Industry News

Country Walking Launches 2020 Challenge

By Jess Browne-Swinburne

6 Jan 2020

Country Walking launches its #Walk1000Miles 2020 challenge with a special 64-page supplement, published with the February 2020 issue, available on newsstands 2 January 2020.

The successful annual walking challenge, now in its third year, is the brainchild of Country Walking’s Editor Guy Procter, and encourages everyone of any age and fitness level to walk 1000 miles in one year – more than the distance of the UK end to end.

The #Walk1000Miles challenge has been praised by GPs and health practitioners. Dr Peter Davies, GP and 3 x 1000-miler says: “Every step is a step away from obesity, diabetes, hypertension and their consequences.” Alison Sabine, Consultant Rheumatologist, and a 1000 miler says: “If we had a drug this effective people would be queuing round the block for it.”

Celebrities have also endorsed Country Walking’s initiative with Stephen Fry, who is interviewed in the February issue, saying: “Walk1000miles is an idea without flaw... and you might find it brings 1000 other benefits too.”

Since launch, Country Walking’s #Walk1000Miles challenge has amassed 74,000 registrations and more than 30,000 signed-up members to its growing Facebook community, and the magazine anticipates 2020’s campaign to be its biggest and best yet.

Free with the February issue, Country Walking’s 64-page #Walk1000Miles guide covers all aspects of the challenge for beginners as well as existing walkers, including its premise, how it works, how to register, how to log daily mileage with a downloadable progress tracker or the community-built digital tool, tips on goal setting and rewarding achievement, the mental and physical health benefits endorsed by health specialists and testimonials from advocates who prove how #Walk1000Miles has changed their lives forever.

Anyone can sign up to the #Walk1000miles 2020 challenge by registering for free online at www.walk1000miles.co.uk. New participants automatically join the established community, where they can gain tips and advice, mentoring, support and encouragement to achieve individual goals, or join approved sub-groups to make friends and share experiences, say the publishers.

In each month’s issue throughout the year Country Walking publishes a section dedicated to the #Walk1000Miles campaign.

Brand partners of #Walk1000Miles include: Scarpa outdoor footwear, Bridgedale world-leading socks, Deuter, rucksacks, Fujifilm cameras and photography, Affinity Photo software, Rohan apparel, Ordnance Survey maps and navigation and Slimming World.

For 2020 Country Walking has teamed up with the Daily Telegraph as its media partner, who will be supporting the magazine’s initiative with cross-promotion and branded editorial in its Travel sections from January throughout the year, both in print and online. The 2020 challenge will also be supported by Bauer Media’s audio brands including Magic and Scala along with its presenters.

Branded merchandise is available to purchase from Country Walking’s shop, including registration badges, certificates to pledge intent, t-shirts and caps, calendars, and completer medals with certificates to reward walkers’ achievements - silver for 500 miles and gold for 1000 miles. The magazine offers additional monthly incentives by setting mini-challenges for 20 walkers to win one of its covetable Golden Badges.

Founder of #Walk1000Miles and Editor of Country Walking, Guy Procter, says: “Walking’s power to transform your health and happiness is astonishing – without requiring expensive memberships or demanding you change your routines dramatically, and without making you a stranger to your family or a ghost to your friends. Yet for all its light touch and low impact, it brings about the most wonderful changes. If you want to look great and feel amazing, and above all enjoy life more, you CAN. It’s easier than you think to do something incredible in 2020 – and the adventure starts at your door.”

Kim Slaney, Managing Director of Bauer Media’s Leisure brands added: “Country Walking’s #Walk1000miles is a proven solution to change people’s lives ‘one step at a time’. Since launch we’ve had 74k people sign-up to #Walk1000miles, driving better mental health, fitness, weight loss and happiness. With the continued support of our partners and by building awareness of the amazing power of walking, we believe that we can turn #Walk1000Miles from a walking campaign to a ‘national self-improvement movement’ in the new decade.”

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