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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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K2B walking tips

BORN in Barrow, JAMIE ROBERTS has been taking part in the Keswick to Barrow walk since childhood. Now working as a business analyst in the City of London, the 35-year-old still makes the trip up north every year to take part. Here he shares his tips with readers.

When was your first event?

I was about 12 when I first did the Keswick to Barrow (1989/1990). I started doing it again with the core team when one a friend’s children got seriously ill and we wanted to help.

How did you get involved?

The first time was with school. The following times were due to wanting to help my friend’s child and as a means to get together with friends for a challenge.

How many times have you taken part?

Maybe 11 to 14 times. I think this year marks 11 consecutive years in a row (with one year off for my professional exams).

How do you keep fit?

Martial arts, running several times a week, swimming and cycling.

How do you train for this event?

I tend not to run much of it any more, because I like to stick with the team I bring with me, so practice walks always help. I try to walk somewhere in the region of 15 miles minimum on several occasions.

When do you start training?

To be honest, my fitness levels are pretty good already, so I just do a handful of practice walks and runs in the couple of months building up to the event. Don’t get me wrong though, it still hurts on the day.

Do you have any training advice to offer?

Get at least a couple of good walks in: at least 10 to 15 miles per walk as it helps give those muscles a work out, and helps prepare you mentally for the big day.

What are the highlights of the day?

For me, it’s enjoying the company.

There is a great group of people in our team and I don’t get to see some of them too often. It is a great laugh, especially when close friends start to struggle (we are a forgiving lot, as you can tell). Not to mention the scenery, it is beautiful in the Lakes, especially early in the morning when it’s all quiet and the mist is still sitting on the lakes and the sun is about to climb over the hill tops.

Any advice for people taking part?

The real battle is in your head. Don’t give up and most of all make sure you enjoy the day. It is for a good cause and the truth is, by taking part and collecting sponsorship, you will likely improve someone’s life who desperately needs help. You may very well save a life – now that really is a good day’s work! Also, stay with your friends, they will get you through the tough moments.

Who are you raising money for?

MacMillan Cancer Support, Furness General Oncology Unit, Step by Step – Autism, North West Air Ambulance, St Mary’s Hospice, Brathay Trust and Galaxy House.

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