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Wellingborough gets ready for Waendel

Published Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Final preparations are being made in Wellingborough ahead of the International Waendel Walk. More than 5,000 people are expected to take part in the prestigious event, which attracts walkers from as far away as Japan, America and China.

Route maps are being printed, signs and flags are ready to go up, and road closures have been agreed, as the final flurry of organisation takes place before the event kicks off in just over a week's time.

Anna Denny, event coordinator at Wellingborough Council, said: "The Waendel Walk takes months of planning, in fact we start thinking about the next year's event as soon as this one has finished. But it's this last couple of weeks when everything really steps up a gear, and we go through every detail to make sure it's all perfect.

"Hundreds and hundreds of miles have been clocked up as every single route has been walked and rewalked, before route maps and plans are sent off to be printed. Signs and arrows have arrived and they'll be going up from the weekend, as will the flags outside The Castle.

"We have a brilliant group of volunteers and we couldn't do it without their help. From people checking the routes, to offering first aid during the weekend, and even cooking breakfast for the campers at Redwell, they are a truly amazing group and it's down to them that the event is always such a success."

Cllr Malcolm Waters, chairman of the Waendel Steering Group, said: "Waendel is a chance for us to show our borough off to the rest of the world, so it's important we get it right. We expect more than 5,000 people to visit us, and we've already had people sign up from Japan, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

"People who take part in our walks always say how much they enjoy them, and that's not only because they take people through the beautiful countryside we have here in Wellingborough, but also because they're safe and very professionally organised. We're incredibly proud of the reputation the International Waendel Walk has all over the world."

The Waendel Walk, the only event of its kind in the UK, kicks off this year on the evening of Friday 9 May with the two friendship walks of 5km and 10km. They are followed by a weekend of different routes throughout the borough ranging from 5km up to a marathon-distance 42km.

Pre-booking to take part in the Waendel Walk is cheaper and avoids queuing on the day. It is available at The Castle's website - www.thecastle.org.uk/waendel - until Thursday 8 May, after which people will have to register in the main hall of The Castle.