Street entertainer Rob hits road for 2012km challenge
INTREPID Rob Sim will be lacing up his walking boots on New Year's Day to mark the first route of a mammoth 2012km trek.
Street entertainer Rob, aged 50, will walk the distance to raise funds for the NSPCC, a charity that he holds close to his heart.
And Rob, who performs all over the country as part of street double-act What A Palaver, admits that the prospect of having to walk over 20 miles a week is a daunting one.
He said: "When you look at it in one way, it's an average of walking three-and-a-half miles a day, which doesn't sound too much.
"But when you think about it further, if I was to miss one day because of work, then it would all build up.
"It's definitely the biggest challenge I've ever done."
Rob has set himself the task as part of the Olympic Gold Challenge; a national challenge which revolves around the 2012 number.
Applicants can choose to cycle, swim or run 20.12km, 201.2km or 2012km for a range of different charities, depending on how adventurous they feel.
Rob will be required to hike a range of routes throughout 2012, with the first set to take place on January 1.
The Congleton resident will kick things off by walking 12km up and around The Cloud.
Rob, who has lived in the area for over two years, believes the Congleton landscape will provide a great place to achieve the goal.
He said: "I've planned out several routes along the way.
"From my house I can walk along the canal up towards the Congleton Ridge, which is about a seven mile walk there and back in itself.
"I should count myself lucky that I live in an area like this, because it means I can enjoy the route along the way.
"I'm pretty much spoilt for choice on where I can walk to."
The hiking enthusiast has done several fund-raising attempts before, including participating in the 24-mile NSPCC Hike Against Cruelty to Kids (HACK) events last year.
He hopes to have raised at least £2,012 by December 31.
Rob, who lives in Buxton Road, said: "I have always been keen to support the NSPCC.
"Every year I have done some form of fund-raising for them because I truly believe they deserve every penny.
"Every child deserves the right to live a happy life."
Rob's wife Sharon Sim, 47, will be cheering Rob on during his year-long fund-raising drive.
Sharon, who has been married to Rob for two years, said: "I think Rob is bonkers for agreeing to do this, but it's for a wonderful cause.
"He's very charity-minded and always looking out for others. I think he's going to smash the challenge and do really well."
NSPCC's community fundraising manager, Rachel Walker, said: "It's fantastic that Rob is taking part in our Olympic Gold Challenge to support the NSPCC.
"We are extremely grateful to him for all his fund-raising activities, which will help raise much needed funds to make a real difference to the lives of local children. We wish him the best of luck for the first of his 2012km walks."