Walker vows to carry on with trek

A DETERMINED charity fundraiser has today vowed to continue with his epic 2,400-mile walking challenge across the country despite warnings from doctors to abandon his bid.

A DETERMINED charity fundraiser has today vowed to continue with his epic 2,400-mile walking challenge across the country despite warnings from doctors to abandon his bid.

For the last two months, Roger Betts, 61, from Chantry, has been unable to train due to an infection in his Achilles tendon and in the last week, he has also been struck down with the flu.

Although his doctor has warned him not to embark on his challenge of walking from Land's End to John O'Groats and back again via the public footpaths, he is adamant that his trip, in aid of the British Heart Foundation, will go ahead in May as planned.

He was due to build up his walking to 50 miles day as he plans to walk 30 miles a day on the trek. However for the past eight weeks he has been told not to walk at all, which means he is very behind schedule.

Mr Betts, of Bridgwater Road, said: “It has been absolutely disastrous. I have not been allowed to walk for two months because I injured myself during training. The doctor hinted that I shouldn't go but I said there was no chance of that.

“I am not worried because if the worst comes to the worst and I have had insufficient training, I will take the first part of the trip slowly and treat it as my training. I am not going to be in any hurry. I am 61 and I've got to accept that my body has some limitations.

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“There is no magic potion for it. I just have to rest and get better. It would have to be something pretty drastic for me not to do this.”

Fundraising has also not been going as well as expected. So far he has raised just under £500, nowhere close to his target of £24,000 but he claims that nothing will deter him.

The retired Royal Mail worker added: “Even if I had just 10p in the pot, I would still keep going. I am not going to give up. I hope I will be up again in the next week and start by doing some gentle walks.”

Mr Betts has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years by taking part in extreme challenges, including cycling 4,500 miles across Europe and cycling 2,400 miles from Ipswich to John O'Groats and back again.

He is due to set off from Land's End in Penzance in May and predicts it will take at least four months.

He needs all the sponsorship money he can get, so if you can help, visit www.bhf.org.uk, then click on donations and sponsor a friend, and search for Roger Betts. Alternatively call him on 01473 403900.

Are you raising some money for charity? Let us know. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk