A MAN who has hiked some of the world’s harshest mountain ranges has dreamed up a new challenge after muscle wasting has prevented him from walking.
Andy Davies could once be found navigating the Alps or the Himalayas, but he now uses a motorized chair to cover long distances after being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 2019.
However, Andy still has adventure at heart, even at 72, and has now created the Thames Source to Sea Challenge – a 184-mile walk along the riverbank that runs from Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier.
Divided into 30 sections, the journey traverses seven counties and is designed so that people can walk, bike or even paddle any distance to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Andy from Arundel said: “Alongside raising awareness of muscular dystrophy, a key aim in creating Source to Sea was to give others with muscular dystrophy an accessible opportunity to experience the Thames Path or just to come together.
“I’ve always loved walking, running, cycling and being active so I figured the Thames Path would be an ideal flat walk for me in 2020 after my diagnosis.
“However, Covid came and like many others with muscle wasting conditions, my muscles deteriorated more noticeably due to reduced activity.
Andy, a retired sociology and humanities teacher at Felpham Secondary School in Bognor, can now walk up to a mile using a frame.
He was inspired to make Source to Sea a community event.
Andy said: “I’m looking forward to starting the walk on Saturday at 10am at the source of the River Thames in the village of Kemble, Gloucestershire, which is only marked by a stone.
“Then on Sunday I’ll be joining the last three and a half mile section between the Greenwich Tunnel and the Thames Barrier, which could take quite a long time!
“I’ll be joined on the walk by my wife Vicky, my daughter Becs, her husband Tom and my two grandchildren – it’s going to be wonderful.”
Andy is hoping to raise £15,000 for the two-day event through his Just Giving pageand is asking people to sign up and attend September 17-18.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20714203.arundel-adventurer-thames-challenge-muscle-charity/?ref=rss Arundel Adventurers in Thames Challenge for Muscle Charity