Simon Cook of Inverness has recently returned from the challenging Lares trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, to help raise £3,500 for the Springboard Charity.

Simon joined a team of trekkers from the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry, personally covering the cost of the trip and to date, has raised £2,125 in sponsorship.

Whilst not completely exhausted after the trek, Simon is now in training for the Edinburgh Marathon which will take place in May 2013 to help him reach his sponsorship target. All of the money raised by Simon will go towards helping over 70 young, unemployed and disadvantaged people receive vital training and support they need to move into life-changing employment in hospitality and leisure.

Simon, general manager for Sodexo at LifeScan Scotland, has already completed four half marathons this year and ran in the Loch Ness marathon in September to help raise funds. He said: “I have always wanted to visit Peru, especially Machu Picchu, and I found the trip to be everything I expected it to be, and more. All in all it was a very humbling experience and left me with memories that I will treasure.

“Although the trek was tough, I would do it all again. I won’t forget the pounding headaches and nausea that comes with altitude sickness in a hurry! The trek took us through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and I saw things I never dreamed I would. It was most certainly a once in a lifetime experience.”

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