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Supporters pledge to walk and run eight times the length of South West Coast Path Challenge

Could you run or walk 5,000 miles in 31 days? In one month’s time this is exactly what 300 people have pledged to do for the South West Coast Path Challenge throughout October.

The event, organised by the South West Coast Path Association in partnership with the National Trust, aims to set a new world record for the number of times the Coast Path can be covered in one month while raising funds to protect the coastline.

So far these pledges have clocked up nearly eight times the length of the 630 mile Coast Path - but the team are looking for more people to join in to reach their target of 10,000 miles. It costs at least £1,000 to look after just 1 mile of Coast Path and it needs all the help it can get so people can continue to enjoy access to the coast. Could you help us and take part in a challenge yourself?

People from all walks of life are stepping up to the challenge backed by TV adventurer Monty Halls. He says:

“Some of my happiest memories have been out running or walking the South West Coast Path, which snakes right past my house in Dartmouth.  It’s one of the most magical trails in Europe, certainly in terms of its wildlife and terrain.” 

Rachel Legg and friends began their journey along the Coast Path last year when they took part in a Challenge walk from Durslton to South Haven Point in Dorset. They have signed up to walk another stretch this year. Rachel says: 

“We all love walking and really enjoyed last year’s challenge. This year we’re walking on the Minehead to Porlock Challenge and really looking forward to the day.

“I would say to anyone, go on and have a go. You will be amazed by its stunning scenery and with such amazing countryside right on our doorstep, why go abroad for a holiday?”

Ken Carter, Chairman of the South West Coast Path Association, is setting his own personal challenge. He says:

“I am really looking forward to walking the 72 miles from Brixham to Plymouth as part of the Challenge event. This section of the Coast Path has many fond memories for me and it will as ever remind me how spectacular and varied the landscape of the estuaries and coastline are in the South Hams. l hope to walk with some old friends and encounter some new places too. As we enjoy our walk together with others we can help break the Challenge mileage record while also raising some funds for path improvements.”

The Challenge is a great way for businesses to get staff together to show their support for this much loved walking route. Alan Hyde, Head of Communications at South West Water says:

“We’re delighted to support the South West Coast Path Challenge, which is raising funds for the essential maintenance work that enables us all to enjoy the path. We’re delighted that up to 100 South West Water staff will be walking sections of the path in October and raising sponsorship for it – a wonderful opportunity to give something back while enjoying the stunning scenery of the coast path.”

Another business taking part are Barton’s Solicitors who are raising money for the Coast Path and their charity of the year The Fishermen’s Mission through sponsorship and a prize draw to guess the total coast path miles walked and run and the total height climbed by all staff during October.

Rebecca Weare, the solicitor heading up the Barton’s Challenge team says: 

“The SWCP is a fantastic natural local resource and the challenge is a great way for us as a business to bring our staff together to enjoy our beautiful local countryside and at the same time raise money to support two really worthwhile charities.  The SWCP benefits our local community in many ways and I feel that it is really important that we do what we can to support the work that goes on the background to enable everyone to keep on using it.” 

Start your South West Coast Path adventure by joining the 10 mile organised walk from Minehead on Saturday October 1st, take part in a Tin Mining Heritage walk or follow in the footsteps of Poldark in Cornwall with National Trust Rangers.

Or you could organise your own event as a great excuse to get family and friends together to enjoy an afternoon beside the sea. It is as easy as choosing a date in October, a location on the Path and the number of miles – then register your Challenge via the event website at www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/challenge or by calling 01752 896237. 

Published on: Aug. 31, 2016