Top tips for conquering Weston Hospicecare challenge

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 June 2016

Rene Barrett, Caroline Holt and Kim Phippard took part in last year's Mendip Challenge.

Rene Barrett, Caroline Holt and Kim Phippard took part in last year's Mendip Challenge.


With registration now closed, many of Weston-super-Mare’s toughest walkers are lacing up their boots ahead of Sunday’s Mercury Mendip Challenge – and the event’s organisers have issued some last-minute advice on how to make the most of the big day.

The challenge, which is sponsored by the Mercury, will see more than 500 people take on a 30, 20 or 10-mile route across Somerset’s Mendip Hills in aid of Weston Hospicecare. A five-mile fancy dress route will also take place on Weston’s seafront.

The day culminates in an afterparty held at Westhaven School in Uphill, but walkers must first make it across a range of terrains before they reach the finish line.

Liz Blythe is an avid walker and volunteers for Weston Hospicecare, and said preparation is key to ensuring the challenge is enjoyable.

She said: “The walk is a challenge, even to those who walk well.

“The terrain is varied: hard and stony, steep and slippery, and even muddy – which, at times, can be ankle deep and will ruin those brilliant white trainers.

“People should ensure what they wear is adequate for their walk and should make sure they have put its comfort to the test before the event.”

According to Liz, walkers should also ensure they have an adequate amount of food to keep their energy levels up during the challenge, while anyone walking with a dog is asked to keep it on a lead at all times around livestock.

She said: “Walkers should ensure they have sufficient food to keep them going, as it can be a long day. Energy bars are great as an addition to the standard picnic fare.

“They might also find bitter winds and a storm in Wells but blazing hot sunshine on Crook Peak — it has happened. When walking that distance, people must bring along waterproofs and suncream.

“Finally, people should remember to take the time to look around, enjoy themselves and, quite importantly, focus on the much-needed support their fundraising efforts will provide to this amazing hospice.”

The challenge will take place throughout the day on Sunday and registration has now closed. To find out how the walkers fared, pick up a copy of next week’s Mercury.

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