David Rogers, 47, a landscaper from Swinton, is challenging himself to travel the length of the 41-mile Bridgewater Canal three times.

He will walk, cycle and kayak along the canal, totalling 123 miles, to raise money for his cousin’s daughter.

Mr Rogers’ cousin, Mike Grozy, was 38 when he died suddenly from a heart attack and left behind 10-year-old Miley, who is the inspiration behind the fundraising campaign. The fund is intended to provide Miley with some financial security for the future.

The Salford resident will start his challenge in Runcorn at 6am on Thursday June 2 and walk 41 miles down the canal to Leigh which will take him approximately 13 hours. He will then cycle for four hours back to Runcorn.

He isn’t planning on resting between walking and cycling, he will instead take frequent comfort and food breaks along the way. He is acquiring a vehicle in which he can rest for about four hours before he starts his final leg of the journey.

At 6am the following morning he will kayak the final 41 miles of the 123-mile challenge back to Leigh which will take about 12 hours. He is hoping that he will complete the challenge in under 48 hours.

Mr Rogers said: “I go kayaking on the Bridgewater Canal quite regularly.

“For a while now I thought ‘I’m gonna kayak the length of [the Bridgwater Canal].’ Then I thought I wouldn’t mind cycling the length of it. Then I thought, you know what I’d like to walk the length of it.”

Permission to use by David Rogers.

Mr Rogers, who has lived in Swinton since he was three-years-old, has never attempted anything of this magnitude before and with a large feat ahead of him, his approach is to take one step at a time. He thinks the walking portion will be the most challenging.

He said: “I’ve not done it before. I’ve never covered those distances before. I’m hoping determination and willpower is gonna get me to the end of it.

“41 miles is a long way to go walk, but I’m gonna walk one mile, 41 times.”

The landscaper will be mainly doing each section of the challenge solo, however, a friend has expressed interest in joining him for a portion of the kayaking and an old school friend could accompany him cycling.

He is already an experienced kayaker, however, when asked how he has been preparing for this challenge. He said: “I’ve got a big dog that needs walking a lot and at weekends I’ve been getting out in the kayak down the Bridgewater canal so the next couple of weeks I’m gonna concentrate on the cycling.

“I’ve done the three peaks. I did a 5k swimming event, bits of cycling, but nothing like this.”

The initial £500 target has been surpassed with over £600 already raised and he hopes that they will be able to reach £1000.

Mr Rogers was inspired by Roy Thickett, a friend of Mike’s, who decided to organise a charity rugby match in honour of Mike who was an avid rugby player. This was after Mike’s mother expressed concern for Miley after his passing.

He said: “It is to remember Mike’s life and also to raise money for Miley’s fund.”

The matches will take place at 2pm on June 11 at De La Salle Sports and Social Club and will include Mike’s All Stars vs. Bury Bronocs Masters and the junior game between Langeworthy U8s and Leigh East U8s.

Mr Thickett said: “We’ve got lads that are 35 and we’ve got lads that are 65 playing. All the lads played with Mike.”

An 80s and 90s disco will take place after the match at 4pm-7pm with entry wrists bands sold for £5.

Over £10,000 has already been raised for Miley. If you would like to support David or make a donation please see the links below.

Miley’s Fund

David’s Justgiving page

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