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Targets smashed in Darlington Rotary’s Virtual Round Britain walk

Targets smashed in Darlington Rotary’s Virtual Round Britain walk

Targets set in an ambitious Covid safe plan to walk 5,000 miles around Britain have been smashed as scores of walkers from all over the world got involved.

The sponsored event was originally set up in Darlington to try and walk round Britain virtually between February and October this year.

But it became clear that the target would be reached very quickly as teams of walkers signed up, collecting the miles they walked locally to add to the total, which was plotted onto a map to show progress.

The target was extended to walking around the British coastline, some 19,400 miles.

So the target was extended to walking around the British coastline – some 19,400 miles – which was reached in less than three months and has raised a staggering £3,300.

The event was organised by Darlington Rotary. Members David Selby from Melsonby and Derek Risbey from Darlington put the plan together to get people out walking and to raise money for charities hit by the pandemic.

David said: “We hoped to encourage people to collectively walk 5,000 miles, to do it in about eight months and to raise maybe £1,000. What has happened has exceeded all our expectations and targets.

“We had walkers signing up from as far afield as Ottawa in Canada and Tanzania and sending in their weekly totals.

“We were amazed how quickly the numbers of participants and miles rose over such a short time. It seems to have captured the imagination of hundreds of people and we are very grateful to all those who took part.”

Derek said that the walk got off to a flying start with 15 teams completing 1,400 in the first week.

We had walkers signing up from as far afield as Ottawa in Canada and Tanzania and sending in their weekly totals.”

“We decided to change the route from the roads around Britain to the coastline of Britain including the main islands, which extended our goal to 19,424 miles. As a consequence, we had reached Hunstanton on the Norfolk coast by the end of the first week and Torquay at the end of the second.

“People could walk anywhere outside locally once a day and be Covid compliant. So whether it was a trip to the paper shop and back, walking the dog or simply a stroll down the lane as part of people’s daily exercise it all counted towards our goal.”

Although £3,300 has come in so far more is expected in the coming weeks from the 27 teams of around 200 walkers.

Darlington Rotary President Nigel Little, who lead his own team, said: “This was a great idea and encouraged people to stay active and safely raise money for charities in the community which have been hit so hard by the pandemic.”