Hadrian's Wall Trekathon
Hadrian’s Wall originally ran from coast to coast and spanned 72 miles. Today we are left with only sections of this famous landmark, which cuts through the Northumberland National Park and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Walking Challenges UK
What is a Walking challenge?
A great relaxing way to raise funds for your favorite charity is by participating in walking challenges in the UK. Walking challenges are fun, fulfilling and enable you to fully enjoy and engage with the route you take. You can find walking events that take you through parks, cities, countryside or even to the top of mountains. Varying in length and difficulty they are a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst raising money for a great cause
Anyone can take part in charity treks or a sponsored walk or charity trek whatever their level of fitness, this makes them ideal for anyone wanting to take part as a way to raise money for a great cause. There is less rigorous training or preparation needed compared to a run, but you’ll still want to get yourself ready as you need endurance more than anything. Any walks for charity can provide great motivation to keep up your training regime and propel you to the finish line.
Training and Preparation
Walking challenges can vary from a 5k walk or 10k walk up to larger challenges such as walking marathons or even sponsored walks for charity that may span a few days. You will need a good amount of endurance as many challenges incorporate uphill and downhill sections that will tire you out quickly if you are not used to long distance walking. It is critical for you to exercise regularly in order to improve your endurance and begin to build up stronger leg muscles that can withstand hours and hours of use.
Ideally, you should begin training by walking three times a week – use a mix of leg exercises combined with core strengthening techniques to build and improve muscle. And walk, a lot. You can easily incorporate walking in to your lifestyle – a trip to the shop, visiting family or friends etc can all be done of foot rather than taking the car.
You’ll want to try and give yourself some routes that you can practice on and try to extend the length of these walks. Start off with just a few miles and slowly try to build up to longer distances.
Mix it up
Once you’ve got accustomed to walking longer distances, you can then start to take your activity on to different types of surfaces. These should ideally include grass, hill and pavement, and in different weather conditions.
Your training program should never be all work and no play – you can reward yourself with treats or goals at the end of walks. Instead of taking the car to the movies, walk instead and use that as your motivation.
Food for thought
People mostly worry about what to eat or drink during training and at the walking event. There are no hard and fast rules to this – jut make sure to drink lots of water or sports drinks to keep yourself hydrated and energised. You need to have a healthy daily intake of proteins and carbs to maintain your energy levels and ensure you don’t burn out. During the walk you can eat carbs and energy containing foods to keep you going to fight the fatigue.
Get the right Gear
Apart from nutrition, invest in some good clothing and walking shoes or boots. Although walking boots or shoes can be a bit costly, they are durable and won’t give you blisters. Similarly, you want to buy high-quality socks that won’t rub your feet too much and allow your feet to breath. Also it’s worth having a second pair spare just in case they get wet during the walk.
A majority of walkers prefer to wear lightweight trousers and a sports top for the main event. Whilst not essential, like socks, they will allow your skin to breath and keep sweat away whilst keeping you warm. Furthermore, carry a pair of gloves to keep if you will be walking in cold areas.
You may also consider carrying a small emergency kit with things such as plasters or creams should you get stung by the wildlife. There are also a variety of gadgets you can take with you too. If you are walking an unfamiliar route then a mapping or GPS system will come in very handy in case you get lost. If the route will be over a few days, then a battery pack for your mobile phone will help in case of emergencies.
Taking part in a challenging walk can be exhilarating and rewarding, but don’t forget to take adequate rest during the training period. Do not push yourself beyond your limit and most of all, enjoy the experience!
Top Walking Challenges in the UK
We have picked out the best walking challenges taking place in 2020. We have lots more listings available, just click on the 'Walking Events' tab at the top of this page to find them.
Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
Spend a weekend out in the Yorkshire countryside in September. Scaling 3 peaks in two days this is a difficult but very rewarding event. With some fantastic scenery including the limestone outcrops and unusual rock formations.
Charity Walk Course
Starting at the Brocolitia Roman Fort, we trek for 26 miles (42km), much of which takes us alongside Hadrian’s Wall. As we walk we can admire ancient monuments, beautiful scenery and the skill of the Roman engineers who built this famous landmark. This is an extremely tough one-day event over hilly landscapes; at 26 miles, it forms an enormous challenge for walkers and will take a minimum of 12 hours. There will be full support throughout the challenge with marshals and water stops along the route.
For those of you who would like it, there is a pick up from Carlisle Station at 0600, to transfer you to Lanercost Priory. The rest of us will meet early at Lanercost, where we can leave our cars, and transfer to Carrawburgh, a settlement in Northumberland better known as the Brocolitia Roman Fort. This lies in open moorland in the Tynedale district of Northumberland. Just over one mile west of milecastle 30 it is the northernmost point of the Wall - a fitting place to start our challenging day. After a briefing and a warm-up, we set off early in the morning which is essential for completing the distance.
Our first section takes us past the impressive Housesteads Roman Fort, along crags and past several lakes. The Roman heritage of this area is evident from the ruins we pass; old Roman forts and towers dot the landscape almost the entire length of our route. We will be spurred on by the fabulous views towards Wark Forest and the barren landscapes of Cumbria ahead of us. Continuing on our undulating route, we head away from the wall briefly, passing the Crag Lough escarpment on our left. Soon after we pass probably the most recognised landmark of the day – Sycamore Gap, with its lone tree which featured in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film. Leaving ‘the tree’ behind us our path takes us past Cawfields Quarry walking beside the most visible sections of the wall, which run along spectacular cliff tops and through stunning countryside. When we reach Walltown Crags we break for a well deserved lunch stop. This is the home of the Roman Army Museum and adjacent fort at Carvoran – a site rich in Roman inscriptions but about which surprisingly little is known.
For the final stages of the trek we continue on to the extensive remains of Birdoswald Roman Fort, set on a high point above the small village of Gilsland, which are particularly imposing. Our last section of the route now becomes fairly flat, a blessing for our tired limbs as we follow the river west through small villages. On arrival at the stunningly tranquil Lanercost Priory we can rest and congratulate ourselves on our fine achievement. There is time to celebrate with your fellow participants before returning home.
Total distance: 26 miles / 42km