Festival burger that comes with extra relish for a trek challenge

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As challenges go, the brave hikers who will trek day and night for more than 24 hours across the Yorkshire Dales in May have chosen a particularly gruelling task.

The 230 teams of four participating in this year’s Trailtrekker Oxfam charity walk will hike for 100km, only taking breaks for meals.

When darkness falls, head torches go on – sleep will be the last thing on the challengers’ minds as the 30-hour time limit to reach the Skipton finishing line approaches.

Spurring on the hikers will be the sounds of Cragfest, a family music festival in Grassington which will be heard reverberating around the hills on the night of the walk.

For Bruce Dinsmore, who is hiking alongside three of his colleagues from Craven Council, the festival may offer a good opportunity for a midnight meal.

“We’re estimating we will be going past this festival at two in the morning.

“Hopefully the burger bar will still be open if we need a midnight snack,” he joked.

Soup, sandwiches and curry will also be on the menu for Mr Dinsmore, 45, and his team as they attempt to complete the hike in 26-28 hours.

To ensure they make it through their first Trailtrekker challenge within the time, the group – which includes Graham Tarn, David Smurthwaite and Cerrin Rees – has embarked on a tough training regime.

“We are all reasonably fit guys,” said Mr Dinsmore. “We do a few hours a week of training on our own and couple of us go out to do circuits each week.

“Once a month we go on a long walk together and we talk about team tactics.”

Although the team has never taken part in the event before, a few members of the group have been involved in the organisation of the event since it began in 2009. They discussed competing months before they plucked up the courage to enter in January this year.

However, for Rick Lomas and his team, the story behind their involvement in Trailtrekker is more unconventional.

When Mr Lomas’s parked car was hit while he was visiting a friend’s home near Barnsley, he certainly could not have predicted that he would soon be trekking more than 62 miles across the Dales side by side with the driver who caused the damage.

But Mr Lomas, from Leeds, was so impressed by the honesty of Charlotte Hay, who left him a note explaining that she had smashed one of his wing mirrors, that he contacted her and they became friends.

Now they will take on Trailtrekker together and aim to raise £1,200.

A third team member, Brian Jones, a music lecturer in Huddersfield, will also join the pair.

However, to participate in the Oxfam trek, teams must consist of four members – a requirement that nearly proved too difficult for this Yorkshire group, who were left a man down after their fourth member was forced to drop out due to a back injury.

The trio could have been forced to pull out of the challenge altogether if they had failed to find an additional member for their group.

Luckily, Chris Barr, a student taught popular music by Mr Jones, has stepped in.

But for Mr Lomas, 54, who works in a vintage clothes shop in Manchester, concern over the incomplete team has been dwarfed by worry about his fitness.

“My friends and family do think I’m mad,” he said. “They remind me that I’m not getting any younger and I’ve got troubles with my knees.

“I’ve walked 26 miles before when I’ve done the Three Peaks Challenge but I found this [training] hard.

“Maybe I’m not as fit as I was and the days are ticking down to get myself ready.”

Participants will start and finish in Skipton. The route will take them through Malham, Ribblesdale, the Pennine Way, Buckden, Wharfedale, Conistone, Hetton and finally back to their starting point.

The record for completing the course is 13 hours, 26 minutes.