A group of wounded, injured and sick veterans and service personnel have vowed to complete one of Yorkshire’s toughest walking challenges in less than 15 hours

The team from Help for Heroes only northern Recovery Centre will tackle the 42 mile Lyke Wake Walk, from Scarth Wood Moor, Osmotherley, across the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors, ending on the north sea coast at Ravenscar. The challenge is to complete the full walk, an old coffin trail, within 24 hours.

But leader Dean Middleton, strength and conditioning assistant at Phoenix House Recovery Centre, said the group of six veterans, two serving personnel and four support staff is aiming to complete the distance in just 14 and a half hours on September 17. He said:

“We will be starting at first light and will keep going from there. This is a challenge event to aid people’s recovery and boost their moral. Physical exercise releases your endorphins and makes you feel good about yourself. Fingers crossed the weather will be good too so we will be able to appreciate the beautiful scenery."

Dean said the group has been training hard, taking part in other challenges throughout the summer such as the Pennine Way and walking parts of Hadrian’s Wall. He said: “This is a really famous walk that we wanted to complete and it’s something everyone is looking forward to. The history is interesting too as it’s an old coffin trail. The walk commemorates the practice of carrying the bodies of the dead from different parts of the moor to their final resting places.”

The challenge is part of the Centre’s activity programme, which aims to boost confidence through a variety of activities and challenges, playing an important part in an individual’s road to recovery and/or transition to ‘Civvy Street’.

The Lyke Wake Walk was started by Bill Cowley, a former Indian Civil Servant, North Yorkshire farmer, local historian, journalist and broadcaster, in 1955. People who complete it are entitled to buy the much coveted official coffin shaped badge.