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Susan Walks The MoonWalk Iceland Twice

Give it a go, don’t have regrets. You will not be alone for long and you will become a member of the Walk the Walk family. I hope you find it a life changing experience.

In 2016 I walked the MoonWalk Iceland. I was 59 years old but it helped change my life. It started when a colleague at work suggested I looked online at The MoonWalks, I had done distance walking before after a friend died from bowel cancer and I decided to do the London Marathon and Great North Run because I had always wanted to and I didn’t want to live with wishes but I wanted to say “I have done it!”. Life is too short to be filled with regrets. I was never going to run it but walking it I was able to complete both. After completing the Great North Run in 2011 I was diagnosed with post viral fatigue syndrome so had not been able to walk.

I was beginning to feel stronger so I looked up The MoonWalks and was surprised to find one for Iceland... I knew about London but was not aware of all the other Challenges that Walk the Walk do. It had been on my list of places to visit so why not do something for charity as well? I registered interest and then applied and got a place... that was the easy part! I knew no one, I was very apprehensive, but a little excited when I set off for the hotel at Heathrow. I had been in communication with some of the group on Facebook, but this was the first time I would meet anyone. What was helpful is that we all had a common theme we were walking to raise money for breast cancer, each had our own stories. I had known relatives, friends, and being a nurse, patients with the disease that had survived or died.

On arrival at the hotel a group of us met up, it was amazing, soon all were chatting like long lost friends and I was not alone! Next day it was a trip to the airport where we met the rest of the team and then on to Iceland for a full-on trip. Iceland is the most magical country, the scenery is astounding and whale watching spectacular!

I was getting to know the people in the group and some of their stories, all inspirational, which was helpful in staying motivated on the night of the walk. I set off happily but worried I had a feeling I had under trained. At the halfway point I had blisters the length of both feet and was tired. I had met Tina and was walking with her... she will tell you I had a huge sense of humour failure, but I continued due to those inspirational people. What some people were going or had been through made my blisters minor in comparison and they would heal. So after 8 hours and 15 minutes I was presented with my medal. Every picture tells a story!

The story does not end there... I met some amazing, inspirational people who have touched my life. My late husband used to say no matter who you meet in life for whatever period of time you touch their lives in some way and them yours. So it was to be.  

On returning home Tina my walking friend in Iceland stated she was going to take on the Three Land Challenge which means doing 3 marathons in 5 weeks London, Edinburgh and Iceland. My response was good luck, I will sponsor you, keep me informed. After a few days with my blisters healing, I began to think will I regret not trying the 3LC. Of course, I would... so I signed up! I did start out with the thought I may not complete it, I was 60 years old. Back to the training which went much better but soon it was time for London, but this time not alone I met up with Tina.

On entering the famous pink tent it was a reunion of some of the Iceland 2016 team. It was great seeing them again. It was also a chance to meet up with the 2017 3LC challengers and then we were off into the night. London is incredible all the famous landmarks all lit up. Around the 19 mile mark, I was cheered on by a member of the 2016 MoonWalk Iceland team, it was a real boost. On to the Finish and I collected the first of what I hoped would be 4 medals!

Next was Edinburgh lit up pink and with some hills! I knew I would not be able to keep up with Tina but had met Michelle from Iceland 2016 and encouraging each other it was another medal collected.

Then back to Iceland... more than anything I wanted to complete this and with a smile on my face... a big ask. Yet again it was another inspirational group, the sightseeing amazing. This is the MoonWalk I would recommend most, it is the most intimate and full-on but the Walk the Walk team support you well. So to the start of the Walk, feeling nervous and a lot of pressure... I had to finish! It may be night but its light... Iceland is the land of the midnight sun! You can see the road ahead and take it one step at a time... so after several steps and the support of my walking buddies Sharron and Joy, I finished in 8hrs and 9 minutes. I was bursting with pride!

After the 2016 MoonWalk Iceland, I was invited by a wonderful couple who do a lot for Walk the Walk to a Ceilidh in Scotland! I had never been to the Highlands so I went. It’s a long way from Lincolnshire but I had a great time. I spent the week touring and seeing the stunning scenery. It also gave me the confidence to do something else I wished to do and that is a world cruise which I embark on in 2018. This is all thanks to the amazing people you meet whilst doing a MoonWalk... Walkers, Volunteers or Staff who support you all the way.

So go on give it a go, don’t have regrets. You will not be alone for long and you will become a member of the Walk the Walk family. I hope you find it a life changing experience.

Finally, thanks to all who have been part of my amazing journey... too many to mention but never forgotten. 

Susan.

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