The Christus Rex Pilgrimage is walked every year by Pilgrims of all ages with widely varying levels of health and fitness. It is not necessary to engage in any particularly strenuous training regime. However, you will enjoy your time walking and benefit more from the experience if you have completed at least some shorter walks in the lead-up to the Pilgrimage. At the very least, this will allow you to ensure that your footwear is comfortable, supportive and properly broken in.
The Pilgrimage is 90 km in length. Pilgrims walk around 30 km on each of the three days. Each day is divided into four walking sessions of approximately two -to- three hours in length, punctuated by short breaks for lunch and morning and afternoon teas. Pilgrims are expected to maintain a steady but relaxed walking pace.
Unsurprisingly, many of the minor injuries that are experienced by Pilgrims relate to fatigue and stress to the feet and ankles. St John’s Ambulance officers travel with the Pilgrims and provide first aid if needed. Fortunately, many of these minor injuries are avoidable by:
- Completing short walks (5-10 km) in the lead up to the Pilgrimage;
- Wearing properly fitted walking shoes or boots;
- Carrying a small water bottle or hydration pack while walking to maintain adequate hydration levels;
- Wearing a hat, sunscreen, and clothing appropriate for walking in the prevailing weather conditions;
- Practicing thorough foot hygiene, especially at the end of each day;
- Wearing fresh, clean socks each morning;
- Stretching and limbering up muscles before commencing each walking session;
- Knowing your limits! If you feel an injury coming on or start to feel unwell, stop walking, see the first aid officers or catch the shuttle-bus to the next stop.