A 220-mile trek in ten days across barren landscapes and dozens of rivers, battling trench foot and chronic fatigue – it’s not most people’s idea of a summer holiday.
But former Royal Marine-turned-clergyman Charlie Lacey and ex-Territorial Army soldier and personal fitness instructor Laurence Dawson are not ‘most people’.
The pair are taking on the seemingly insurmountable challenge across northern Norway to raise thousands of pounds for Hope in Tottenham, a youth support charity founded by local church St Ann’s.
Charlie, a curate at the church, said: “It is a pretty bleak landscape. One of the biggest challenges will be the amount of water – we have 20 river crossings to overcome in just one day.”
The pair will be carrying rucksacks weighing up to 80lbs containing all their food, equipment and medical supplies for the journey.
But the biggest test, Charlie said, will be treating their soaking wet feet.
He said: “When you’re hiking long distances with soggy feet like that you can easily get into the early stages of trench foot. So we’ll have to keep track of that and make sure we manage our feet properly.”
Charlie decided to take on the gruelling hike after his friend tried and failed to complete the same journey recently. His competitive nature and his appetite for adventure meant the expedition became irresistible.
After roping in Laurence on his wife’s insistence, the pair are now preparing to set off towards the Arctic Circle on July 3.
They will walk straight out of Tromso airport and begin their trek, walking 220-miles in 24-hour daylight for around ten hours a day until they reach their final destination of Hammerfest, where they hope to get straight on a plane home.
Laurence, from Old Street in north London, said: “It is a really exciting challenge and a phenomenal way of raising money for a great charity. I’ve done a lot of endurance runs in the past but it is the cumulative strain of doing ten days over hard ground that will be tough.”
The friends are looking to raise £20,000 for Hope in Tottenham and are already a third of the way towards their target.
Charlie said: “I feel now that I just want to get out there and get on with it, though I’m sure that sense of excitement will turn to foreboding once we arrive at the airport.”
Laurence added: “It’s not often you get a chance to do something like this – it certainly appeals to the mid-life crisis in me. I can’t wait to get out there and immerse myself in it.”
To sponsor the guys, visit their Just Giving page or text NORW60 and an amount of either £3, £5 or £10 to 70070.