WHERE’S Wallace? Living in Yaxley after walking 1,500 miles and raising £2 ,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Matt Wallace (30) gave up his job, moved out of his flat and packed away his possessions to embark on an epic trip walking from John O’groats to Lands End.
Along the way he made hundreds of friends prompting a social networking frenzy asking ‘Where’s Wallace?’
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, boxer David Haye, comedian Stephen Merchant and more all posted videos asking where he was.
But not content with the usual route, he called in at all 16 Cancer Research UK labs, or Centres of Excellence, including Belfast, Birmingham and Cambridge.
He walked about 16 miles a day, carrying about 40lbs on his back and often relying on the kindness of strangers.
He said: “From a charity point of view I was inspired by a close family friend who died of cancer.
“I wasn’t particularly happy with my job, sitting behind a desk all day. I felt there was more to life than that.
“And it was a bit of an experiment. I wasn’t planning on not spending money, I had savings which I have used.
“But I also wanted to know if there was enough human kindness out there to make a daft idea like this possible.
“Everyone was warning me I would get murdered or attacked, but of course I wasn’t. I encountered nothing but kindness.”
Matt left his job on his 30th birthday and started walking on September 24.
At first he camped in fields or by the side of the road but as autumn and then winter drew in he stopped in hotels and bed and breakfasts.
As his popularity grew on Twitter and Facebook people offered him places to stay and even paid for rooms for him.
There were one or two hairy moments, not least his beard and head which he refused to cut during his walk, including getting lost in a peat bog one evening outside Cumbernauld in Scotland.
But the vast majority of the trek was one big highlight and he rolled into Land’s End on March 10.
At one point he wrote a tongue-incheek letter to President Barack Obama asking him to film a video saying ‘Where’s Wallace’.
The President proved too busy to oblige but embassy staff liked his style and he was given a personal tour of the Mayfair mansion.
He said: “There were too many moments to pick out one highlight. Finishing it was obviously a proud moment.
“It was such a big thing in my life for such a long time. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve for what I do next but I think they will be a bit smaller.”
Matt’s marathon won him the Cancer Research Flame of Hope award for innovation and he will be climbing Scafell Pike this summer to light the charity’s jubilee beacon.
And it is still possible to sponsor his trip.
Matt said: “Cancer Research is the world’s leading cancer research charity. Scientist come from all over the globe to work here in the UK and it is important they have their story told.”
To see Matt’s route and the videos posted throughout his trip visit www. whereswallace.org
To sponsor his walk visit www.justgiving.com/whereswallace
HOME AT LAST: After completing his epic journey for charity, Matt Wallace is now living in Yaxley. METP-08-05-12RH71 Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON