Customer spotlight: Chris the Coast Walker

4 min read
Matthew Pattinson

Chris Howard has always had a passion for adventure. His desire to challenge himself, whilst doing good for the wider community led him to undertake a mammoth challenge. Here’s his inspirational story.

Walk this way

In July 2020, Chris Howard set off on a long walk. A walk that would see him navigate around mainland Britain entirely on foot and cover almost 11,000 miles.

Having always been adventurous, Chris had already rowed across the Atlantic, backpacked in India, southeast Asia, Russia and Europe, as well as completing numerous marathons. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Chris decided to undertake a new challenge, one that would push himself to the limit.

“In recent pandemic times I wanted to do something big to help children that would suffer in ways people hadn’t thought about due to coronavirus”, said Chris.

“I have three amazing children of my own and I want to inspire them and others to always push their limits and help others. I’ve chosen Children in Need because they support so many children and young people organisations reaching every corner of the UK.

“This is a challenge that will test me both physically and mentally. Long periods of walking alone in all weathers, I’ll walk for as long as I can each day.”

Chris set himself some strict rules: he must walk the entire distance and navigate by OS map, GPS and the stars. He would survive with minimal kit and rely on the kindness of strangers. All the while documenting his experiences as he went. To do that he set up a website.

Chris explained: “I decided to create a website to promote my journey and attract corporate sponsorship. I thought it would look professional and give me a platform to promote businesses supporting me whilst engaging a following where I could upload content from my journey.

“Having a website has allowed me to have a blog and maintain audience interest in what I’m doing, it’s become useful as a way of people contacting me too.

“I think my favourite page is the ‘Where’s Chris?!’ as it’s got a tracker map that people can see my progress on. Having a GoDaddy site has helped me build awareness, engage an audience and create a following easily as it’s simple to use and quite intuitive. I’m not very tech savvy, but that’s not a problem with GoDaddy.”

Chris blogs regularly on his site and also maintains an active social media presence to keep his audience up to date with the challenge and his experiences.

Wise words

When asked how he defines success, Chris replied: “Success is a tricky one, I’m not entirely sure I am what people think of when asked about success, for me success isn’t just the accomplishment of a goal you set.

“It has to be more human and meaningful, success for me is about constant perseverance and maintenance of a positive mental attitude in the face of adversity.

“No matter the weather, hardship, situations, problem - success is finding a way to positively overcome and find your solution.”

Chris has learnt a lot already whilst undertaking the challenge: “I’ve learnt that if there’s a stone in your shoe you need to remove it ASAP and that’s become a bit of a metaphor for problems in life. I’ve learnt that our country is incredibly diverse and beautiful, the people in it are genuinely kind and helpful before anything else. Even in hard times like a pandemic, people find a way to be good and decent.”

You can take a look at Chris’ website here and follow his progress on Facebook here. His Justgiving page has already raised over £20,000.

Feeling inspired…

At GoDaddy we’re all about empowering every idea, business, side hustle or nonprofit cause to claim their place online and look great at the same time.

Every journey starts with a single step and if you’re inspired by Chris’ story and ready to start your online journey, we’re standing by ready to help.

And guess what? We love hearing about your success stories. In fact, we want to shout about them! Get in touch with us on social media and share a link to your website and we may well be in touch to feature you on our blog.