Welsh Guards veteran urges Penarthians to join final leg of Walk on Wales challenge
10:06am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Penarth news
A WELSH Guard from Penarth is set to take part in the final leg of a 870 mile walk around the entire coastal path of Wales this weekend.
Dad-of-two Mark Horwood has already led a stage in the Walk on Wales challenge that started back in August this year.
Mark, who served in the Falklands during his six year stint in the Welsh Guards, is raising money for the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and charity, Combat Stress, both of which provide physical and mental care for injured service personnel and their families.
Mark said his week of walking, which started on September 11, went really well.
“My team and I walked from Four Mile Bridge in Anglesey to Whistling Sands in the Llyn peninsula, covering 106 miles,” he said.
“Each day we were sponsored and a friend of mine that sponsored the first day came and ended up walking for the rest of the week.
“He then stumped up and sponsored the two days of my week that I had not managed to get sponsorship for. This is a sample of how the walk has reached out and touched people.
“All the way around the coast people and businesses have been so kind, warm and welcoming. Not all have given cash but they have contributed by giving places to sleep, free meals and plenty of cups of tea and coffee.
“Along with plenty of support, with school children and parents lining some of the routes, it truly has been humbling.”
The walk is set to finish weekend, with the final leg of the 870 mile journey going through the cliff tops in Penarth at about 10.30am.
“Now the walk is entering its final stage,” said Mark.
“This starts on Wednesday, October 30, from Porthcawl and moves through Barry on Thursday, starting from Aberthaw and ending that day at Swanbridge.
“Then the final day, Saturday, the walk passes through Penarth, en route to the finish at the Senedd at Cardiff Bay.
“This day is promising to be huge with many hundreds of people registered to walk the final six miles from Swanbridge, passing through Lavernock, along the cliff tops and beach of Penarth. Then up the hills to St Augustine's church, dropping down to Custom House and over the barrage to Cardiff Bay. There are going to be bag pipes and marching bands, the works, to bring us home.”
He added that the team was still hoping to reach their target of raising £1million.
“At present the running total is around the £300k mark, but with a lot of individual sponsor monies to come in, along with a few more charity nights, which have been sold out for months, before we know the final total, we still hope to reach our dream of £1million!” he said.
Mark, 52, urged people in Barry and Penarth to show their support and join in the walk.
“The walk starts at around 9am each day with a short brief of the days route, and a drum head service to the Welsh Guardsman that day is dedicated to. I hope the people of Barry and Penarth can carry on the tremendous support we have been getting along the way, and show that the ultimate sacrifice of the 50 men, whose names are carved into the commemorative silver baton that has been carried all the way around Wales, is truly appreciated.
“I will be walking the last day, along with 12 other members of my family which includes my seven-month-old grandson, which really shows what a fully inclusive event it is, and is exactly what we were hoping for before stepping off on August 25.”