Lee Harker walks 240 kilometres and raises €10,000 for Akira (Alicante)

Caption: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Lee with Akira president Lin di Stefano Photo credit: Sharon Taylor

ONE determined man, one 240-kilometre walk.

Result: €10,000 raised for the Akira dog sanctuary.

When Akira volunteer Lee Harker announced his plans for a 240-kilometre walk to Valencia and back over six days to raise €10,000 for Akira’s Angels, even the charity’s most ardent supporters were sceptical.

Lee confounded the doubters, completing the walk in six days after setting off from the Moraira dog park at 8.30am on Monday, January 30.

He arrived back there on Saturday, February 4 at 5.25pm with blistered feet and an exhausted body, proud not only of himself, but of all the people who have donated to his GoFundMe page. The current total is €10,456€ with donations still coming in.

“Lee’s strength, determination and stamina are an inspiration. His motivation for the walk was to help us fund improvements to create a better life for those dogs in our care, which will cost at least €50,000,” commented Lin di Stefano, Akira president.

Much of his training for the walk was done in a gymnasium on board a ship, as Calpe resident Lee works for a company installing off-shore wind turbines in Asia.

“I had to reach the point where I knew my body could cope with walking 40 kilometres a day,” he said. “It was hard, I admit, to go to the gym having done a 12-hour shift.”

“I’m grateful to everyone who has donated and for every single euro,” he said. “I’ve been blown away by all the words of support every day of the walk. It kept me going when the going got tough!”

When possible, Lee liked to make a detour to walk along the beach. “True, the sand is more energy-sapping but the views are wonderful,” he explained. “There was the added bonus that I could often see my destination town, Cullera, for example, in front of me, even though it might be another 10 kilometres before I got there! ”

One of the hardest parts of the walk, says Lee was the final few kilometres to the hotel in Valencia on the third day.  “What I thought was going to be a couple of kilometres detour to avoid traffic on the main roads, become more like six  – not ideal at the end of a long day!”

“It’s been a privilege to be able to do this walk and raise €10,000. It’s been six days of hard work and harsh for my body, but in the end, it is only six days. Some people and some animals have to tolerate much worse pain and hardship than tha, and for a much longer period of time.”

“We want to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who has supported Lee during his hike with messages and donations,” Lin di Stefano. “We could have not raised as much without supporters spreading the word and sharing his daily video diaries.”

“I also want to thank the Premium Bar in Moraira for hosting Lee’s welcome back event, and everyone who came to celebrate his return and make it a great evening.”

There is still time to donate on Lee’s https://gofund.me/b8fc3014 page.


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.