FOUR friends braved torrential rain, bogs and 60mph gales to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Mike Storey set out with friends Martin Nicholson and couple Steve Prankard and Allison Brown to walk 197 miles.
The group walked Alfred Wainwright’s coast-to-coast path, which took them from Cumbria to east Yorkshire.
It took 13 days and the team raised £4,000 for the Stroke Association.
They chose the charity because Mike’s brother-in-law has suffered a stroke and is bedridden.
Mike, 58, from Greenfield Crescent, Waterlooville, said: ‘The charity is close to my heart and it has been helpful.
‘We were thinking about doing the walk anyway so thought we might as well do it for charity.
‘It is a great charity and not that well-known so it is important that they get people fundraising for them.
‘But it was also to raise awareness about strokes.
‘We had a fantastic time doing the walk.
‘We had such a laugh and loads of local people stopped us to ask what we were doing and to donate money.
‘We thought it was important that people knew our cause so we had purple Stroke Association flags hanging outside our backpacks.
‘They drew a lot of attention and I think it is because of them that we managed to raise so much on the way.’
The group experienced both rainy and warm days but kept going to complete the challenge.
Steve, 53, of Bursledon Close, Purbrook, said: ‘It was a great trek but it was hard at times with 60mph winds and near horizontal rain on one of the days. We also had to get through knee-deep bogs and some of the camping conditions were terrible.
‘But, having said all that, it was a truly memorable adventure and we had such camaraderie which I think kept us going.
‘People were just so generous.
‘We managed to raise £325 just through our collection boxes. We had set a target for £500 each so to raise double that is fantastic.’
The group is still receiving donations.
To make a donation visit justgiving.com/c2c13-stroke