Burnley quartet's three-day charity Hadrian's Wall hike
Four Burnley men have walked the length of Hadrian's Wall to raise funds for the British Red Cross Society in memory of the victims of the four recent disasters in the UK.
Friends Callum Krzysik, Matt Fenn, Jonny White, and Jack Keith Bamford started their 87-mile trek on June 23rd in Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast of England, finishing their Odyssey in Wallsend on the east coast on June 25th.
Inspired to raise funds after the Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge attack, the Grenfell Tower fire, and the Finsbury Park mosque attack, the quartet of experienced climbers completed the hike - which usually takes six or seven days - in just three, covering 29 miles each day.
"It's easily the hardest thing I've ever done," said Callum. "But I wouldn't have wanted to do it with any other lads; we had a laugh even during the toughest of times.
"The pain and sleep deprivation was all worth it for the beauty we've seen and for the cause," he added. "British Red Cross are amazing and they deserve every penny."
As well as having already raised almost Â£700, the hikers laid a rose every mile for the first 22 miles for each of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing and then again for the next eight miles for the victims of the London Bridge attack.
As well as leaving the touching markers - each of which had a picture of the victim and a paragraph about them - the group also they laid a rose at the start and the end of their trek with a message about who they are and what we were doing.
"Roses signify love," said Callum. "It was a perfect memorial. We've had messages from people who saw the roses and said what a lovely gesture it was.
"We met amazing people, seen beautiful scenery, climbed hill after hill, and saw a bit of history," Callum continued. "We've picked up sponsors from the locals; befriended Americans, Australians, and pretty much everyone we met; and almost been killed by cows, but the journey has been amazing."
Spurred on by their heartwarming efforts, the boys completed the hike carrying 20kg packs on their backs containing all their camping gear over rough and gruelling terrain, which was especially bad on the second day as they travelled through the amazing but challenging scenery of the Roman ruins.
Given that the four do a couple of charity challenges every year, Callum said: "We've mentioned Hadrian's Wall time and time again. With tragedies striking the UK, we decided to make it a 'We Love Humanity' walk to try and get the message out there to stop the hatred in society."
Despite all four of suffering niggles along the way, the group battled through, going as far as to sleep in hammocks to save weight - a ploy that proved slightly ill-advised after a huge downpour on the Thursday night.
"As a group, we all pull each other through, mainly through our sense of humour," Callum said. "The good thing about Jonny, Jack, and Matt is that I know they're like me: if they put their mind to something, they'll never give up no matter how hard it is or how much pain they're going through.
"Thanks to everyone for all your support and kind messages along the way," he added.
To support Callum, Matt, Jonny, and Jack, you can donate to their JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hadrianswall4mcr.