Hiking routes confirmed for 2016’s Mercury Mendip Challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 April 2016

Kelsey Dehaney, Jeanette Love, Sue Harding, Alison Sopp, Sally Davis and Rachel Mansfield.

Kelsey Dehaney, Jeanette Love, Sue Harding, Alison Sopp, Sally Davis and Rachel Mansfield.


The routes for this year’s Mercury Mendip Challenge have been revealed – and with just 10 weeks to go until the event takes place, Weston Hospicecare staff are urging participants to begin their training as soon as possible.

The route of this year's Mercury Mendip Challenge.The route of this year's Mercury Mendip Challenge.

The challenge – which is sponsored by the Mercury – raised £40,000 for Weston Hospicecare last year and the charity is hoping to raise even more when this year’s event takes place in the Mendip Hills on June 5.

People can sign up to a 10, 20 or 30-mile route through the picturesque Somerset countryside and although the idea of the challenge may sound like a pleasant stroll, the hospice is urging people to train in advance and prepare for lots of ‘hard work’ on the day.

Event organiser Kelsey Dehaney said: “Taking part in the Mercury Mendip Challenge is a great experience and a fantastic way to support the hospice. It is also a terrific way to improve your fitness.

“If you are thinking of taking part this year – and we hope you are – you could use the preparation for the challenge to improve your overall fitness, especially if you build up the amount you walk gradually.

“Walking or running over rough hilly terrain is hard work. Your muscles may not be prepared for the challenge so if you have not tried this type of walking or running before, it is important you train in advance.

“If you are new to the challenge we advise a shorter distance, such as the 10-mile route, and you could then increase your distance in future years.

“The Mercury Mendip Challenge is not a race – we want you to enjoy the distance you’ve chosen.”

Another option available to walking fans on the day is the five-mile fancy dress route along Weston’s seafront, which starts and ends at Westhaven School in Uphill.

This route often appeals to families with younger children and has had themes including Hollywood, farming and birthday celebrations in the past.

The theme of this year’s event is Rio, in celebration of the upcoming Olympic Games in the summer, and staff are hoping to see walkers dressed in their best sporting outfits and carnival costumes.

However, walkers should still wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable footwear on the day regardless of the distance they are taking part in.

To sign up to this year’s Mercury Mendip Challenge, click here to visit the challenge’s website, contact 01934 423960 or email supporter.care@westonhospicecare.org.uk

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