A Coventry Way – 40 mile challenge on its way

By Simona Angelova

The Cyril Bean Seventeenth Coventry Way Challenge begins on the 6th of April 2014. The challenge is a 40-mile circular long distance footpath, involving people from around the country. This year the starting and finishing point is at the Queens Head, Meriden, on the west side of Coventry.

Bob Carey, the chairman of “A Coventry Way” explains: “ We formed the association about 1995…The first fellow that actually designed this course, did it in 1974 and then left it alone for good many years.”

As the time passed Bob and his friends decided to pick it up again. Since then, they receive more than 270 applications for the challenge every year. A lot of people do not make it to the finish and do not complete the forty-mile walk and they drop out.

The route goes through all the outlying villages – Brinklow, Bedworth, Keniworth, Wolston, Bubbenhall, Breach Oak Lane, Coorley Moor and Meriden.

The whole walk takes around fifteen hours for walkers and runners go around for about six hours. The route is the same every year, the only different thing is weather conditions.

Bob says: “About four years ago, we had people coming in and being up to the knees in water on some places.” He doesn’t think it is going to be as bad as that this year.

Bob adds: “I think the fastest time was four hours and fifty seven minutes, that was about three years ago.”

Bob says people share their experience of the challenge. After completing the walk some people said: “That was fantastic, I really enjoyed that.”

“I think last year we had our eldest competitor who was seventy six, that was a lady, who did the whole forty miles”

“We’ve got one guy this year, his name is George Kacaravic, from Coventry, and it is his tenth time that he’s done it”

Coventry Way Challenge is also involved in charity work. The money gathered from entry fees go for different national charities every year. Bob says, they raise around £1,000 each year separating that between different charities.

“People do it [the challenge] to raise money for charity. We’ve been used as a vehicle for charities quite a lot actually.”

They support charities such as Heart Foundation, cancer charities.

Bob explains that there is one college group that raises a lot of money for “Mary’s meals” which is a charity that looks after children in Africa.

Bob addresses his wishes to the participants: “I just wish them all the very best of luck and hope they really enjoy the Coventry Countryside.”



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