Zoe scales the 199 Steps - it’s Great Wall of China next

Zoe Cooper practises for the Great Wall of China trek by scaling Whitby's 199 Steps eight times a day.
Zoe Cooper practises for the Great Wall of China trek by scaling Whitby's 199 Steps eight times a day.

An environmental officer at Boulby Mine is scaling Whitby’s 199 Steps several times a day in readiness for an 80km trek along the Great Wall of China.

Zoe Cooper is taking the challenge seriously and is in intense training.

She said: “Whenever possible, I go out early to do morning exercise which, at the moment, means me climbing the 199 SSteps to Whitby Abbey eight times.

“Other than that I do long walks on the weekend, up to about six hours worth. It is all good preparation of course, but it comes at a price.

“Towards the end of my last walk I got a blister, which hadn’t happened before and, once I had finished, the inside of both ankles were swollen. That is something else that hasn’t happened before, but I take the view that it is best to find these things out beforehand.”

On the bright side, not everything Zoe has done in terms of fundraising has caused her pain. She has staged a charity disco night that was so popular the raffle tickets ran out, so a friend had to dash out and buy another couple of books.

In the end the night raised some £500 towards her target of £3,000, which has now been passed. Zoe is extremely grateful for everyone who has supported her.

“Everyone has been brilliant,” she said. “My union, UNITE, got me off to a flying start with a donation of £500 and then ICL UK chipped in with the same amount which really took the pressure off.

“But then so many other people came on board to help me raise money – donating prizes, selling buns, baking cakes, contributing sponsorship etc.”

Zoe’s Just Giving page is still open and any further contributions to her total would be gratefully received.

Her 80km walk is due to begin tomorrow.