A MAN who six years ago walked the 80 miles-plus of the Dales Way in one go has successfully repeated the journey - but this time on the driveway of his parents home in Ben Rhydding.

Former Ilkley Grammar School student Adam Bennett was just 22 when he walked from the edge of Windermere to Ilkley in around 33 hours raising almost £500 for the charity Y Care International. He raised money for the international relief agency as he later spent time volunteering in Guatemala. During his placement in the town of San Cristóbal Adam made many friends and one recently contacted him to say many families they worked with are really struggling in the current coronavirus crisis. It was this desperate need which in inspired Adam to repeat his fundraising walk over one weekend.

He started at 12.55pm May 23 and finished finished the walk at 5.55pm on Sunday, 28 hours and 55 minutes after starting. He has currently raised over £1,600.

“The first six hours were perhaps the most challenging,” he said. “This was partly because it was difficult to feel like progress was being made when looping round the drive meant that I wasn’t going anywhere. It was also colder than I had anticipated. By 7pm though, I had warmed up and my spirits had been lifted by some well-timed encouragement providing a reinvigorated feeling of purpose.

“My family members were very good at providing me with support throughout the day and late into the evening. With the sun setting, I switched to doing laps of the garden so that the crunch of the gravel did not disturb the neighbours. However, walking around in circles in the dark did heighten my sense of boredom, so I listened to some inspirational radio programmes and spoke to a couple of friends which helped normalise being awake when at least one was working a night shift.

“I was impressed by the promptness of the birds which came out on Sunday morning to sing their dawn chorus as soon as the light appeared in the sky. At some point around noon, I must have forgotten to regularly change direction which aggravated my knee to the extent that I started to use a walking pole. Despite this, encouragement from passers-by helped me maintain my pace. I was also given an extra boost by a new sign that was placed on a chair at one end of the drive saying ‘Go Adam, Go’.

“The last 100 laps were difficult because I was getting shooting pains in my feet. Fortunately, it wasn’t necessary to carry me to the finish line in a wheelbarrow as my brother suggested and instead I readjusted my shoes, improvised with an old broom handle for a second walking pole, and pushed on. Everyone’s support has turned the walk into something quite meaningful and hopefully I will be able to share some photos of the latest food distributions soon.”

Sponsor Adam at:https://www.gofundme.com/f/dales-way-in-a-drive