It's a walkover! Phil hits an 85 mile target in 12 days

Published on: Thursday, 16th May 2024
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Phil Haynes on hiking trip to the National Forest in Leicestershire

A hiking fan who was spurred on by Erewash residents in a challenge to walk 85 miles during May has covered the distance already – sparking a plea to others not to be daunted.

Phil Haynes, 63, took just 12 days to hit the milestone set by the borough council. He completed the last 8.5 miles with his partner Mandy on a trekking trip to the Peak District.

Rachel Scott, who is the council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Officer, congratulated him – but was keen to stress: “We want people to walk at their own pace. This is about encouraging people to walk more often every day so should not be seen as a contest. We don’t want anyone to feel under pressure.

“That being said, Phil’s is a great achievement.”

Phil, who lives just across the Erewash border near Chaddesden in Derby, said: “I enjoy keeping fit and also go running and cycling – plus I have swim membership at West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton.”

Rachel, 53, told how she is herself taking part in the council challenge to average 2.74 miles a day – which usually takes less than an hour. She said: “Going for a walk, especially in nature, has been good for my mental health. I sometimes stroll with family or friends so can chat along the way.

“When I finish a walk I feel satisfied that I’ve done some exercise for the day.”

There is still time to register for the spring challenge, which is part of National Walking Month. People are also invited to try to cover half the distance – equivalent to 1.37 miles a day. To sign up, visit this link.

Erewash Borough Council leader James Dawson said: “Walking is a great way to keep fit – and Phil has set quite a pace in terms of the council’s challenge. But the main thing we want is to try to get residents fitter and more active even if it is by taking the gentlest of exercise. This means all those taking part deserve congratulating. That includes our Rachel.” 

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