Bryan Clover, CEO of industry charity the Rainy Day Trust, recently completed a walk of the entire Pembrokeshire Coastal Path – a distance of 186 miles – in just nine and a half days, ahead of his original target of 10 days.
The aim of the walk was not only to raise funds for the charity, but also to raise awareness of the work that the charity does in Wales, and encourage more applications. Bridgend-based Addis Housewares agreed to sponsor the walk and provide back-up in terms of PR and marketing assistance as well as a £3,000 donation to kick things off.
The Coastal Path hugs the coastline of the county through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country but also has some considerable climbs and descents. In all, Mr Clover had to tackle more than 35,000 feet of hills, some of which were the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.
Mr Clover explained: “The walk began at St Dogmaels on 3 May with the steepest section of the coastline, involving over 7,200 feet of climb and descent in just 19 miles. Only five miles into the walk, I twisted my knee in a rabbit hole which was to cause difficulties for the remaining route and required strapping to be worn for the next nine days.”
Mr Clover averaged 38 – 40,000 steps per day, burning around 4,6000 calories. Due to the warm weather, he drank around three to four litres of water daily, which he had to carry.
Aside from his twisted knee, Mr Clover also encountered painful blisters due to having to walk through heavy dew which soon soaked through his boots. His longest day's walk was the Tuesday at 22.76 miles (36.42km). He also came across a surprising pitfall when Thursday's route had to be re-planned due to the army range at Castlemartin being active, meaning he had to walk on the roads for three miles before he could re-join the coastal path.
And, like most of the UK, he did not escape Thursday's torrential downpour, though he pointed out, “by that point the end was in sight, so pressing on wasn't a problem!”
Mr Clover finally crossed the finish line at Amroth at 11.30am on Friday, a full half day ahead of schedule. The walk has so far raised more than £6,500 (including gift aid) for the RDT.
“I have been asked several times if I would do it again,” said Mr Clover. “The answer is... maybe!”
The Rainy Day Trust is the UK's only charity supporting the home improvement workforce and their families in times of need. They’ve been caring for past and present employees of the housewares, pottery & glass, hardware, brushware, DIY, builders merchant and garden supply trades in difficult times since 1843.
To make a donation or for more information, please visit https://www.rainydaytrust.org.uk/events/rdts-pembrokeshire-costal-path-challenge/