Caerphilly man completes 1,000 mile coastal challenge and raises £6k for charity
A Caerphilly man has raised more than £6,000 for Cancer Research Wales by walking the entire length of the new Wales Coastal Path.
Dave Quarrell, 27, took three month’s unpaid leave from his work to complete the gruelling 1,027 mile challenge, and was joined on his last leg by his workmates.
The BAE Systems worker finished the walk in Cardiff on July 27 – on what would have been his late father Gerry’s 58th birthday.
Gerry Quarrell died of stomach cancer on May 9 2011. He was a well-known figure in his community and was instrumental in helping to create the Wales Coastal Path as part of his job with the Welsh Government.
Dave started his journey on May 5, which marked the opening of the Wales Coast Path. He returned to a hero’s welcome in Cardiff Bay, from his wife Natasha, friends and family, as well as the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir, of which Gerry had been an enthusiastic member.
He said: “The walk itself was a brilliant experience. In May I had wonderful weather – I was lucky to see the wildlife and landscape at its best in Pembrokeshire. Unfortunately the weather in June and early July was a different story – I was soaked through at the end of almost every day and on some occasions went a couple of days without seeing or speaking to another walker.
“However, I have been absolutely overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kindness throughout the whole experience. Cotswold Outdoor donated most of my kit and along the route the people of Wales have offered everything from free B&B accommodation to cups of tea, sponsorship or simply words of encouragement.”
Speaking prior to the 1,000 mile trek, he had said: “The idea first occurred to me in the few days before the funeral; many of the condolence cards we received from Dad’s former colleagues mentioned his passion for the project. I did some quick calculations and realised that if I walk at an average 15 miles a day, six days a week, I’d complete the walk on or around Dad’s 58th birthday on July 26, and just before the start of the Olympic Games.
Gerry was head of the Welsh Government unit responsible for the creation of the Wales Coast Path and Dave was one of the first people on the path.
The Wales Coast Path has linked up existing walking routes such as the Pembrokeshire, Gower and Lleyn Peninsula paths and the Offa’s Dyke National Trail which skirts the Welsh border from Prestatyn to Chepstow. Wales is now the first country in the world with a public walking trail around its whole perimeter.
Cancer Research Wales fundraising manager Laura Hooper said: “We are extremely proud that Dave has chosen to honour his Dad’s memory by fundraising for Cancer Research Wales.
“This was huge challenge and one that is extremely poignant and meaningful to Dave and his family. It is people like Dave who undergo such incredible challenges who help us to make a difference to the fight against cancer here in Wales.”