MUDDIED and bloodied, scores of people are taking part in a gruelling army challenge in memory of a fallen hero.
Tom Cuthbertson has organised a log walk from Catterick Garrison to Sunderland in memory of his son, Nathan Cuthbertson, 19, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008.
Tom, a former Para himself, said he decided to organise the walk because it is similar to the army training the regiment do.
“We decided to do it a couple of months ago,” he said.
“Initially it was just going to be a walk, but then we decided to add the log in.
“It looks like a telegraph pole, but its really heavy. It’s got straps to carry it with, but they still cut into your hands.”
Those taking part will carry the log, which weighs about 80 kilograms, or more than 12½ stones, about 50 miles to raise money in Nathan’s memory for various charities, including Brothers in Arms, which Tom and Nathan’s mum Carla set up after their son’s death.
About 20 walkers set off from Catterick at about midnight last night, and expect to arrive back in Sunderland tomorrow about at 1pm.
“I’m not nervous about it, but I didn’t realise how close it was to the bike ride I’ve just done,” said Tom, who took part in the Cuthy’s 200 bike ride earlier in the month along with Captain Chris Collier, of the Parachute Regiment Training Company, who has also helped to organise the log walk.
“The Cuthy’s 200 has raised a few thousand pounds over the last few years, which has given us comfort,” he said.
“We could have been bitter after our Nathan was killed, but it was natural for us to start fund-raising – we knew exactly what we wanted to do.
“I think he would be proud as anything to see what we’ve done, and that we are still raising money for injured, and fallen soldiers.”