86-year-old George 'thrilled' to conquer million steps feat

Soham man completes one million steps for charity

George Ginn (far right), a former Soham town councillor, reached one million steps as part of his challenge to raise funds for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. - Credit: Facebook/Soham Town Council

A man who completed one million steps in under 100 days for charity said he is “thrilled to bits” with the support he received to conquer the feat. 

George Ginn, 86, decided to take on the challenge where he would walk from his hometown of Soham and Fordham between January 11 to April 20 for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. 

Having said last month he was “way ahead of schedule”, George reached the million-step mark on Good Friday (April 2) as he walked his usual route. 

“I thought if I do an average number of steps each day, it would be Good Friday when I reach the million,” George said. 

George, who is now around 47,000 steps over his initial target, was inspired to take on the feat after reading about Soham resident David Bartle during a visit to the Cambridgeshire Collection before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The ex-Soham town councillor came across Mr Bartle when finding newspaper and other archive material related to the town and the First World War. 

It is believed that in January 1914, Mr Bartle walked a mile in 11-and-a-half minutes, a minute under his allocated time slot, before walking from Soham to Fordham six times in under 10 hours two months later. 

“I tried walking from home as fast as I could and by the time I got to the third mile, I was walking a lot faster,” George said. 

“I went from Stone Bridge in Soham, where I used to cross in the early 1980s, to Fordham and back several times and on one occasion, managed to do it three times, so 18 miles in four-and-a-half hours.  

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“But that was as much as I could do.” 

George was also greeted by his daughter and eldest son on Good Friday, the day he and wife Ruth marked their 55th wedding anniversary. 

Over £1,000 has now been raised for George’s chosen charity, who now has another goal in mind once he finishes his current challenge. 

“As I was walking, someone came up behind me and said ‘you’re walking fast’; it was my daughter!” he added. 

“When I started walking along that route, I noticed there is a lot of rubbish beside the path. I said when the walk is over, I would take a black bag and pick up some of that rubbish.” 

To donate, visit: https://bit.ly/3mqITYc.