By Gill Stewart at
Armed with their Nordic walking poles 34 walkers, with an average age of 70, managed to walk 17,000 miles in one year.
At the beginning of 2021 when the country was in lockdown Nordic walking leader Stephen Knight of set a challenge for his walking group based around Amersham, Farnham Common and Gerrards Cross in Bucks. He asked them to log the miles they did on their dedicated social media app every time they went out.
Sometimes the members walked with group, when it was allowed, other times they set off on their own. By the end of the year they had clocked up the miles that were the equivalent of going to New York and back five times. Some enthusiastic walkers walked six miles a day, others would count the number of steps they did and went out when they could. They walked in the rain, snow, wind and the sunshine.
Stephen said: “It didn’t matter how far they walked, just that they were keen to go out and exercise.”
Modern technology meant that holidays were no excuse to slacken either – miles walked with Grandchildren in Australia, steps taken in the USA and elsewhere were all included.
One of his walkers told Stephen “I saw the different distances that were being walked by everyone and that got me going out, too. If they could do it, so could I, even when it was a bit wet! I don’t remember much sun last year but
And it wasn’t just virtual marathons, there were some real ones too.
Stephen told us “During the year, Fi French ( one of the group walk leaders) walked the London marathon and other walkers including Gaby Roberts, Mitsou Piggot and Sue Hobbes joined her in two virtual half-marathons as well
“Sadly, race rules did not allow Fi to use her Nordic Walking Poles and she missed the way they help ease the stress on hips and knees and make it feel ‘lighter on your feet’.” He added.
What an amazing effort by every one of the 34 walkers and proof that being in a sociable group with an inspirational Instructor can make all the difference – even during lockdown!
We look forward to hearing what they achieve in 2022