The Long Distance Walkers Association turns 50 this year. Our writer joins a ‘challenge’ trek to learn about the appeal of timed walks – and how it all began

Under the pewter light of an overcast sky, we walked fast through the forest. Eighteen hikers in trail shoes and lightweight backpacks, filling the air with excited chatter. “We’ve only got 12 minutes left,” shouted Hannah, “we cannot be this close and fail. Come on!”. Our pace quickened.

Despite appearances this wasn’t a race. There were no medals to claim, or cheers of supporters waiting at the finish. This was just a regular Saturday for members of a local group of the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) in Surrey, whom I’d joined for a 26-mile “challenge walk”.

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Source: Gaurdian

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