Bus drivers to walk coast-to-coast in memory of family member

Dallas and Mick out on a walk

Dallas and Mick out on a walk - Credit: Archant

Two budding ramblers are set to tackle a 192-mile fundraising walk in memory of a family member.

Bus driver Dallas Robinson, 56, from Papworth Everard, will begin a coast-to-coast walk on June 15 with colleague Mick Northfield, 65, from Fenstanton.

Dallas, whose son-in-law, Chris, died in 2017, was inspired to take on the challenge because it was something that Chris always wanted to do, but never had the chance.

Dallas said: "Chris was a big walker and actually completed three marathons in one day to raise money for the Huntingdon's Disease Association. I'd always wanted to walk the coast-to-coast with Chris but never had the chance. I decided eight months ago to do it in loving memory of him, and my friend Mick has stepped in to come along with me."

The duo will be walking the route, which begins in St Bees, in Cumbria, and ends in Robin Hood's Bay, in North Yorkshire, over the course of 12 days while raising funds for Huntingdon's Disease Association.

"Robin Hood's Bay was one of our favourite family holidays, so to have our family and friends there to greet us at the end will be emotional. We'll be straight into the pub afterwards with our muddy boots followed by some of the best fish and chips in the UK," said Dallas.

Mick and Dallas have been training hard at Cambourne Fitness and Sports Centre, which is operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Cambourne Parish Council, enlisting the help of Dallas's nephew Louis Nixon, a personal trainer at the centre.

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After staff at the centre heard about their story, they offered both walkers a three-month complimentary membership to help them prepare.

Dallas said: "We're both bus drivers - and not the fittest - so wanted to get into some kind of shape for the walk. Louis has been helping us to do that and we're now into our fifth week of training. We train at the gym twice a week and walk each weekend.

"It's going to be a struggle to just keep going as we both have some ailments. But we've been using the treadmill and cycling and rowing machines to prepare. We've already noticed a big difference in our bodies and our heart rates have improved.

"My wife says my beer belly has gone down a bit too," said Dallas.

Their fundraising target is £1,000, and they've already reached £700 thanks to kind donations from friends, family and people they work with.

"I've been a bus driver for 12 years and that's how Mick and I met, so we've been sponsored by lots of bus drivers, which is great." Dallas said.

Louis, from Everyone Active, said: "Mick and my uncle have been a great inspiration as they didn't exercise at all before and are now serious about their training.

"They're now building up stamina and core fitness for the uphill walks, as it's not just about training their legs. They've both lost weight and are already feeling the benefits of being fitter and healthier. It's brilliant for them to get active for such a good cause and in memory of my cousin Chris."

To donate to Dallas and Mick's Coast to Coast fundraising walk, visit their just giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coast2coastforchris.