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1,100 take part in Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival
8:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
Walkers clocked up a total of 17,250 miles – the equivalent of Australia and back – on Sunday.
The annual Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival had more than 1,100 walkers, from seasoned trekkers to family strollers, completing one of three routes from Settle.
They ranged from a modest five miles to a tough 28-mile circuit.
The walkers are expected to have raised tens of thousands of pounds for causes close to their hearts.
Many also took on a personal challenge – whether it was walking while coping with a debilitating health condition or trekking in memory of a loved one.
The event was staged by Jane Tomlinson’s Walk For All – part of the legacy of the late fundraiser who made headlines around the world with her amazing sporting endeavours, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Event leader Emma Griffiths said: “It’s been a great day. Everyone set off with big smiles and they all came back tired but happy.
“Thank you again to everyone who has helped to support the event, whether it was by walking, helping with the organisation or sponsorship. We could not do it without you.”
The 28-mile Hard as Dales course took in the beautiful limestone cliff of Malham Cove, Malham Tarn and Fountain’s Fell with stunning views of Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough.
The first to pass the finish post on the longest route was Alisa Cherry and her partner Robert Hemingway, both from Holmfirth, who finished in just over eight hours.
The 14-mile Blockbuster route, meanwhile, gave walkers fantastic panoramic views over Malhamhide and included a 418-step climb up Malham Cove.
First home was Nicky Busby, who crossed the line in around four hours and 14 mins.
The five-mile Rocky Road walk – which attracted many families and groups of friends – took walkers through the heart of Attermire Scar before descending back into Settle.
The five-mile walkers were set off by artist Ashley Jackson – famous for his beautiful Yorkshire landscapes.
Among the many finishers were the family of Rhys Sullivan, four, from Pudsey, Leeds, who was taking part to support Leeds General Infirmary, where he underwent heart surgery.
Ashley said: “I was excited to play a small part in the Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival, starting off the five-mile walk.
“As an artist walking gives me the perfect opportunity to view and capture the unique landscape.” Walkers were encouraged to raise funds for a cause of their choice, but especially the event’s partner charities: Vasculitis UK, Parkinson’s UK, Epilepsy Action, Heart Research, Macmillan Cancer Support, Martin House Children’s Hospice, Diabetes UK, Arthritis Research, Yorkshire Cancer Research and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
The Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival is supported by various groups including Craven District Council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Asda Foundation, Northern Rail, the National Trust, the Cave Rescue Organisation and Stray FM.
Thanks to the support of Northern Rail, walkers were able to travel to the festival on two extra services – aboard the special Jane Tomlinson train.
All proceeds from the sale of tickets on the two extra trains have been donated to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
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