North Yorkshire man completes charity run in full Viking outfit
A solicitor from North Yorkshire has ran the route of an 11th-century march in full Viking fighting gear for charity.
Tom Bell, challenged himself to run the 17 mile route raise money for a support group that helped his family when his father-in-law was diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.
Mr Bell has had to inform North Yorkshire Police about his challenge in case any passers-by on his march from Riccall to Stamford Bridge are alarmed by his axe-wielding.
He said HSP - a genetic disease similar to motor neurone disease which leads to a relentless decline in motor function, including walking - is a "horrid disorder".
After the diagnosis, they realised his wife, Becca, would have a 50/50 chance of developing HSP, along with their son Bertie, now three, and their unborn baby, who is now their one-year-old daughter, Henrietta.
He said the HSP Support Group was a massive help to the family, from South Milford, North Yorkshire, during the 10-week "agonising" wait for Becca's test results.
"When we got the good news, I promised to do something hard, involving my legs, to try and raise money to help them," Mr Bell said.
"And I don't want to stop there, I want to carry on. We'll find another way of raising funds and staying involved."
Mr Bell said he had always been interested in Viking history, he said: "I'm a geek, I've always liked history. Viking history is fascinating and is not really taught much at school.
"It's a really interesting period of history. And I just like Vikings. There, I've said it."
Mr Bell will be running with helmet, chain mail, axe and shield on Saturday - with the outfit weighing more than 17kg.
"The axe is blunt but we've told the police what we're doing and got a crime reference number in case anyone gets alarmed about a bloke running around with an axe," he said.
The route follows that taken by the Viking reserve army who raced to the scene of the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 when King Harold's Saxons surprised the main body of fighters.
More information about Mr Bell's challenge can be found here.