My name is Mark Jeffries. I am a painter and decorator employed by the Jockey Club and based at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Last year I was diagnosed with a chronic spine condition which resulted in months off work. Eventually returning in a part time role only and throughout that dark time Racing Welfare were on hand giving support, advice and a listening ear when needed. Their dedication to helping others is to be applauded.
I started walking for exercise and became so proficient I have decided to do a sponsored walk for Racing Welfare as a way of saying thank you.
Along with a friend, I will be walking ‘The Way of Saint James’: a medieval pilgrim path of 800km which will take 5 weeks to complete. I will have to carry all of my kit in a rucksack and, as a pilgrim, I will carry a document called The Credencial [pilgrim’s passport] which will be stamped with the official St. James stamp at each town or overnight stop or refugio at which I stayed. It will provide a record of proof to the Pilgrim’s Office at the end of the 800km walk in Santiago de Camino that the journey was accomplished according to the official route.
The stamped credential is also necessary if I want to obtain a Compostela Certificate of Completion of the pilgrimage.
The walk will start on Monday 5th May 2014 at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France ,which is a town at the foothills of the Pyrenees. I will walk over the Pyrenees to Rocesvalles on the Spanish side and then 780km onto Camino de Santiago through towns and cities Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Sarria but to name a few, reaching Santiago on Friday 6th June 2014.
Obviously, a walk of this distance would be hard going for the fittest of people, but I hope you all recognise the challenge it presents myself with a back condition and you all sponsor me accordingly.
I would be delighted if you would visit my blog and follow my progress along the way.
See you at the finish!
Support Mark in fundraising by visiting his Just Giving page.