Two close friends from opposite ends of the country are reuniting for a 24-hour endurance walk around London in aid of national disability charity United Response. Martyn Weeds and Mat Jones will be pounding the streets of the capital for the annual 100km Thames Path Challenge on September 14.

Martyn, from Isleworth, contacted his boyhood friend Mat from Middlesbrough and persuaded him to walk alongside him in this year’s grueling walk. After agreeing, the pair are now gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime.

Martyn, 30, said: “I work for United Response and see first hand the amazing work our frontline staff do, so when I heard about the Thames Path Challenge I knew it was the ideal opportunity to help raise some vital funds for a worthy cause. I have known Mat for 20 years and immediately thought of getting him involved when I heard about the challenge. Thankfully he didn’t take much persuading and was very eager to get on board – even though he lives 250 miles away.”

The mammoth walk will take the pair all day and night and will see them pushed to their limits. The trail serves as a superb backdrop to some of London’s most iconic landmarks including Hampton Court, The Old Deer Park and many more stunning sights.

Mat, 30, added: “Although it’s a walk, it’s going to be no small feat. To put it into perspective 100km is just over 62 miles and is the same distance as Brighton to London – all of which must be completed in 24 hours. So when Martyn asked me to join him I thought he was joking. But after learning about the great work United Response does and the difference they make to so many peoples lives I jumped on board and brushed off my walking boots. It isn’t going to be easy, but we have both been training hard and can’t wait to get to the starting line.”

The due have already raised hundreds of pounds through their friends and family for United Response, which supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities across England and Wales. But the pair are now looking for further support from the local area to help reach their £800 target. 

The event begins at Putney Bridge on the morning of 14 September, and will finish the next day at Henley-on-Thames.


Donate to Martyn and Mat’s amazing challenge