A Colne dad will take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge tomorrow a year to the day from being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Paul Whittaker (37) will complete the arduous ascents of Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside in a team of nine bidding to finish the famous trek inside 12 hours.
Paul, who manages both Pendle Leisure Centre in Colne and West Craven Sports Centre in Barnoldswick, has been putting in the hours of training for the 26-mile walk with friend John Bannister and brothers Antony and Karl who will be walking with him tomorrow.
The walk holds special sentiment for Paul too as Ingleborough is where his mum and dad met 50 years ago.
Paul, of Dudley Street, said: “I’ve been doing a fair bit of training, walking the peaks individually and doing the park runs on a Saturday morning.
“I’m confident we will do it and a good day of weather will make a big difference.
“I did no exercise before and got up to 19 and a bit stone when I was ill. But I’ve lost about a stone and a half so far.
“I feel so much healthier for it. I have everything at my disposal at work and never took advantage of it.
“I’ve now got on the couch to 5k scheme at work and use the gym two times a week.”
As well as team camaraderie on the walk, Paul will have his mum and dad doing refreshment pit stops between peaks and his wife Catherine will be cheering him on at the finish with daughter Grace (8) and son Oliver (4).
Paul added: “My family and friends have been so supportive. Obviously it has been difficult at times.
“It was a massive shock being diagnosed but from the first appointment they explained it was quite a positive outlook.
“I’ve always seen it as a process I needed to go through to get healthy again.
“I want to raise as much money as I can so that all types of cancer patients can have the same positive outlook that I had.”
Money will go to Cancer Research UK. To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/p-whittaker/