Hightown men go extra miles for love of dad Neil

Published date: 23 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A HIGHTOWN man and his brother-in-law are hiking a marathon a day over a week in memory of his dad who died of cancer.

Andy Simon and his brother-in-law Lewis Hardy want to complete the 177-mile length of Offa’s Dyke in seven days in memory of Andrew’s father Neil Simon, who died from cancer in 2012.

During his illness the Shooting Star Unit helped Neil and his family enormously – so this long-distance challenge is to raise funds for the ward.

Mr Simon, 33, said: “My dad’s cancer started in the mouth, and he had it for about six or seven years before it spread to his lungs.

“We are raising the money for the Shooting Star Cancer Unit because they were such a big help to us during this tough time.

“They looked after dad. “The staff there were fantastic and this is our way of saying thank you.”

The Offa’s Dyke Path is a 177-mile long trail and the duo will take on the challenge from May 3 to May 9.

It is named after, and often follows the spectacular dyke that  King Offa ordered to be constructed in the 8th century to divide his kingdom of Mercia from rival kingdoms.

According to the National Trail, it normally takes two weeks to complete the whole trail. But Andy and Lewis are hoping to do it in just seven days.

They will be completely self-sufficient during the walk.

They will carry expedition sacks with supplies, clothing, camping equipment and water.

They will sleep at sites on or near the path throughout.

In total they will carry about 30lbs of equipment, walking about a marathon a day over harsh terrain.

Mr Simon said: “We’ve been training walking between about eight or so miles but we are planning to push that up as our training plan continues.

“It’s going to be quite a gruelling challenge but one we are very much up for and excited about.”

The pair are trying to raise at least £1,500.

If you would like to help them, visit teams/offasdyke2014 or you can text ‘OFFA52 £5’ to 70070 to donate £5 or a different amount.

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