Couple celebrate reaching halfway in 1,000 mile charity walking challenge

Northrepps couple Colin Phillips and Michelle Renaud, who have set themselves the challenge of walki

Northrepps couple Colin Phillips and Michelle Renaud, who have set themselves the challenge of walking 1,000 miles in a yearPhoto: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk couple are putting their passion for walking to good use, by trekking 1,000 miles for the second time to raise cash for vulnerable and disabled young people.

Northrepps couple Colin Phillips and Michelle Renaud, who have set themselves the challenge of walki

Northrepps couple Colin Phillips and Michelle Renaud, who have set themselves the challenge of walking 1,000 miles in a yearPhoto: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

As part of a challenge run by Country Walking magazine, Michelle Renaud and Colin Phillips, who live at Northrepps, near Cromer, last year covered 1,000 miles, completing treks from Overstrand to Mundesley, Wells to Holkham, and the 94 miles from Hopton to Hunstanton.

Because Ms Renaud is a former support worker for Break, they decided to sign up again this year to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the charity, which supports looked after and disabled children and young people and runs a range of services for vulnerable youngsters and their families.

'I worked with adults with learning disabilities for nine years and I think Break is a really good charity, the support they offer to vulnerable young people is wonderful, so it seemed like a good thing to do,' Ms Renaud, 52, said.

The couple, who are both former Scout leaders, have set themselves a £500 target.


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They have already covered 500 miles since embarking on the challenge at the beginning of January and plan to give their total a 150 mile boost by walking the Pilgrims Way, from Winchester Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral, in October.

They will also be joining a walk following the Norwich GoGo Hares trail, which is raising funds for Break.

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Ms Renaud, who works for a Cromer-based internet communications company, said that since losing weight and taking up walking, her health had improved dramatically.

'I had depression and because of severe sleep apnoea, I lost my driving licence,' she explained.

After shedding two-and-a-half stone, her sleep apnoea – which causes sufferers to repeatedly stop breathing at night – disappeared, her mood improved and, with Mr Phillips's support, she embarked on a regular walking schedule.

'It's nice being out in the countryside and the fresh air, it's about mindfulness and it's just good for your head,' she said.

Mr Phillips, 55, is confident that both he and Ms Renaud will reach the 1,000-mile mark by the end of the year.

'But we only count 'boots on' miles, not 'Fitbit miles' where you count every step you take,' he said.

To support Ms Renaud and Mr Phillips, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/MichelleRenaud

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