Councillor’s epic 200-mile walk ... to stay fit

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AN energetic South Tyneside councillor has had the Tyne of his life while getting fit.

Coun George Elsom has walked both the length of the north and south Tyne rivers in a bid to stay healthy.

In total he’s walked almost 200 miles along the route of the rivers, which converge at Warden Rock near Hexham to become the Tyne

And now he’s hoping fellow South Tynesiders will follow in his footsteps and help the borough tackle its obesity issues. Latest figures show 27.4 per cent of adults fall into that category, compared with a national average of 24.2 per cent.

Coun Elsom, the Real Independent representative for Cleadon Park in South Shields, said: “It’s been a great experience and it’s been very good for my health.

“Fitness-wise, I feel a lot better and I’ve lost weight too. I’ve taken my time and done both of the routes in stages, there was no rush, and I used public transport every time, so it’s been very cost effective.

“I am hoping to show older people especially that walking is a great, free and fun way to stay in shape, I’ve seen so many things on my travels.”

In June, Coun Elsom completed the south Tyne walk from Tynemouth to Hole House in Northumberland, via South Shields, Newcastle, Corbridge, Hexham, Alston and Garrigill. On the map the route is 86 miles, but he embarked on a number of circular routes, which saw him walk about 120 miles in total.

Earlier this month Coun Elsom, along with friends, then completed the 45-mile north Tyne walk from Hexham to Deadwater in Northumberland, via Chollerford, Billingham and Kielder.

He said: “I did the north Tyne walk in five separate walks. Deadwater is almost in Scotland and the last leg was done in the pouring rain.

“It was still enjoyable though, the scenery was tremendous and some of the pubs, where I ate, were great.”

Coun Elsom is now plotting his next trek, which he says could be along the length of Hadrian’s Wall.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvez