Four generations of the same family aged 12 – 75 years old, are set to take part in an epic seven-day adventure – from Manchester to Ambleside in the Lake District, to raise money for the leading youth charity YHA (England and Wales).
Paul Howlett (51), who lives in Poulton-le-Fylde and works for YHA (England and Wales), will be undertaking a gruelling seven-day challenge visiting every youth hostel in the North West.
The challenge begins on Sunday 16 June and ends on Saturday 22 June, when he will have covered 180 miles by bike, 80 miles on foot and 12 miles of swimming.
He will be accompanied at various points of the 272-mile challenge by friends and colleagues but, on the last day, his mum Sheila (75), sister Caroline (49), daughter Beth (28) son Joshua (16) and granddaughter Keisha (12) will all join him for the final one-mile swim across the River Rothay.
Starting at YHA Manchester and ending at the charity’s youth hostel in Ambleside in the Lake District, Paul will visit 20 youth hostels as part of his Epic Adventure.
He aims to raise £2000 for YHA, to enable the youth hostelling charity to continue in its aim to help every child experience travel and adventure.
Paul, who works as the charity’s Operations Manager in the North West commented: “I’ve worked for YHA for 18 months and I love it. During that time, I’ve had the chance to meet some of the children and young adults that have stayed, who have been part of YHA’s Breaks Programme and seen how it’s had such a positive impact; raising £2,000 will help in a small way.”
However, he’s keen to point out that his Epic Adventure is not a race. He explained: “I don’t want to race it. I want to share the experience. I’ve been lucky to compete in a number of the world’s toughest triathlons. I’ve qualified for GB in two sports and completed adventure races and ultramarathons. However, the most enjoyable time I had was in 2015 when I was training to do my first ultramarathon and I organised a 42-mile run with my local Triathlon club. Everyone who joined me for sections ran distances from 5k to a marathon. I was joined by people from every age group – from 72-year-olds to teenagers. It was an amazing experience to share with other people and I wanted to do the same but on a bigger scale, so came up with the idea of my Epic Adventure.”
He is passionate about the charitable work that YHA does to enable young people and their families, particularly those who are living challenging lives, to benefit from the transformative power of time spent outdoors.
He added: “Since joining YHA I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people from all walks of life in the hostels. What always takes me back is the sheer range of people that can benefit from what we offer.
“Affordable accommodation makes an adventure in your home country so much more accessible – whether you’re from the hills or inner-city or you’re aged seven or 77. Getting involved in an outdoor adventure should be the top of everyone’s list. Fundraising to allow YHA to keep having this effect on people across England and Wales is vitally important and all the support I’ve received so far is so gratefully appreciated.”
If you would like to support Paul’s Epic Adventure, his JustGiving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-howlett3?utm_id=124. Or, if you’d like to join him on part of the route, please visit https://completer2competitor.wordpress.com
- Day 1 (16 June) – YHA Manchester – YHA Liverpool
- Day 2 (17 June) – YHA Liverpool – YHA Keswick
- Day 3 (18 June) – YHA Keswick – YHA Skiddaw House – YHA Borrowdale – YHA Honister Haus – YHA Buttermere
- Day 4 (19 June) – YHA Buttermere – YHA Ennerdale – YHA Black Sail – YHA Wastwater – YHA Eskdale
- Day 5 (20 June) – YHA Eskdale – YHA Coniston – YHA Hawkshead – YHA Langdale – YHA Windermere
- Day 6 (21 June) – YHA Windermere – YHA Patterdale – YHA Helvellyn – YHA Grasmere
- Day 7 (22 June) – YHA Grasmere – YHA Ambleside