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Relay team to take on Staffordshire Way challenge for county celebration

Posted on Friday 29th April 2022
Vic Wilson outside Stafford Place NR

Victoria Wilson

A team of runners are set to run the historic Staffordshire Way trail as part of the celebrations for this year’s Staffordshire Day.

Countryside charity CPRE Staffordshire has helped organise the event using runners from local running clubs, who aim to complete the 95-mile trail in under 24 hours on Sunday 1 May.

The first runners will set off from Mow Cop at midnight on Saturday night. The runners are experienced in long distances and hope to do up to 20 miles each.

The Staffordshire Way runs from Mow Cop Castle on the edge of the Peak District, in the north of the county, to Kinver Edge in the south, taking in some of the county’s most breath-taking locations. The trail takes visitors through the picturesque towns and villages of Biddulph, Leek, Alton, Uttoxeter, Rugeley, Cannock Chase and Codsall.

Taking part in the challenge is Paul Rochfort from Staffordshire County Council’s rights of way team.

Talking about the challenge, Paul said:

The Staffordshire Way is our flagship long distance walking route, running the length of the county and showcasing many of the finest landscapes in Staffordshire.

The trail can be walked as a long distance challenge over a number of days or in sections through some of the Staffordshire Way circular walks which we promote. One thing is for certain, you will experience a great deal of variety along the route and at the end of it, most likely be amazed that it is all the same county. I’m a keen runner myself so I’m looking forward to the challenge, which we hope to complete within 24 hours.”

One of the other runners is Sue Kneill-Boxley from Stafford who works for CPRE. Sue said:

The Staffordshire countryside is incredibly beautiful, especially at this time of year. I bet my time will be awful as I’ll be stopping to take photos every couple of minutes!”

Last year, Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture completed the walk in six days to help promote the trail and to see recent improvements.

Victoria said:

We’re so lucky to have such a beautiful county and I’m so glad I got the chance to walk the Staffordshire Way last year. The relay race will not only be a great way to promote our amazing countryside but it’s also the perfect way to celebrate Staffordshire Day. I wish all the runners the best of luck with the challenge.

The Staffordshire Way is a beautiful trail that takes in all the natural splendour of the county. It’s all well and good looking at it online or in a magazine but to be in the fresh air, meeting people along the way and seeing the scenery up close is a wonderful feeling. We really are the perfect county for exploring the great outdoors and our teams are working hard to make it easier, safer and more appealing for visitors.”

Another runner, Sally Harris, a 47 year old occupational therapist from Kinver, has helped co-ordinate the team of runners. Sally will be running the last leg to Kinver Edge late on Sunday and said:

Everyone involved has been brilliant. We have been plagued by last minute injuries but nonetheless, we are all very excited to be taking part.”

Recent improvements to two bridges on a section of the trail in Enville are making it easier and safer for people to use the trail. This, alongside further investment planned for next year, is expected to boost the popularity of the trail and attract more visitors to the county.

People can follow the relay live at: Staffordshire Way | Track-Trail-Live

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