Put a spring in your step

Bridgnorth Lions Walk and Marathon this year sticks to its traditional month of May following the switch to September in 2021 because of Covid.

May 1 is the important date for your diary for one of Shropshire’s most popular and successful community events. And there’s still time to take part – you can sign up on the day itself.

Organisers reverted to May for the 2022 event and say there are many good reasons for choosing the May Day Bank Holiday, not least because the likely cooler conditions will be more favourable for running and walking.

Following last year’s Walk for Ukraine, the theme for 2023 is Spring into Summer. Lions’ spokesman Martin Allen says, “This year it is more about emerging from the darkness of winter , through Spring into Summer.”

The dark winter months can be depressing, particularly when added to the cost of living crisis, he explains

“The result has had an impact on mental and physical health – an issue that we need to tackle. What better way of feeling better about yourself, both physically and mentally, than taking part in the walk?”

After last year’s efforts for the people of war-torn Ukraine, Lions are promoting two major local charities this year – Severn Hospice and Hope House children’s hospice.

“We feel these are charities that between them help people across the generations. If entrants do not have their own cause to raise money for, these two will be a great choice.”

 The Lions, as part of their 2023 event preparations, have already donated £1,000 to each of the two charities.

“They are both promoting the walk, will help on the day and hopefully their organisations will supply a few walkers and runners. We raised £80,000 last year. This year we are cognisant of the impact of the cost of  living but hope to raise a similar amount.”

In addition to the traditional 26-mile marathon, there will be a metric marathon and walk over the shorter distance of 26km. In addition, there will be the traditional senior, junior and family walks. All start and finish at Bridgnorth Town Hall except the junior and family walks which are over a more sedate seven-mile course, beginning and ending at Ditton Priors Village Hall.

The day attracts competitive and weekend walkers who enjoy a wonderful community atmosphere along the 22-mile route. The marathon takes in some of Shropshire’s most beautiful countryside, including a visit to the top of the 1770 foot high Brown Clee.

Mayor Karen Sawbridge with race winner Andrew Summers last year

The event always draws large crowds of spectators to cheer the participants on. There will be plenty of food and refreshments available on the High Street along with entertainment including the Les Jones band.

The Bridgnorth Walk was established in 1967 and the Lions took over as organisers in 2017 since when the event has gone from strength to strength. It was expanded to include a marathon in 2019.

Martin sums up the ethos, which gives the event its feelgood factor. “The Bridgnorth Walk and Marathon is all about community and bringing people together. The charity aspect, that feeling of taking part in an enjoyable and challenging event and helping others at the same time, is a big part of it.”

The first race starts at 9.30am. Enrolling is via https://www.bridgnorthwalk.org.uk but entrants are welcome on the day.


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