Beardy man getting in trim for his Trailtrekker endurance test

FOR most of the participants in next weekend’s Trailtrekker charity walk, simply making it to the end of the gruelling 100km hike across the Yorkshire Dales will be a relief in itself.

But for “Beardy Man” Simon Gill, from Silsden, the approach of the Oxfam trek will offer an even greater reward – the opportunity, at last, to shave.

Mr Gill, a 42-year-old marketing executive now living in London, has spent the past seven months growing his beard in preparation for next Saturday’s event, which will see nearly 800 people take to the Dales for a non-stop 62-mile sponsored walk.

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A few days before, Mr Gill will visit the barbers for a pre-walk trim – but he will not be heading to the Dales clean-shaven.

Instead, Mr Gill’s colleagues have drawn up nine possible styles for his Trailtrekker beard to be sculpted into, ranging from the surreal multi-coloured “Dreambeard”, to the deeply unsettling “Thigh Ticklers”.

Now the public are being asked to vote for their favourite style on his website, where they can also pledge money in support.

The beard with most votes by the time Mr Gill hits the barbers will be on display next weekend.

But whichever style comes out on top, he must be looking forward to finally losing the beard once the trek is over?

“You get fond of it, actually,” he grins. “It’s good to play with.”

Not everyone seems to be in total agreement, however.

“My fiancee’s been very supportive,” he insists. “But it is getting to the length now where she’s probably had enough.

“I think she’s ready for me to be clean-shaven again.”