Mannings Heath Golf Club’s Steve Slinger will swap his golf clubs for a bike, a paddle and a pair of trainers next month to take part in the 2013 Scotland Coast to Coast challenge.
Slinger, general manager at the club in Horsham, West Sussex, will be one of thousands of people who will take part in the daunting 105-mile event on September 14-15, aiming to run, cycle and kayak their way from the east coast of Scotland to the west.
The challenge, which starts in Nairn and finishes in Glencoe, will take competitors through some of the most iconic locations and amazing views in the Scottish Highlands: Loch Ness, the Great Glen, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.
Competitors must run 22.5 miles, cycle 81 miles and kayak a mile-and-a-half during the event, which features some of the most demanding terrain in the country.
But with the help of his training partner and good friend Mike Imrie, a former captain of English National League One rugby union side Worthing, he is hoping to complete it in less than 13 hours.
Slinger, who is taking part in the event to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “I wanted to set myself a challenge, and I’ve certainly succeeded in doing that!
“Macmillan Support is a charity that is very close to my heart after my mother was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago. I’m pleased to say she is now fit and well and this is my way of giving something back.
“I raised funds for them by doing a 465km bike ride two years ago but I’ve really had to up the training for this one and have engaged the services of Stuart Wilkinson, the personal trainer at South Lodge Hotel, our sister property, over the last four months to help me get into shape.
“He really has been a fantastic support and has helped me push the boundaries in a constructive way!”
As part of his training, Slinger has been cycling to work once a week (a 39-mile round trip), running half marathons regularly and cycling and kayaking at weekends.
His fitness programme has also involved training sessions at Mannings Heath, much to the amusement of some of the members at his golf club, but he says all the pain and sacrifice will be worth it next month.
He added: “Things have gone well on the training front so far. There have been a few puzzled expressions from some golfers at the club, but the membership has been very supportive and the charity contributions have really helped to focus the mind on achieving this goal.
“It’s also fair to say I have a very supportive wife and family who, despite the fairly lengthy hours associated with golf club general management, are fully backing the training hours as well.”
Mannings Heath Golf Club, which is owned by the Exclusive Golf Group alongside The Manor House Golf Club in Castle Combe, near Bath, boasts two 18-hole layouts – the Waterfall Course and Kingfisher Course.
The former is a members-only course which hosted the 2013 English Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship this month, while the latter flows gracefully through the Sussex countryside, testing the skills and nerve of the most seasoned player and was rated by the ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in England’ as the best pay-and-play course in the county in 2011.
Exclusive Golf was formed in 2010 and is a part of Exclusive Hotels, a prestigious group of individual, stylish hotels in the south of England, located in stunning surroundings and presenting a luxurious tranquility in beautiful English locations.
To donate to Steve Slinger’s bid to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=hardenup&isTeam=true
Mannings Heath Golf Club www.manningsheath.com
Manor House Golf Club www.manorhousegolf.co.uk