Hillsborough man Colin Reid will be lacing up his walking boots for his third attempt at the Mournes HACK (Hike Against Cruelty to Kids) challenge on September 14.
Colin, NSPCC Northern Ireland’s policy and public affairs manager, will be hoping its third time lucky this year as, despite entering for the last two years, he hasn’t managed to finish a HACK yet.
Having been rescued in 2011 when his boot fell apart 8 miles in, and having to pull out at the last minute last year to bring his daughter to university, Colin is determined to get back on track to complete the hike – and save his reputation!
“It’s a bit of a running joke now that I’ve signed up so many times and not managed to walk it all yet,” said Colin. “I’ve had a lot of teasing from colleagues so I’m more determined than ever to get the HACK completed.
“I’ll definitely be doing the full 20 miles this year; I’ve got new walking boots, extra socks and all the supplies ready to make sure I have no disasters! I’m being prepared.
“I managed to complete the first leg of the hike in 2011, so I know what a beautiful route it is. I was genuinely disappointed not to have completed it and I am really looking forward to finishing this year. I’ll be doing some practise walks, as well as my usual tennis and badminton training to keep me fit for the day.”
Encouraging others to get involved, Colin said: “I am very lucky to work for an organisation that makes a difference for children in Northern Ireland. I’m one of many NSPCC staff who are getting involved on the day, either walking or volunteering. Our staff go above and beyond constantly and I thought ‘why not push myself to do something more?’ I’m very glad I have taken the extra step to sign up.”
NSPCC community fundraising manager Fionnuala Savage added: “We are so pleased that Colin is stepping up to the challenge again, and not letting his previous mishaps stop him! The Mournes HACK is such a great event, with hundreds of walkers taking part each year. It’s definitely a physical challenge, but with training and the support on the day it’s sure to be a fantastic experience for everyone involved. I would like to thank all of our walkers already signed up for taking part and fundraising for such a worthwhile cause, and I wish everyone the best of luck for their training and on the day.” The Mournes HACK is open to over 18s and the registration fee is £10 for the 14 mile route and £20 for the 20 mile route.
For further details, online registrations , log on to www.nspcc.org.uk/mourneshack.