Leicestershire CCC batsman Matthew Boyce takes a well-earned rest after 1,137-mile walk
Matthew Boyce has earned the opportunity to put his feet up for a few days.
The Leicestershire batsman is relaxing after 66 days on the road – or off it, to be more accurate – walking from John O'Groats to Land's End.
The Foxes left-hander always knew that he faced a challenge in a gruelling effort which spanned late summer, autumn and the early stages of winter.
But, at the end of the 1,137-mile marathon, he deserves huge praise for helping to raise money, and awareness, for mental health charity Mind, and the Professional Cricketers' Association benefit fund.
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"It still hasn't sunk in," he said on his return to Grace Road.
"It feels a little bit strange not getting up and going for a stroll. I got myself into that kind of routine.
"But it was nice to celebrate with my family and girlfriend at the end of it all."
Illness, ankle and toe problems, mud and map-reading all provided a variety of hurdles throughout the journey, but Boyce said there was never a stage when he felt he had bitten off more than he could chew.
"I was surprised how my body and mind got used to doing it," he said.
"The last 25 to 30 days became the norm with waking up, having breakfast, putting on my boots and walking.
"The people who joined me along the way helped, too. It didn't become monotonous. You are seeing different things all the time and, on some days, it was a real pleasure to be out walking.
"I always kept a positive mind-set and there was no stage where I thought I wouldn't complete the challenge.
"I set targets for myself and had the mentality that it would always be 4 o'clock at some stage and we would finish walking for the day!"
The mental health aspect of his fund-raising was largely directed towards the issue of depression in sport, something that has been spoken about by former England captains Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan in recent times.
"It isn't something that I have suffered with myself but I have always thought that there is more understanding needed," said Boyce.
"It is a case of me continuing the work that other cricketers have done. They have set the precedent in sport by coming forward and saying that they have struggled.
"Taking on such a long challenge has allowed me to help build on that momentum and show some support."
Details of the walk and how to support Boyce's effort can be found at: