Richard Dunwoody conquers Japan.
Today, Richard Dunwoody completed his 2,000-mile unsupported trek across Japan for Sarcoma UK in 100 days. On February 27, Richard set off on his first challenge for seven years to raise awareness for Sarcoma UK: the bone and soft tissue cancer charity. The charity is of personal relevance as his nephew George, 21, who represented Great Britain at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2014, is still fighting the disease, having undergone both chemotherapy and proton therapy in the past 18 months.
He says: “I am delighted and relieved to have completed my hike across the length of Japan’s three largest islands from Cape Sata, the most southerly point of Kyushu, to Cape Soya, the most northerly one in Hokkaido. It has been an incredible and, at times, gruelling experience, having covered more than 2000 miles on foot since I set out on 26th February. It has also been a humbling experience and I will never forget the kindness and generosity of the Japanese as I have travelled through their country.
"I have done this to raise funds and awareness for the charity Sarcoma UK, as a result of my nephew, George Pearce’s illness, and I would like to thank Lindsey Bennister and her team at the charity for all their support. I would also like to thank Liz Ampairee for commanding the PR and doing a sterling job at home.
"My sincere thanks also go to Diana Cooper, for her never-ending support, to Yasuko Sawai and Milky Kora for all their help in Japan, to Yasuhiro Kihara and to Toshiyuki Kamimura and his family for delivering me to the start and to all those who came and walked some miles along the way or who turned up to offer encouragement sometimes in the most remote places. A big thanks to Cheveley Park Stud, for their generosity from the outset, and Richard Callaway and Nike for their supply of Pegasus trainers (of which I have needed several pairs!).
"I'd also like to say a huge thank you to those of you who have already donated to the charity as every penny is truly appreciated, and I hope in the coming weeks that we can reach our target.
"Finally, a very special thank you to my girlfriend Olivia who not only has helped plan and set this challenge in motion but has had the not-so-easy job of looking after our one-year-old daughter, Milly, while I have been away.
"The hike has been mentally and physically tough at times but it has been nothing to what George has had to endure over the past 20 months. He certainly has been a huge inspiration when things became a touch difficult during the past three months and I hope and pray that in the very near future he can make a full recovery from this terrible disease.”