A number of employees from sponsor of the Saffery Rotary Walk, Saffery Champness, are taking part in this year’s round-island challenge, and operations manager Chris Russell has some important tips for walkers tackling the 39-mile route.
Chris has completed the walk 10 times which is a fantastic achievement and with his experience and knowledge of what it takes to finish he has 10 top tips for this year’s walkers.
Practice makes perfect
It may sound obvious but training and preparation are essential. In the weeks leading up to the walk be sure to take part in practice walks of varying lengths and in the week before rest and stock up on those all-important carbohydrates to fuel your body.
Think on your feet
This means think about your footwear. 39 miles are tough on even the hardiest of feet so sturdy trainers that fit well are a must. It’s also worth investing in some decent socks.
It’s all about timing
Registration opens at 4.30am at the White Hart and with hundreds of people registering there can often be quite a queue. Try arriving between 4.30 - 4.45am when the queue has started to die down.
Pacing yourself is very important. If you’re walking with friends who have a faster pace then consider meeting them at the next checkpoint instead of trying to keep up.
Guernsey Water will be providing standing water pipes along the coastline for walkers to refill bottles with fresh water. If you find yourself feeling thirsty it’s a sign of dehydration so be sure to keep yourself topped up with fresh water.
Don’t go hungry
Keeping fuelled is equally important and snacks will be available at the various checkpoints around the island. There’s a number of rubbish and recycling bins around the course so be sure to throw away any litter responsibly.
Pack the essentials
Make sure the walk is as comfortable for you as possible. Sun cream will help protect you against the sun, Vaseline can help relieve any chaffing, and it’s not too pessimistic to pack a rain coat. Remember there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes.
Stay on track
Each walker will have been sent a booklet ahead of the walk which includes information on the route. It’s important that walkers check in at each checkpoint so organisers can keep track of all walkers.
Once you’ve completed the walk make sure you spend time cooling down and stretching to relieve a build-up of lactic acid. It’s a long way to walk and you should be prepared to be stiff for a couple of days afterward
Not your bag?
A huge amount of equipment will be moved around the route of the walk including personal walker’s bags. At each checkpoint there will be a section for ‘bags in’ and ‘bags out’. It’s important to move your bags accordingly to make sure it stays with you throughout the walk.
The Saffery Rotary Walk committee would also like to remind people to look out for noxious weeds that will inevitably be growing along the cliff paths. If walkers do come in contact with sap from Hogweed (Cow Parsley) the advice would be to rinse any parts of your arms and legs that could have been exposed to the sap thoroughly with water as it can cause third degree burns when exposed to sunlight.
A total of 20 local charities will be supported at this year’s Saffery Rotary Walk and anyone who raises over £200 will automatically be entered into a prize draw. There is also a prize for the most funds raised by an individual and a team.
Saffery Champness has supported the walk since 2014 and volunteers from the firm will be manning the finish line to congratulate people on completing the mammoth task.
Saffery Champness director Lisa Vizia said: “We are proud to support one of the largest charity events in the island that has supported so many local charities over the years. As a firm we are committed to giving back to the Guernsey community and a number of employees not only take part in the event but volunteer their time to ensure the event is a success.”
The Saffery Rotary Walk takes place on Saturday 9 June and individuals can register online until the 7th June with registration available on the day at a fee of £35.00.