Hundreds expected for weekend of walking

THE Dingle Walking Festival which gets underway this weekend is expected to attract hundreds of avid walkers to the Dingle Peninsula.

A number of walking routes have been organised for walkers attending the two-day festival and, according to festival director Colm Bambury, there is a route available to suit every level.

It will help, of course, if the weather is kind to the event, but the hardy walkers will head for the hills in any event.

This year's festival will help raise funds for The Mark Pollack Trust, with walkers being invited to donate to the fund. Colm explained why he chose the trust as this year's festival charity.

"Mark Pollock, a native of County Down, became blind at the age of 22 and for over a decade afterwards he began a new journey as an adventure athlete competing in the harshest of environments possible," he said.

"He became the first blind man to walk to the South Pole; he has climbed Mount Everest; he ran six marathons in one week in the Gobi desert; competed in the frozen Arctic Ocean and won two Commonwealth medals in rowing-plus."

In July 2010 Mark fell from a second story window in London and suffered multiple injuries that left him paralysed from the waist down.

He is now trying to regain the use of his legs using "a bionic suit of sorts".

"Mark's story is truly inspiring and the 2012 Dingle Walking Festival is supporting his efforts all the way," said Colm.

The Dingle Walking Festival takes place this weekend on February 18 and 19; for more information on routes visit Dinglewalkingfestival.com or contact 087-222 2248.

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