Are you up for a Challenge?

Back in September 2022, we were captivated with the story of one of our Instructors, Jenny Pullman, sharing her pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. A gruelling 34 day walk covering over 700 km.

After cancer treatment, she decided to see how well she had recovered by walking the Camino, as well as raising funds for Penny Brohn. She trained for her epic journey by adding 5km to her regular 10km Nordic walks.  "I think if I had not used my poles I would have had to taxi over a few sections - they were steep and rocky. Also they helped me greatly over the mountain sections." she explained. 

But it seems that Nordic Walking and long distance walking is not so unusual. 

Tash Wilkinson, owner and Instructor at Nordic Nomads, recommends "Start small and build up to the bigger distances over time, and then GO FOR IT!". Tash has tackled plenty of long distances with her poles over the last few years; Hadrian's Wall, the Ridgeway National Trail and The Cotswold walking challenge . Tash explains the training is important, "I gradually build up to Nordic Walking 12 miles a day. Before starting the trail I was regularly walking 3 mile walks several times a week, so started regularly walking 6 miles and longer weekly walks." 

Avril on Offa's Dyke

Avril Cuthbert, a volunteer Instructor from Merton U3A, loves the immersion in the outside world she gets from Nordic walking long distances. After tackling 177 miles of Offa's Dyke in 2023, she is now walking the Heart of Wales Line Path. Could she do it without her poles? " Although most of my holidays are walking holidays, there is no way that I could get up those Welsh hills without my poles!" 

A jubilant Nivette

In order to qualify for the LDWA May Challenge, Nivette Chester of Run4You CIC, walked the Laich O'Moray 50 - a 50 mile challenge walk taking in the stunning sights and sounds of the Moray Firth. A recent newcomer to Nordic walking, Nivette is pleased with the impact of the poles. "I could have done this without poles, but they increased my overall pace and shared the workload, especially on the up hill sections." 


Poles Apart's Yvonne Gould started doing longer  Action Challenge walks with her poles in 2016. "I love long distance Nordics, and I think my enthusiasm inspires others. We had 9 folks from our group complete the North Downs 50km." She continues, "It feels easier- I love the rhythm and the poles keep my posture in check."

 Yvonne on the North Coast Challenge


One common theme here - the difference the poles make to keep walkers going - further and faster. Philippa Sanders (Pipsticks)  is not new to tackling long distances with her poles. A regular at LDWA events, she believes her poles help her achieve a reasonable time. One event which they have earmarked for 2024  is the WalkWithMe | Charity Walk | Moulsford | Oxfordshire  which takes place on 5th May 2024. This is a marathon walk and is back after a short break and with a new route for 2024.  Nordic walkers are very welcome, particularly as one of our BNW Instructors, Sam Pritchard, helps to organise the event! The photo shows Lisa Drew, Vicky Welsh and Joy Kellaway walking towards the Alton Barnes White Horse

Pip by the White Horse

Thanks to Yvonne, Pip, Jenny, Tash, Nivette and Avril for sharing their stories. We'd love you to share your long distance stories with us - where will you Nordic Walk next? Can you use poles to go further or faster?


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