Pair in the driving seat for Macmillan

PUBLISHED: 05:18 15 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:10 31 May 2010

Mike Anthony

Mike Anthony

MOUNTAIN passes, icy moors and muddy riverbeds are some of the terrain that a Saffron Walden man is likely to traverse in a charity challenge next month. Mike Anthony, of Plantation Close, is preparing for an exhausting weekend of off-road driving during

The Range Rover the pair drove on their last challenge

MOUNTAIN passes, icy moors and muddy riverbeds are some of the terrain that a Saffron Walden man is likely to traverse in a charity challenge next month.

Mike Anthony, of Plantation Close, is preparing for an exhausting weekend of off-road driving during which he hopes to raise more than £800 for Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Mike, who lives with his partner and three sons, said: "The biggest challenge will be trying to finish: we cover 1000 miles in two days and it really is non-stop.

"We don't know where we'll be going until the challenge starts. We meet at an arranged point, are handed a map and some instructions, then head off."

The 41-year-old, who said he is likely to feel 10 years older after completing the challenge, will be taking part in the Macmillan event for the fourth year running.

"Last year we started in Wales and the weather was not on our side," he said.

"We encountered blizzards and sheet ice and ended up crossing through Ireland before eventually finishing just outside Manchester.

"The heater failed after an hour of starting too, so it was a cold weekend!"

Mike will be navigating for the weekend with his friend John Lawson, from Over in Cambridgeshire, at the wheel.

The pair will be forced to catnap in their Range Rover during the intensive off-road mission, as no hotels have been booked or overnight stops planned.

"There are breaks arranged," said Mike, "but say a break is scheduled for 3pm to 5pm - if you arrive at 4.30pm, you still move on at 5pm, so there isn't a lot of opportunity for rest."

The challenge is not a race and the 50 teams taking part will all be asked to negotiate extremely challenging terrain, travelling from point to point.

The participants will need to answer questions on the locations they pass en route, to prove that they have followed the path of the challenge.

Last year 60 per cent of the driving took place off-road, often at ridiculous hours.

Mike said: "At one point last year we were driving through a quarry at 4am when we became stuck in three feet of mud.

"Being the navigator, it was my job to dig us out, and I'm looking forward to more similar fun this year."

Mike and John are hoping to raise some money through business sponsorships. Any companies that would like to sponsor the team will be able to display their logo on the vehicle and gain exposure.

If you would like to help the pair raise money for Macmillan Cancer Relief, call Mike on 07740 796604.

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