Martin Jenkins of Deloitte tested to the limit on Cleveland Way heatwave

editorial image
Have your say

AS A top corporate dealmaker, Martin Jenkins is used to toughing it out in high stakes scenarios.

AS A top corporate dealmaker, Martin Jenkins is used to toughing it out in high stakes scenarios.

But during his seven-day charity challenge to complete the 110-mile Cleveland Way in the middle of a summer heatwave, he had to call on every reserve of inner strength.

Mr Jenkins, 47, told The Yorkshire Post: “I have always felt I have had real mental strength. I guess this has tested it in a number of ways. Tested it to the limit once or twice.

“The second night was a real low point. I had sunstroke, a banging headache, my feet were a real mess and I didn’t have the right supplies to treat them.

“I made so many mistakes because I am a walking novice. I learnt a number of lessons the hard way but I was determined to do this and I just took each day, each mile and each step one at a time.

“When I look at the messages of encouragement I received, one particular message stands out. It said, ‘Just keep going Martin’ and that’s what I did. I just kept going until I got to the end.”

Mr Jenkins, the senior partner for Deloitte in Yorkshire and the North East, finished the feat in Filey on Friday.

His efforts have raised between £15,000 to £20,000 for Maggie’s, the national charity which hopes to build a £5m cancer caring centre at St James’ Hospital in Leeds.

He reached the journey’s end with Rebecca Whitehead, a 33-year-old colleague who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. She returned to work in January after a year of treatment.

Mr Jenkins said: “She was one of the inspirations for doing the walk in the first place.”

He added: “Overall it was a great feeling to have completed the Cleveland Way. It was a wonderful thing to have done.

“I have seen so much of Yorkshire that I had not seen before or if I had I had seen it from the window of a car. You get a completely different perspective when you are walking on foot. You see much more. You also get a different perspective of topography.

“It has left me, once my feet and achilles tendons have recovered, very enthusiastic about doing more walking, particularly around the North Yorkshire Moors, but probably not seven days back to back.”

He was joined during the week’s walk by different people on different days. They included Garry Wilson, the managing partner of private equity firm Endless, Andrew Cope, the serial entrepreneur, Ken Beaty, a seasoned private equity chairman, Tony Troy, the chief executive of hotel group Principal Hayley, and the Business Editor of The Yorkshire Post, Bernard Ginns.

Mr Jenkins said: “Having the support of co-walkers was invaluable. It was just a fresh perspective with different personalities each day. Some very busy people put themselves out to support this challenge.

“They helped me through low points and navigating some of the difficulties I encountered along the way.

“It was a unique experience and one which will stay with me for a long time. It was made special by the landscape, which was stunning and sometimes quite challenging, and absolutely by the people who walked with me and supported me.”

The accountant has produced some statistics from the walk: approximately 256,500 paces taken; some 20,000 calories burned; 22.5 litres of (mostly) water drunk; 16 co-walkers participated including four CEOs and one chairman; £78 of foot-care products used; three large bags of Jelly Babies consumed; one new wind-proof fleece and one pair of new walking gloves lost.

Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s, said: “I’d like to say a huge congratulations to Martin for completing the Cleveland Way Walk challenge and a heartfelt thank you for the money he has raised and generously given to Maggie’s planned new centre at St James’s University Hospital.

“Maggie’s is a charity which relies on donations to support people with cancer as well as their family and friends, so fundraising events such as these are vital in bringing our much needed programme of support to people across Yorkshire.”

To donate, please visit