Organisers of the Saffery Champness Rotary Walk are reminding islanders that there is still time to register for the 39 mile challenge.
The 2014 walk takes place on Saturday 7 June and walkers can register at www.scrwalk.org.gg.
This year will be the ninth year Chris Russell, the finance and operations manager at Saffery Champness, has taken part in the Walk. He is once again looking forward to what he considers to be a highlight of the route – walking along the south coast cliffs at dawn on what he hopes will be a calm and sunny morning on 7 June.
Encouraged by friends who were also participating, Mr Russell’s first walk in 2005 took him 13 hours to complete, pacing himself throughout the day and stopping regularly to rehydrate.
“The feeling of elation after I crossed the finish line was incredible and despite having sore muscles for days afterwards, I was immediately looking forward to taking part the following year and I realised that I’d got the endurance walking bug,” he said.
“I will generally start the walk with a friend or in a group, but it is important to stress that you must pace yourself throughout the day and stop regularly to rehydrate or have something to eat. Therefore I find it easier to walk on my own. There’s a great spirit of comradeship with fellow walkers and it’s nice to chat to other walkers, especially if they are unfamiliar with route.”
When asked what advice he would give to anyone taking part in the Walk for the first time this year, Mr Russell said: “I would recommend that anyone taking part in the walk undertakes a series of training walks, especially on the south coast cliffs to prepare for all 2,266 steps up and 1,606 steps down. The website provides details of a good training regime. Personally I always use walking poles in order to take the pressure off my knees while going up and down.”
The Saffery Champness Rotary Walk is open to walkers of all abilities, but if the thought of 39 miles is all too much, there is the option to complete just a section of the route, or take it on as part of a relay team.
“Don’t think about taking part in the walk to get fit. Make sure that you are fit to take part. If you can’t manage all 39 miles then consider registering to walk from one checkpoint to another along the west coast or back into Town. It’s an outstanding experience no matter how far you walk,” said Mr Russell.
Walkers should register on the event’s new website: www.scrwalk.org.gg created by C5 Alliance (one of the walk’s co-sponsors).
Walkers start in St Peter Port at the Weighbridge at 4.30 a.m. and walk south for a mile before ascending up onto the cliff paths. Some 17.8 miles later they return to sea level and the coastal path of the west coast where the course remains flat for the remainder of the walk.
There are 7 checkpoints along the route where refreshments, first aid and food are provided. This year walkers will also get an extra boost when they hit the final mile with the Saffery Support Station, which will be positioned outside the company’s offices on Les Banques.
Those interested in finding out more information about the walk – the route, advice and some top tips on training can be found here: http://www.scrwalk.org.gg/walkersinfo
The charities that will be benefitting from the 2014 Saffery Champness Rotary Walk will be announced in mid-May.