Founded five years ago by Country Walking’s Editor Guy Procter, the popular annual walking challenge encourages anyone of any age, fitness level and experience to walk 1000 miles in one year. It takes under an hour a day to reach 1000 miles in 12 months - just 2.74 miles daily – or the equivalent of Land’s End to John o’Groats the long way.
The award-winning #Walk1000Miles challenge has been praised by GPs and health professionals: Dr Peter Davies, GP and a multiple 1000 miler says: “The difference an hour’s daily walk can make to the wider health picture of this country is absolutely huge. It’s a better preventive drug than any medical prescription I can give.” Alison Sabine, Consultant Rheumatologist, and a 1000 miler says: “Walking really is the best medicine. If everyone walked daily, I believe it would save the NHS.” GP Karen Hegarty says: “We need this remarkable challenge now more than ever and it’s already changed the lives of thousands of people.”
Celebrities also back Country Walking’s initiative with Stephen Fry saying: “Walk1000miles is an idea without flaw... and you might find it brings 1000 other benefits too.” This year, JLS star turned farmer and walker JB Gill is interviewed in the February issue, saying “#walk1000miles is a fantastic idea and now’s the perfect time for it’ and that he is heartened by the growth of BAME and LGBTQ walking groups.” TV presenter and Rambling host Clare Balding and Travel writer Bill Bryson are also supporters of #Walk1000Miles 2021.
Since launch, Country Walking’s #Walk1000Miles challenge has amassed more than 100k registrations and almost 40,000 members to its growing Facebook community. Anyone can sign up to the #Walk1000miles challenge by registering for free online at www.walk1000miles.co.uk. New participants will automatically join the established community, where they can gain tips and advice, mentoring, support and encouragement to achieve individual goals, or join approved sub-groups to make friends and share experiences.
Free with the February issue, Country Walking’s dedicated 64-page #Walk1000Miles guide covers all aspects of the challenge for beginners as well as existing walkers to get them started, along with a special progress tracker card to count miles and a set of postcards. New for 2021 Challengers can join CountryWalking+ or Walk1000miles+ offering subscribers exclusive access and unique perks, say the publishers. For £49.99 subscribers get 13 issues of either print or digital editions of Country Walking magazine with 350 route cards building a complete library of walks over the country, a neck tube, a special gold enamelled #walk1000miles participation badge and half price to Ordnance Survey Maps delivered to smartphone, PC and tablet. For £9.99, walkers signing up can plot their journey on a virtual trek from Land’s End to John o’Groats, receive encouraging messages at 20 key milestones, and the new 2021 Completer medal sent to them when they reach the target.
Brand partners of #Walk1000Miles are: Scarpa outdoor footwear, Bridgedale world-leading socks, Deuter, rucksacks, Sportshoes.com, Fujifilm cameras and photography, Affinity Photo software, Rohan apparel, Ordnance Survey maps and navigation, Forestry England and The Telegraph Travel.
The 2021 challenge will also be supported by Bauer Media’s audio brands including Absolute, Magic and Scala. Country Walking’s Deputy Editor Nick Hallissey joins Scala presenter Mark Forrest for a weekly midweek slot chatting on everything to do with walking.
Founder of #Walk1000Miles and Editor of Country Walking, Guy Procter, says: “You might ask how it’s possible to feel optimistic and in control in a world in the grip of a pandemic. You’d probably say life is too busy and too constricted to do anything as incredible as walk from Land’s End to John o’Groats. And you almost certainly underestimate the power of walking to transform your health, happiness and hopefulness. More than 100,000 thousand-milers are here to tell you otherwise. Walk an average of 2.74 miles a day and you will hit 1000 miles in a year. And if that sounds a long way, wait til you see how far it takes your body and mind; your appreciation for the world and your place in it; your resilience and appetite for life and sense of what’s possible. You’ll be famous in your family. You’ll look and feel like new. And you’ll have made the biggest investment in your health and happiness, and the biggest contribution to the national resilience, conceivable.”
Sam Gallimore, Managing Director of Bauer Media’s specialist and outdoor brands added: “Country Walking’s #Walk1000miles is a proven initiative to transform people’s lives ‘one step at a time’. Since launch over 100k people have signed up to #Walk1000miles, with tens of thousands joining each year to improve their mental and physical health, fitness, weight loss and happiness. For 2021 we are pleased to be offering walkers even more added value with the launch of Walk1000miles+ and Country Walking+, offering walkers many more features and opportunities to engage with the brand. With the continued support of our partners, health experts and by increasing awareness, we predict #walk1000miles2021 will be our biggest and best challenge yet.”
Country Walking is published monthly, priced £4.80.
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