Brian Gordon Smailes 22nd October 1951 - 12th November 2020
Brian became involved with the New Lyke Wake Club in 2004 when he was discovered by Brian Piercy. Brian introduced his namesake to the other members of the Committee and the rest was history. He was elected Club Chairman and remained in that role until his untimely demise. Without Brian, the New Lyke Wake Club would have struggled to get off the ground.
Not only was Brian the Club Chairman, but he also was the Quartermaster dealing with countless orders over the years, wearing out a path between his house and the Post Office. He also organised and led numerous parties over the Lyke Wake walk. Many a person having completed the walk will be grateful for Brian’s tireless efforts.
Brian’s fitness and determination were legendary…………………… he did not so much live life as grabbed it and ran with it. Below are just a few of his involvements and achievements:
- Ran his own business, Challenge Publications, with over 22 books covering walking and cycling around the UK and abroad.
- Degree in business management.
- Qualified walking guide.
- Lecturer, and motivational speaker as well as a successful author.
- Holds the record for the fastest 4 and 5 continuous crossings of the Lyke Wake Walk over the North York Moors. He completed the 200 miles over rough terrain on 5 crossings in June 1995 taking 85 hours 50 minutes. In 2019, he completed his 62nd crossing.
- In August 2001 cycled unsupported, Land’s End to John O’Groats, a journey of over 910 miles in 6 days 13 hours 18 minutes. This involved carrying food, clothing and tent.
- In August 2003, he walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End unsupported in 34 days. Another cycle ride, this time from John O’Groats to Land’s End took place in July 2007 taking 7 days 18 hours. In April 2016, Brian walked from Lands End to John o’ Groats in 26 days 9 hours 15 minutes to take the record for the fastest end to end walk for his age group and complete the end to end crossing both ways for both walking and cycling, all at separate times.
- On a 2005 expedition he walked the Inca Trail in Peru, then visited again three months later, this time extending the trip to Lake Titicaca and Bolivia.
- Another expedition in 2007 to the Great Wall of China involved walking sections in remote areas along the former borders of Mongolia. A second Great Wall expedition in remote regions of China took place in 2013.
- An expedition in 2008 took him to the jungle around Canaima in Venezuela, exploring on foot and by dugout canoe the tributaries of the Rio Carrao up to Angel Falls.
- In 2010, Brian was part of a team on an expedition to Chile and the mountains of Patagonia, exploring the flora and fauna and the glacial impact on the region.
- In 2011, cycled from Paris to London then later in the year walked the GR20 in Corsica. In October 2016, Brian walked 52 miles across parts of the Sahara in Morocco in 2 days, enduring searing temperatures, dust and flies to complete the 2-day walk.
- December 2017 ascended Vesuvius in Italy on a snowy winter ascent walking from Herculaneum to the summit and back.
- In January 2018, along with a team of 3 others, walked and rafted across Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Caribbean.
- March 2019 expedition to Columbia on a trek to a former lost city in the jungle (Ciudad Perdida). The prospect of the 5-day trek through the mosquito infested jungle there proved irresistible!
- His early 2020 expedition took him to Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route.
- Marathon running, canoeing, white water rafting, zip lining and sub- aqua are other sports he enjoyed, completing 31 marathons and canoeing the Caledonian Canal 3 times.
- He dived all around the UK coastline as well as Thailand, Cuba, Venezuela, Egypt, Grenada and Mexico.
You will never walk alone ……………………………………………
Last update: 11th April 2021
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