One of the most unusual transport processions since the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay will come to Marlborough High Street later this month.
The town will be a staging post for five Londoners who are skateboarding from the capital to Cardiff, in a bid to raise £10,000 for charity.
The sportsmen will be using longboards, which are skateboards with a longer deck and bigger wheels, and are designed for transport, as opposed to their shorter stunt-oriented cousins.
Longboarding is one of Britain’s fastest-growing sports. And while the five members of London Longboards are used to downhill racing at Crystal Palace or dancing – a discipline similar to surfboarding – in Hyde Park, it will be the first time they’ve attempted a journey as long as the 160-mile challenge they face.
Longboarder Steve Matthews explained: “We’ll be following the A4 for most of the journey, and crossing the old Severn Bridge, which has pedestrian access.
“We’ll be covering around 40 miles every day over four days, travelling at between five and ten miles per hour and stopping at Reading, Marlborough and north of Bristol.
“The Marlborough stage will be our most challenging – it’s the hilliest, but it’s spectacular countryside so we’re looking forward to it.
“We were thinking about doing Land’s End to John O’Groats, but thought London to Cardiff would be a more sensible choice for our first long-distance trek. Perhaps we’ll do it next year!”
The five longboarders – Steve Matthews, Matthew Hernon, Will Aldington, Anthony Pierce and James Jones – will be arriving setting off from London on Friday, August 17 and arriving at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Monday, August 20.
All their kit – including tents and sleeping bags – will be carried on their backs. They’re aiming to reach Marlborough High Street at around 5pm on Saturday, August 18.
The team are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, as the disease has effected friends and family of most members of the group. They’ve already raised over £2,000 in sponsorship, and will be using their marathon trek to attract more.
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