TWO friends will be putting their best foot forward for charity by trying to walk 250 miles in five days.
Coleford duo Josh Winstone and John Fletcher will be stepping out to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in memory of Josh’s granddad Eric Russell in May.
They aim to start from Coleford’s clock tower at 5am before heading off on a different 50-mile route each day.
Former long-distance lorry driver Mr Russell, who passed away last May, was a popular figure in Coleford, and his grandson and friend have been in training “before and after work and every spare hour, at the gym, and on the road” to get fit for the May 15-19 challenge.
They have already raised £2,200 from a BHF Just Giving page. And dad-of-two Mr Winstone, 25, who works at Travis Perkins in Lydney, said: “Eric was not only my Gramp, but a best friend to me. Losing Gramp left a big hole in the family as he was a big man with an even bigger heart and family meant everything to him.
“So I have decided in his honour to raise money by walking 50 miles a day for five days, a tough challenge, but one I am determined to do.”
Mr Fletcher, who works at the Co-op in Lydney, said: “We’re expecting it to take 12 to 14 hours a day. Some days we might do a straight-and-back route, on another a circular route.
“Eric’s daughter, Josh’s mum, Jane Tillings, will be keeping us fuelled and kitted out, and will be collecting along the way, and our football mates at Milkwall FC and Cinderford six-a-side league will be lending their support.
“We’ll also have iced baths to try and stop our legs getting stiff and we’ve got holistic masseuse Helen Snowden on board as well,” added the 29-year-old, whose partner is expecting their second child next month.
To celebrate the completion of the event, the duo are planning a fundraising event night at Forest Hills Golf Club in Coleford on Saturday, May 20, which will include a disco, buffet, raffle and an auction.
Men are asked to wear cord trousers and a shirt, which was Mr Russell’s signature dress code. Tickets are on sale and all money will be donated to the BHF.
To sponsor the walk, go to the website www.justgiving.com/fundraising/
Josh-Winstone1. To book tickets for the event night, call Mr Winstone on 07429 117195 and Mr Fletcher on 07790 913426.