Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A 'smashing' start to May's Isle of Wight Walking Festival

This year’s Isle of Wight Walking Festival is set to get off to an adrenaline-fuelled start with two walks designed to test people’s nerves.

Although the Isle of Wight is famous for hundreds of miles of public footpaths through scenic countryside, on Saturday 5 May, St Thomas’ Square in Newport will be transformed for the launch of the walking festival as hot embers and broken glass will be laid across the square to create two unusual footpaths.

To celebrate the festival’s 14th year, people are being invited to test their willpower and courage by walking over a 20 foot stretch of hot coals or – new for this year – a path of broken glass created from thousands of smashed wine bottles.

The sponsored glass and fire walks will raise money for Beaulieu House in Newport, a respite centre providing support for children with severe learning disabilities or health issues.
Training for both walks is based on proven motivational and psychological methods. It does not involve any elements of hypnosis, spiritual training, chanting or brainwashing, however organisers say it is tremendous fun.

Elaine Cesar, senior events officer at the council, said: «The walking festival attracts people from all over the world and we are excited to be able to feature these two exciting walks on our launch night. It promises to be a fun evening for spectators as well as those taking part, as live music will entertain the crowds while the walkers take part in the training sessions beforehand. We look forward to welcoming both residents and visitors to this year’s festival which features more than 242 walks over 16 days.»

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