A GRUELLING 26-mile trek through the Yorkshire Dales would be enough of a challenge for most people.
But not for a crew of 10 from Settle Fire Station, who will be hauling a 35ft ladder with them as they take part in the Jane Tomlinson Walk for All in aid of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the Firefighters’ Charity on August 19.
The extra cargo was suggested by firefighter Jason Bentley, 43, who once carried one up Snowdon with former colleagues from Hertfordshire Fire Service.
“That was quite a while back and I was a little bit fitter then,” he said. “As far as distance goes this is probably going to be the hardest thing all 10 of us have ever done.
“It’s going to be a challenge, fitness-wise, but if we can put ourselves out for a few hours of pain to benefit two really good causes it’s more than worth it.”
The Firefighters’ Charity is not the only cause close to their hearts. The father and grandfather of Jane Tomlinson’s widower Mike used to be firefighters at the station, and his mother is a neighbour of Mr Bentley.
The crew hopes to raise £4,000 with match funding from Barclays, which they will split between the two charities.
Mr Bentley and colleagues Robert Fox, Drew Jennings, Jason Croft, Stephen Richardson, Michael Crisp, Peter Allen, David Grace, Darren Lynn and Michael Scaife have been training hard and will soon begin practising with the 46.5kg ladder, borrowed from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“Every firefighter is up for a bit of a physical challenge for a good cause,” he said.
“Everyone’s in training for it and it has brought the station closer together.”
For Mr Fox, the thought of his wedding to fiancee Beccy Parker just two days after the trek will be what keeps him going to the finish line.
“Hopefully his little legs will be well enough to walk down the aisle,” said Mr Bentley.
To sponsor the crew, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Settle Fire Station.