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‘FORE-FIGHTERS’on fire as they complete eight fundraising rounds in just over 15 hours

Four firefighters who planned to play a staggering eight rounds of golf in a little more than 16½ hours to help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support achieved their aim with a remarkable hour to spare.

The quartet – Rob Goodman, 46, Paul Hillaby, 47, Neil Spratt, 45, and Pat Howdle, 55, who are all based in the Yorkshire region – were participating in the charity’s Longest Day Golf Challenge in which golfers across the country attempt to play four rounds before the daylight gives out.

But the firefighters wanted to achieve something beyond the ordinary, by playing an astonishing eight rounds – and, despite four-inch blisters and a walk of a hugely impressive 32 miles, they finished eight rounds of golf at Aldwark Manor, in York, in just 15 hours and 16 minutes.

An exhausted Goodman explained: “I didn’t think I was going to finish but I dug in and crawled round. The fatigue was really tough and it was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

“But, apart from four-inch blisters on my feet the day went very well. In theory, we had 16 hours, 32 minutes and 16 seconds of ‘official’ daylight on the longest day, and we managed to push ourselves to complete eight rounds in well under that.”

Their rules were that the group had to play four-ball individual medal golf, with each player having to hole out on each hole.

Goodman added: “We set off at 4.20am and managed to get round the first 18 in an hour and 25 minutes, and, while most rounds got gradually longer, we must have had second wind for our fourth round, managing to get around in an hour and 20.

“The blisters were already unbearable after five rounds, but we all dug in – and, after an amazing 95,000 steps, we managed to finish our 144th hole to complete the challenge. We have to say big thanks are due to the team at Aldwark Manor and (head of golf) Tony Moore who hosted us, while members and visitors were very supportive on the day.”

So far, the ‘fore-fighters’ have raised around £2,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, while further donations may be made at their Just Giving page.

Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel – managed by RBH, the UK’s leading independent hotel management company – is set within 120 acres of parklands. It is a delightful mix of the old and new, with a contemporary wing attached to the 17th-century manor house.

The beautiful River Ure meanders through Aldwark’s easy-to-walk course, in the breathtaking Vale of York, creating a par-72 layout that may prove as testing as it is aesthetically pleasing.

As the largest golf resort operator in the UK, RBH manages nine championship and tournament golf courses across the UK, hosting events from the European Tour, European Seniors Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA.

To support the firefighting foursome’s fantastic feat, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/forefirefightersagainstcancer

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