THEY reckon they're heading in the "wrong direction" age wise, but four pals from Redditch and Halesowen teamed up as a new band to conquer a "Race the Sun" challenge - and have coined in more than £5,000 for charity.

"Team Wrong Direction" - Dean Attwell and Cory Winstanley from Redditch and Stuart Starkey and Chris Shuker from Halesowen - cycled 45 miles, climbed 2,907ft and paddled 3km in a dawn to dusk effort in the Brecon Beacons.

Group leader Chris Shuker, managing director of Central IT Systems, which has branches in Halesowen, Bromsgrove, Dudley and Kingswinford, said: "Our original fundraising target was £2,000 so to have not only doubled but smashed it is fantastic.

“We are so grateful to the many businesses and individuals who have not only donated but have supported us in so many ways throughout our training and to our families who have been brilliant.”

Mr Attwell is chief executive at Redditch-based Oakland International Ltd, where Mr Winstanley is human resources director, and Mr Starkey is managing director of Starkey Electrical in Halesowen.

They have raised £5,090 so far, with more still rolling in, to support Action Medical Research, which carries out research to help children affected by rare conditions.

The charity has carried out pioneering work over decades, leading to the launch of the first polio vaccines, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine.

The four chose their team name as a play on words of the pop group "One Direction" because they are all aged over 40, which they joked was heading the wrong way.

Mr Shuker said: “As we’re all fathers we wanted to support the charity’s work, which is for so many children across the UK the only lifeline available.”

People can still donate to the cause by visiting