Up hill and down dale, and still fresh as a Daisy

THE skies above were permanently grey throughout and there were one or two downpours to contend with but walkers kept on going through the mud to reach their journey’s end with a smile on their faces.

Walkers, some with families and friends, others with their work colleagues, others pushing their youngsters in a pram, undeterred by the weather, simply got out their waterproofs and put their best foot forward joining the crowds as they wound their way out of Settle on narrow roads up onto the surrounding Dales.

The youngest taking part was nine-month-old Daisy Groves who was pushed around a 4.5 mile course by her parents Kate and Chris Groves, of York.

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Daisy’s parents, who were raising money for the NSPCC, are both keen walkers and they had already taken their daughter for a country walk in her pram in the Lake District.

Mr Groves said: “Kate and I have always done a lot of walking.

“We did about three-and-a-half miles with Daisy in the Lakes, so not as far as this.”

As they set off yesterday Daisy seemed keen to take a good look around at the limestone countryside from the comfort of her pram.

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And soon they were striding out with only their fellow walkers and one or two sheep for company.

Many of those taking part yesterday had a personal story to tell, others wanted to enjoy a day out and take in the scenery while doing something worthwhile.

Sean Allerton, 46, of Sherburn-in-Elmet, Leeds, who was paralysed in a road smash with an uninsured driver in Cyprus, while he was serving with 34 Squadron, RAF Regiment, was doing his first charity event, in his wheelchair, to raise money for The Forgotten Heroes charity.

It raises money for families and those who care for servicemen and women injured while serving abroad.

“I just wanted to help,” he said.

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“I am also raising awareness of the RAF Benevolent Fund, which has looked after me.”

Mr Allerton did the 4.5-mile event, as did aptly-named Philippa Walker, her husband, Stephen and daughters Connie, three and Alice, 20 months, from Halifax.

They were part of a group walking to raise money to support cancer sufferers in memory of family member Dee Makin, of Huddersfield, who died two months ago.

Mrs Walker, who was raising money for Macmillan, said: “My Auntie Dee Makin, passed away two months ago, she had secondary cancer and she was just a wonderful, wonderful woman, really.”

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Her husband was walking to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The heavens opened as many were preparing to head off on their walk.

However, this only meant extra fun for the youngsters who seemed to relish the conditions more than their parents.

One boy, dressed in waterproofs, enjoyed splashing through the puddles, and another had to have his Wellington boots dried out by his mum after his puddle jumping became a little too ambitious.

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Walkers had a choice of a number of routes to follow, from 4.5 miles to 26 miles. Some had trained hard for what lay ahead, while others had a more relaxed approach, with many a four-legged friend brought along for company.

Husband and wife, Graham Carr, 38 and Sharon Carr, 46, and their cocker spaniel Millie travelled from county Durham, to do the 26-mile walk.

“We heard about it from a neighbour and we both love walking so thought we would do it. “Our 12th wedding anniversary we went up Ben Nevis together – some people go to Paris,” Mr Carr laughed .

As the walkers began trickling past the finish line, it was clear that a bit of rain hadn’t stopped them enjoying the challenge.

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In fact, such are the quirks of the Yorkshire weather system that some of those taking part hadn’t been troubled by the heavy showers that hit others.

Morag Platt, of Wigan, who did the five-mile walk said: “It was a bit wet at the beginning but it was a nice temperature for walking in.”

ITV weatherman Jon Mitchell who also did the five-mile walk, said afterwards: “It was fun. I really enjoyed it.”

Linda and Richard Harris, of Leeds, were the first home in the 14-mile event.

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Mr Harris, 58, said it wasn’t coming first that mattered: “We are proud to have completed it.

“It doesn’t matter where you come. It’s great being up there with lots of people around you.”

His wife added: “It has been fantastic.

“It is one of the best things that we have done.”