Viking Way challenge for Mark and Paul from Louth and South Reston

Mark Stones, (pictured above), is taking on the challenge with his boss Paul Graves.
Mark Stones, (pictured above), is taking on the challenge with his boss Paul Graves.

Two men from Louth and South Reston are preparing to trek 147-miles along the Viking Way national trail in just five days to raise funds for Meningitis Now.

Mark Stones, (32) and his boss Paul Graves, (38), who work for Steve Graves Steel work and Cladding, will be setting off on Tuesday, June 5 from Oakham and hope to arrive at the Humber Bridge finish on the Saturday, (June 9).

Mr Stones organised the challenge to raise money for Meningitis Now after seeing the impact the disease had on his best friend’s family.

He said: “My best friend’s baby boy got diagnosed with meningitis when he was only six-weeks-old.

“They had a really tough time and it was difficult to see and not be able to help.

“The family and that little boy have inspired me so much to raise money and do what I can to fight this awful disease.”

According to the official guide, the route normally takes around 13-days to complete, but the duo decided they wanted that extra challenge and have decided to cut the journey time to just five - covering at least 30-miles a day.

As well as the walking challenge, the pair will also need their strength on side as they will be carrying everything they need to camp with during their trek. Mr Stones added: “We have been going out on as many weekends as we can completing walks from 15-25 miles at a times whilst carrying the things we need on our backs as well. Myself and Paul are really focused on the challenge and we hope to raise as much as we can.”

The two of them together are hoping to raise at least £2,000 in total.

Sarah Lockey, Community Fundraiser for Meningitis Now said: “This is a great challenge and a fantastic way for Mark to do something positive and proactive, after feeling so helpless when his friends were experiencing the anguish of meningitis.

“Mark and Paul are really inspirational.”

EIf you would like to show your support for Mark and Paul please visit their fundraising page via: https://www.gofundme.com/viking-way-147-mile-walk.