Friends' bid to tackle 100k in under 24 hours

An Ely man and friends aim to walk 100km in under 24 hours near South Downs National Park

From left: Adam Morley, Ben Whicker, Shaun Cuthill and Sam Brown who will take on the 100km trail walk near the South Downs National Park. - Credit: Ben Whicker

A group of friends who grew up together are confident that they can complete a 100km trail walk inside 20 hours in aid of charity. 

Ben Whicker of Ely is teaming up with Adam Morley, Shaun Cuthill and Sam Brown to take on the feat near the South Downs National Park, before finishing at Brighton racecourse. 

“The distance must be completed within 30 hours, but we have set ourselves a target of 20 hours,” Ben said. 

“We put the word out we were doing it and over the last four to six weeks, the fundraising quietened off, so we are trying for a big push.” 

Ben had discussed swimming the English Channel with his long-time friends, but were unable to do this due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. 

The event is also a way for the quartet, who are walking for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust, to meet up having gone their separate ways. 

“We all went to school together and then went our separate ways,” Ben said. 

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“It was more to give ourselves a challenge to work towards and raise money at the same time. It’s my first time doing this kind of challenge. 

“We have donated to Oxfam before and they do important work tackling poverty. With the Gurkha Welfare Trust, one of my mates served in the military and brought it to our attention.” 

Ben, a chemical engineer, will start the walk alongside Adam, Shaun and Sam from the Queen Elizabeth Country Park on Saturday, September 25 before finishing at Brighton racecourse. 

They will also be assisted by a support crew with emergency supplies throughout the trek. 

Although the 29-year-old has taken on hiking feats before such as the three peaks challenge, he has not encountered anything like this. 

“The official start time is 6am, but we may set off around 8-9am and finish early the next morning,” he said. 

“It’s manageable if you stick to it. It’s hillier in the South Downs which we haven’t got too much here.   

“£2,000 is the target we are looking for. We are a way off, but I think we are fairly confident we will hit the target.” 

Ben added: “We’re looking forward to it and it will definitely be a challenge.” 

To donate, visit the group’s fundraising page at: