Hiking enthusiasts are getting ready to tackle an established and gruelling orienteering challenge this weekend.
The Tour de Trigs competition sees participants hike 24 hours across countryside, with this year’s event starting from 10am on Saturday at the Warriner School in Bloxham.
Jeremy Wilton, a member of the organising committee, is also taking part in the event. He said: “I did it two or three years ago and didn’t finish with my original team members, so I’m aiming to finish it with them this year. It is a tough, physical and mentally draining event and in a weird way I am looking forward to it.
“A lot of effort has gone in to advertise this event and we have had a lot of help from Banbury Rotary Club and Banbury charities.”
The competition was first held in 1966 and has been held almost every year since. It is now divided into a 55-mile race and a shorter 30-mile race for juniors. Competitors have to complete the route, which is only revealed to them on the morning of the hike, in 24 hours.
Teams taking part this year include Banburyshire schools, the Metropolitan Police and Oxfordshire County Council. Thirteen of the 35 senior teams and three of the five junior teams who completed the route last year are again taking part.
A number of awards will be given out, including fastest team, oldest team and fastest mixed team.
Mr Wilton said: “Here in the south of the country we have very few good outdoor challenges – we don’t have Hadrian’s Wall or Snowdon to climb, for example. Organisers guarantee, however, that if the first full weekend of December is wet and cold, the Tour de Trigs is a challenge on par with the hardest hikes in the country.”
For more information, visit www.tourdetrigs.co.uk