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Two best friends complete 26-mile challenge on three legs

PUBLISHED: 12:20 27 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 27 May 2018

Ellise Owen, left, and her best friend Helen Swain, take a break during their 26 miles three-legged-walk along Marriott's Way, to raise funds for the Dereham ATC. Ellise's late son Warren was a former cadet, and in the RAF Regiment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ellise Owen, left, and her best friend Helen Swain, take a break during their 26 miles three-legged-walk along Marriott's Way, to raise funds for the Dereham ATC. Ellise's late son Warren was a former cadet, and in the RAF Regiment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Two Norfolk women woke up to blisters, aches and pains on Sunday morning after they took on an extremely unusual fundraising challenge – walking 26-miles on three legs.

Ellise Owen, left, and her best friend Helen Swain, arrive at Reepham during their 26 miles three-legged-walk along Marriott's Way, to raise funds for the Dereham ATC. Ellise's late son Warren was a former cadet, and in the RAF Regiment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Ellise Owen, left, and her best friend Helen Swain, arrive at Reepham during their 26 miles three-legged-walk along Marriott's Way, to raise funds for the Dereham ATC. Ellise's late son Warren was a former cadet, and in the RAF Regiment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dereham residents Ellise Owen and her best friend Helen Swain walked the full length of Marriott’s Way on Saturday, taking them from Norwich to Aylsham, on three legs in order to raise money for the Dereham air cadets.

“It was really, really good and much better than we thought it would be,” said Mrs Owen.

“We are really feeling it today though and have woken up to a lot of blisters and aches and pains – everything aches. But we got such great support from the cadets and the parents, we were not expecting such a big turn out.”

Mrs Owen has a special connection to Dereham’s air cadet squadron, as it is the place that helped to shape her son’s decision to join the RAF before he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 2012.

Warren Owen. Picture: submitted Warren Owen. Picture: submitted

Warren Owen was just 18 when his bike came off the A1075 near Griston and he had only just began his career in the RAF Regiment. He had previously been a popular and committed member of the Dereham squadron.

Mrs Owen said that after finishing the walk she hoped her son is “looking down on us and saying ‘go mum’”.

The walk has raised more than £800 so far but Mrs Owen says her aim is to hit £1,000 over the next few weeks.

The squadron’s commanding officer Flt Lt Tracey Allan said the money will go towards purchasing first aid training equipment for the cadets.

Ellise Owen's t-shirt for her three legged walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Ellise Owen's t-shirt for her three legged walk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The three-legged walk is not the first time the two friends have taken on a big challenge to raise money for the cadets, in 2014 they also completed the vigorous four day, 100-mile Nijmegen Marche in Holland – a walk Mrs Owen’s son had intended to do himself.

And their fundraising may not be over yet as they are already looking at what they can do - and next time it might involve two wheels.

“It could be a tandem bike ride,” Mrs Owen added.

“When we were walking we began talking about another challenge, I would quite like to try kayaking around Norfolk but Helen is quite keen on the idea of the tandem.”

To help donate towards the Dereham air cadets visit the fundraising page.

MORE: Dereham mum takes on unique fundraising challenge in memory of her son

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