With his rucksack on his back, Richard Mayne has set off on his ten-day charity hike across five stunning and energy-sapping sections of the Great Wall of China.
Richard, general manager of the four-star Radisson Blu Edinburgh on the Royal Mile, hopes his trek will raise at least £2000 for Teenage Cancer Trust, the nominated charity during 2017 of Radisson Rezidor UK.
The 41-year-old is joined on the hike by 27 other senior figures of Scotland’s hospitality industry.
Collectively they also hope to raise funds for Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, supporting over 200 future emerging talent hospitality scholarships.
During the charity hike, participants will be tasked with walking for up to eight hours a day and negotiating over 10,000 of the famous steps of the Great Wall.
Richard told how he had trained hard, using a FitBit to clock up 56 miles of walking per week through achieving daily two-hour walks and a four-hour weekend hike.
He was even seen using the stairs in the hotel as part of his fitness regime for his charity venture – which will see the team hike for a total of 29 hours on the trail that started four hours north of Beijing.
Richard, who has overseen operations at Radisson Blu Edinburgh since 2015, said: “I’m both excited and apprehensive about the challenge ahead. The Great Wall of China is a world-renowned landmark – and at almost 4000 miles it’s also very, very long.
“Fortunately, we will only have to hike a small section of it. With over 10,000 steps to negotiate, it will be tough enough, though I’ve been training hard on the streets and hills around Edinburgh.
“The fact it’s fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust and the Trust will definitely keep me going!” Richard and his fellow participants left for China on May 22 and the group are due back at the start of June.
The Great Wall of China is visible from space and was built as far back as 220BC to fortify the historical northern borders of China. Archaeologists believe much of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) period.
Teenage Cancer Trust has services across the UK, including in Edinburgh, for young people providing life-changing care and support so they do not have to face cancer alone.