WELLNESS-AWARE Wearsiders put their best foot forward in spite of the wet weather.
Sunderland City Council organised a number of fitness walks from Herrington Country Park and dozens defied sporadic downpours to take part.
The longest hike was a ten-mile Nordic walk – using poles – around Shiney Row and Penshaw.
Among those taking part was 63-year-old Margaret McAnelly, from Washington.
Margaret takes part in organised walks several times a week.
“The weather does not bother me at all,” she said. “I just like to be outside.
“I spent 40-odd years sitting in an office, so now that I am retired, I want to be out in the fresh air.
“I am in a Nordic walking group on a Tuesday, on a Thursday I go walking with the Bridge women’s project and on Friday I do the walk from the arts centre, then I am in the Ramblers and the University of the Third Age.”
Fifty-one-year-old Carol Cox, also from Washington, is such a fan of the organised walks that she has trained as a community volunteer to help with the organisation.
“The council has trained me up to help with the Nordic walk which I do every Tuesday afternoon,” she said.
“I also do every third Saturday – it is just to help the staff out if they need a back marker.”
Fro Carol, walking is about more than just keeping fit.
“It is the companionship,” she said, “You meet a really good group of people,
“And it is also really good exercise, because you are working your upper body as well as your lower body.”
Bill Wright, 64, from Grangetown, also enjoys walking as much for the companionship as the health benefits.
“It is a really good way to get fit and you also mkake some good friends,” he said.