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Dunwoody completes first half of 2,000-mile Japan walk

Richard Dunwoody and Japanese trainer Satoru Kobiyama
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Richard Dunwoody has hit the halfway stage of his 2,000-mile trek across Japan as he bids to raise money for the bone and soft tissue cancer charity Sarcoma.

The former champion jockey set out on the journey to walk from the south to the north of Japan's three largest islands, Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido on February 27, and hopes to complete the challenge by June.

Covering around 20 miles per day, Dunwoody has been taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories to help his legs and feet recover each evening. The trip is self-supported, with Dunwoody carrying around 20kg of equipment to allow him to camp out when accommodation is not available.

Dunwoody embarked on the trip as his nephew George, 21, who represented Great Britain at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2014, continues to undergo cancer treatment.

"When I first started planning this challenge I was expecting my nephew George to be joining me for some of the walk as we thought his treatment for sarcoma would be complete," said Dunwoody.

"Unfortunately this is not the case and he is still receiving chemo once a week, and that is to continue for the next three months."

As well as the sore legs and feet, Dunwoody has had to battle a range of weather conditions during the Japanese spring, with temperatures as low as freezing on some days and above 20 degrees Celsius on others.

However, Dunwoody has been buoyed by his interactions with the Japanese people, who he said have been "fantastically warm and generous".

He added: "Some days are pretty tough here but it's nothing compared to what people like George, and so many others, are going through, so please help support me to fund ground-breaking research into this terrible disease."

Dunwoody has so far raised more than £10,000 and hopes to ultimately hit £25,000. He can be supported by visiting justgiving.com/fundraising/Japan4SarcomaUK

Some days are pretty tough here but it's nothing compared to what people like George, and so many others, are going through

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R Dunwoody