill walks, and a recent 24-mile hike from The Maypole in Skegby to the Major Oak at Edwinstowe.

John has also been putting in extra hours on an evening after he finishes work as a landscaper.

John added: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge - I did a 24-mile walk recently and I was spent, but I’m a lot fitter than I was!

“It’s going to be very difficult, especially as we have to camp as well.

“Getting together though has been great, the camaraderie is brilliant.

“I’m surprised by the amount of support, because as well as 20 walkers there are about another 20 people involved as well.”

Due to safety reasons, only 20 walkers are permitted to join the hike, although the re are some who will be joining the main group on sections of the route.

Organiser John Boden is hopeful that one day the Walk of Life could become a nation-wide event for men across the country to take part in.

With the annual Race For Life supported by millions of women across Britain who dress in pink and take part in organised walks and runs around the country, John sees the Walk of Life as the potential male equivalent.

He said: “It’s going to be a big event, women do the Race for Life, but is for men, and is blue rather than pink!

“We have a £10,000 target for this year but I think we’ll exceed that.

“The support we’ve had has been incredible.”

John says that thousands of people have already logged onto a Facebook page set up for the event, www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-of-life/710272542319420, and are now setting up a Justgiving page so people can donate on-line.

 

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