A new competition is being launched as part of the Parish Walk.
The Parish Walk, which will celebrate its 101st in its current format on June 21, attracts hundreds of walkers every year to walk through all of the island’s 17 parishes.
The new category is for teams of three walkers aged 18 to 21 competing to be the fastest to cover the 32.5 miles to Peel.
The winners will be the trio with the best combined time of all three walkers, with separate prizes of trophies and smartphones provided by the event sponsor for each member of the winning men’s and women’s teams.
News about the prizes was announced at the official launch of the walk on Tuesday.
Gianni Epifani, senior sport development officer at Manx Sport and Recreation, said: ‘At MSR we already have initiatives in place to encourage more young people aged 14 to 24 to take more exercise, so the added incentive for 18- to 21-year-olds to take part in the Manx Telecom Parish Walk is something we welcome.
‘It can be difficult to encourage some teenagers to get into the habit of taking regular exercise and gain the health benefits that this brings, so the team trophies and smartphones for younger walkers are a great idea for motivating this age group.
‘Who knows? It may inspire someone to take part for the first time, go on to complete the full 85-mile distance in years to come, and maybe even win the event one day. But the most important thing is that everyone who is inspired to take part in the Manx Telecom Parish Walk will be taking the first steps towards discovering how regular exercise can significantly improve their health.’
The launch event also saw the official signing of a three year extension to Manx Telecom’s contract as title sponsor.
The timing website this year - www.mt.im/parishwalk - will show the main leaderboard for the elite walkers and allow visitors to track the progress of up to 10 friends. In addition, it will show leaderboards for all of the team races.
As well as the 18 to 21 category this year’s event will again feature a corporate challenge for teams of four who must all be employees of the same company, with no team having more than one member who has previously completed the full 85-mile Parish Walk. There is also an overall team competition.