The first walk in the 7 Hills Walking Challenge took place on Saturday morning. 14 walkers set off on a route around the town as part of the practise walks for the 7 hills challenge on December 16th. The programme has been organised by the West Armagh Consortium and it is designed to appeal to people who would not consider themselves particularly physically active. The proposed routes of the practise walks will visit sites that people may well pass by on a daily basis , such as river walks ,St. Patricks Well and Demesne to name a few.
The groups are a cross section of the community with a varying range of ages and they appear to have adopted former Lord Mayor Cathy Rafferty's dog Uisce Beatha as their mascot. Uisce Beatha means water of life, more commonly referred to as whiskey. Perhaps a few uisce beatha were enjoyed after the walk, but that's different story.
The walk leader, Mr. John Fields stressed that the programme will consist of leisurely, yet focussed walks that will respond to everyone capabilities. Speaking before the off on Saturday Stephen Fields (WAC) welcomed all the participants saying that “The object of the programme was to encourage physical activity and in turn promote healthy lifestyles. It is also hoped that the walks will give people a better appreciation of our own town, places that locals sometimes take for granted.”
The remaining walks will take place on subsequent Saturdays and will finish off on Saturday 16th December with the full 7 Hills Challenge. There has always been a debate regarding where the seven hills actually are. However to diffuse this potential bone of contention, the organisers has decreed that anyone who can identify an eighth hill or indeed an alternative hill can climb that one as well