BY TOBY PORTER
It has been a busy year for grant-making breast cancer charity, Walk the Walk, which is celebrating its 23rd year.
As well as launching a number of new walking events, their most iconic event, The MoonWalk London, saw thousands of women and men don cowboy hats and decorated bras for this year’s Wild West themed walk.
By taking on the charity’s challenges here in the UK, and internationally, millions of pounds has been raised to help fight breast cancer.
Walk the Walk has now raised more than £127 million, since it was established in 1996.
In February Arctic voyagers took on an adventure with a difference – backcountry skiing through Abisko National Park, in the most northern part of the Swedish Subarctic.
In May 15,000 walkers took part in what was thought to be the largest ever line dance in the UK, before setting off on the 21st MoonWalk London. Iconic landmarks across the city, including The Coca Cola London Eye, HMS Belfast and Waterloo Bridge were lit up pink in honour of the legendary night-time fundraising event which saw over £3 million being raised before even one step was taken.
At the end of May, walkers took on the London to Brighton Challenge, starting in the City and finishing by the sea. Trekking across varied terrain, the round-the-clock 100km challenge was a real test of endurance. In June a cast of thousands walked the Walk of Fame at the spectacular MoonWalk Scotland on June 9 as Hollywood came to Holyrood for the star-studded event.
Just days later, challengers headed even further north for The MoonWalk Iceland, completing a Summer Solstice Marathon. As well as walking 26.2 miles through the night wearing a decorated bra, the group of nearly 100 people enjoyed whale watching and exploring lava fields and boiling mud pools as part of the trip.
In July, ticking off an adventure that is on many people’s bucket list, an adventurous group of walkers made their way to Peru’s enchanting Lost City of the Incas, otherwise known as Machu Picchu. Their 44k-trek, along the Inca Trail, passed through the Sun Gate to the famous Inca ruins, taking in jaw-dropping scenery along the way.
Later in July a 20-strong Walk the Walk team completed four marathons in four days at the Nijmegen Marches in the Netherlands. Initially organised by the military in the early years of the 20 th century, the Nijmegen Marches is the largest multi-day walking event in the world, with more than 45,000 participants. In September a group of determined walkers navigated their way down footpaths and bridleways for the Thames Path Challenge.
Walkers headed to Newcastle to take part in the world’s biggest half marathon – the Great North Run, and much fun was had when a small team took on The Berlin Marathon.
A group of colourful Walk the Walk supporters made their way across the channel for the Disneyland Paris Challenge.
This unique event saw thousands of women and men walk past the energetic rides and colourful sights of Disneyland Paris, meeting many of Disney’s famous characters, before the park opened to the public.
In October a team of 15 resilient walkers completed Journey to The Edge of the World, – a 71-mile challenge, walking the Camino Santiago from Santiago to Finisterre, the place which was once thought to be the most western part of continental Europe, and the end of the ‘known world’.
Continuing the adventures in northern Spain, a separate team of walkers completed The Camino 100, a 100-mile challenge walking the ancient Camino pilgrimage route, starting their journey at the highest point, C’ebreiro, making their way to the famous Santiago de Compostela.
A crowd of walkers headed to the home of the leprechaun for the third Dublin Marathon in which Walk the Walk has taken part. This speedy event sees walkers complete the challenge in under 6.5 hours. In November, completing the year’s events, the New York City Marathon saw Walk the Walk’s founder, Nina Barough, take a group of walkers back to the charity’s humble beginnings, where she walked her very first marathon wearing a decorated bra 22 years ago.
To find out more about Walk the Walk, or to sign-up for any of their events, visit walkthewalk.org