A NEW 50-mile walking race has been launched by the Isle of Man branch of the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund.

The Seven Stations Walking Challenge will take place on Sunday, April 22, and it is hoped it will become an annual event.

Chief fire officer Brian Draper explained that each of the Island's seven fire stations will be visited, starting from Port Erin station at 8am. The route will take competitors from Port Erin to Castletown station — 4.5miles.

From there it is 12.7 miles to Peel fire station and then a further 6.6 miles to Kirk Michael.

The route then continues north to Ramsey fire station, bringing the total to 33.1 miles.

Competitors will then turn south along the east coast to Laxey station, 9.3 miles from Ramsey.

The final leg is 8.1 miles — from Laxey to Douglas fire station.

It will be run under International Association of Firefighters' rules of race walking and is open to anyone 18 or over with competitors who wish to finish their challenge at any of the fire stations being credited with a certificate of achievement for the distance covered.

Mr Draper said: 'Clearly this event will provide an ideal opportunity for the many thousands of competitors wishing to warm-up for the Parish Walk under race conditions over a challenging long distance route.

'Competitor numbers are not limited and we hope this event will become annual and grow and grow like the Parish Walk.'

Proceeds from the 15 entry fee will be used in support of the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund, a registered charity that works locally and nationally to provide assistance to serving and retired personnel, their widow/ers and young dependants through the provision of sheltered accommodation, recuperative facilities, rehabilitation and therapy in addition to financial support for those who need it.

For further information including copies of rules and regulations and contact details together with downloadable entry forms, visit

Entries, which will also be available from fire stations and fire service headquarters in Onchan, must be received by Friday, April 13.

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