22 May 2024

‘It was a struggle, but I made it!’

by Rebecca Hannant

A Patrington man has completed a 100-mile hike for charity.

To raise money for Mind, Tom Massey-Davis, who has autism, completed the epic walk supported by friends and family back home.

He said: “After being given a week off work I was struggling to decide on something to do for it. So, I thought about hiking. I chose the West Highland Way because its seemed like a good choice. And amazingly there is a 100-mile challenge fundraiser. So, I signed up and received a free T-shirt from them.”

On Tuesday, February 28, Tom travelled to Glasgow. The following day, he arrived at the start of the trail point in Milngavie. Tom said that the path started out like a park trail before it became more hilly. After eight hours of walking he checked in at an inn in Balmaha, clocking in his first 21 miles.

The next day saw him set off at 6am, travelling 27.5 miles through forests and over boulders and rocks. After 11 hours of walking, he reached Crianlarich.

Day three saw Tom cover only 13.5 miles due to tiredness and pain in his feet and legs before reaching the Bridge of Orchy.

On day four, he set off at dawn, covering a further 21.5 miles.

Tom added: “This next part was one of the hardest because I was climbing mountains and still had sore legs.

“Seeing all the wildlife around me and the messages of encouragement helped me get through the worst of it. After getting past the Devil’s Staircase, my signal was cut off for the next nine miles, meaning I could be in serious trouble if I was lost or injured. But somehow I made it through, with determination and a pocket map my dad got me. I then reached Kinlochleven, where I slept like a log.”

The next morning marked Tom’s final day with only 15 miles to cover. However, with just seven miles to go, he injured his knee, forcing him to limp for the rest of the journey.

He added: “Even though it was painful, and it took longer, I was still determined to get to the end.

“After another two hours of struggle, I made it across the end of the trail, completed my 100 miles and reached my target goal in the fundraiser of £515. And I did all this only in five days. After telling my friends and family, I checked into Fort William getting ready for the morning train back home.”

To donate to Tom’s fundraiser, visit facebook.com/donate/3381503232108362/.