Sandstone Trail Challenge
The places for runners have all gone now - they filled in under 10 hours. As I write this there are still places for runners on the waiting list. There are still plenty of places for walkers - please read the paragraph below before entering!
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
The 2017 Sandstone Trail Challenge opened for entries on 1 December, at midnight. Last year the places for walkers filled within a month, and they could go even faster this time. We will have separate waiting lists for runners and walkers. If you don't get a place, join the waiting list if you can. Once the waiting lists are also full, you may still be able to get a place - we may re-open the waiting lists at a later date. Please don't enter as a walker if you intend to run - the tally card you will carry will give you away and we will hold runners up at checkpoints if they have a walker's tally card. This is to make sure this is an event for walkers as well as runners - we're not worried about walkers doing a bit of running here and there along the way though.
The Challenge route follows the way-marked trail throughout, apart from avoiding the final road section into the centre of Frodsham. The way-marking uses a yellow footprint and is of a standard comparable with National Trails (ie good but not perfect). The route is also marked on recent editions of the relevant OS Explorer maps. We will not be issuing a detailed route description ourselves, but will produce some brief notes covering a few particular points to look out for and hand these out at registration on the day. Note that it is perfectly possible to get lost when following the Trail, so you must be capable of navigation with map and compass, and be carrying both (see the conditions of entry).
The best places to find information about the route of the Sandstone Trail are the Cheshire West and Chester Council website and Tony Bowerman’s guidebook. See the Sandstone Trail Links page for more information. The route is also shown on recent editions of OS Explorer maps 257 and 267.