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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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K2B walking tips

By Rachel Hermolle

PHIL COOPER, 60, is an experienced Keswick to Barrow participant, having taken part every year since 1995. Here he shares his tips with readers.

When was your first event?

I have been marshalling events since 1992 but the first year I took part myself was 1995.

How did you get involved?

Before moving to Lancaster I lived in Barrow and worked at the shipyard. After three years of watching people taking part I decided that I should be able to do it too.

How many times have you taken part?

Eighteen times, and am eagerly working my way up to the 20th next year to receive the china plate awarded to everyone who hits the big 2-0.

How do you keep fit?

I have always been a keen fell walker and like to complete regular, substantial walks.

How do you train for this event?

I like to complete lots of 15 to 20-mile walks beforehand, working my way up to a 25 to 30-mile walks a few weeks before the event.

One year I took the train from Barrow to Millom and then walked back along the coastal path. Another I did a 27-mile road walk around the base of the Coniston fells. And now that I live in Lancaster I like to walk along the Lancaster canal up to Preston, catching the bus back home.

When do you start training?

I train year-round, but six weeks before the event I make sure I start getting out and completing some longer, 20-mile walks.

Do you have any training advice?

Make sure you keep fit year-round. If you are going to spend money, make sure it is on some better quality trainers with good ventilation and support.

What are the highlights of the day?

Getting half way and seeing all the food that’s laid on for the contestants - and finishing to lots of tremendous clapping.

Any advice for people taking part?

Be in time for your transport and make note of the weather forecast.

If it is going to be a hot day it is a good idea to take sun cream.

Twice it has been really cold and rainy and as I had forgotten my gloves I struggled to do up my laces after they came undone. It is a good idea to take some lightweight waterproofs.

Who are you raising money for?

I am raising money for Furness Motor Neurone Disease.

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