A former Royal Marine Commando from Preston has completed his most “difficult ever challenge”: walking barefoot 42 fells in the Lake District (a distance of 66 miles and elevation gain of 26,900 feet).
It’s known as the Bob Graham Round because on his 42nd birthday, a hotelier from Keswick (Bob Graham) conquered the 42 Lake District peaks in 24 hours, unknowingly launching one of Britain’s great fell endurance challenges.
We’ve covered many other inspirational foot challenges but this one ranks among the toughest!
During the 66-mile journey, which took more than 33 hours, Matthew Disney, 38, said he only received a couple of puncture wounds on his left foot from a thistle.
Matthew Disney, better known online as @DisneyRM, recently completed a fundraising challenge in favour of two organizations near and dear to his heart: The Royal Marines Association and Rock2Recovery. He did it on his 38th birthday and dubbed it his “worst idea ever.”
He detailed the ‘excruciating pain’ of climbing practically the equivalent of Everest without shoes in a social media video at the end of his quest, saying it’s a feeling ‘you don’t get numb to.’
So, how did Matthew’s feet handle all of the climbing? Well, except from a little puncture cut from a thistle, he claims he got away with no harm to his foot after 175,150 excruciating steps!
A challenge is nothing new to the Royal Marine veteran. He’s ascended a mountain in his front nursery and climbed Mont Blanc with a paddling machine on his back over the most recent couple of years alone.
Matthew, from Preston, Lancashire, had previously completed a variety of barefoot adventures, including climbing Snowdon and the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Matthew’s legs cramped after finishing the first step of his current challenge, indicating that he would not be able to complete the challenge in the allotted time. He persevered and completed the second step, only to find the third phase to be even more difficult.
When Matthew met his partner at the summit of Scarfell Pike as the sunset, he wasn’t ready to continue on the path with her as planned, and he chose safety above time. With a total elevation of 29,373 feet and 175,150 steps, Matthew finished the challenge, clocking in at 79.7 miles and the equivalent of ascending higher than Everest. “Every one of your feet has 52 bones, 66 joints, 214 tendons, 38 muscles and ligaments, and more than 250,000 perspiration organs,”
Mathew clarified. Finally, and most crucially, our feet have approximately 400,000 nerve endings, which is why I would never recommend this to anyone and probably why no one has done it before.” Section three (Bowfell to Scafell Pike) was an agonizing, painful challenge that I am relieved is finally finished.
Matthew undertakes these strenuous feats in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same, as well as raising awareness and funding for charities.
I have been doing unique challenges since 2019 to which this one was my 10th. The reason behind them is not only to push me to become a better me but to inspire others to challenge themselves no matter how big or small. Finally, to increase awareness and hopefully raise funds for charities and good causes.” Mathew Disney.