A MAN has walked more than 100 miles across the Peak District to raise money for a Hook-based charity.

Ed Smith completed the challenge from Edale to Hardraw in 51 hours, raising nearly £20,000 for Victoria’s Promise.

He was taking part to raise money for the charity after the help it gave to his wife Anna when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017, before she died aged 38 in June 2018 after the disease had spread.

The Montane Spine Challenger, as the race is known, challenges participants to make the hilly 108-mile distance in under 60 hours under their own steam, navigating the Pennine Way.

Ed, from Thatcham, said: “I was really happy with my time of 51 hours. The goal was just to make it, and 50 out of the 120 people who started the race retired as they went round.”

Kicking off the race on Friday, 11 January, Ed and his cohort finished on the following Monday after enduring adverse weather conditions on the way.

Ed added: “For the first 18 hours straight of the journey, it rained and I was absolutely soaked through. The winds were so high that at one point I was knocked over and had to crawl behind a monument to steady myself before carrying on. It’s really hard to describe just how difficult it was.

“It was very challenging and quite a surprise to finish, but I was really pleased. People could track us online via our tracking devices and so there was a pressure to finish.”

Victoria’s Promise holds a special place in the family for the help that the charity gave Anna during her stay at Basingstoke hospital, and the aid given to Ed and their now two-year-old daughter Alba.

The 35-year-old said: “It was the small things that really helped. From giving her a point of contact, to organising social activities with people in similar positions, it made such a difference.

“They are an amazing group of people, and Anna couldn’t speak highly enough of them, and neither can I.”

Ed has raised a total of £19,504, with his target of £20,000 in sight. To donate, go to mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/doitforanna.

For more information on cancer support charity Victoria’s Promise, go to victoriaspromise.org