Charity

MoonWalk Blog 3 with Emma Thomas

‘I’ve got completely hooked’

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Hi, I'm Emma, and I walk!

I've always liked walking, and I was introduced to power walking in 2010, when a group of us from work signed up to The MoonWalk – walking 26.2 miles through London at night, wearing decorated bras!

What's not to love, I thought, doing something I enjoy doing, challenging myself to walk a marathon (way further than I had ever walked before), doing it with friends, and all the while raising much needed funds for Walk the Walk, a fantastic charity that makes grants to charities that do great work for breast cancer research and those fighting the disease.  I followed the training plan, and I did it! 

That was it, I was hooked.  Year after year, I signed up for The MoonWalk again, and enjoyed all the training walks.  Come 2016, I was turning 50 and decided my present to myself (many would think it a very odd present, but Walk the Walkers will understand!), was to conquer the 3 Land Challenge - 3 marathon power walks at night in 5 weeks - in London, Edinburgh and then Iceland.  That has to rank up there with all the best experiences of my life - all the reasons I loved my first MoonWalk, multiplied many times.  The friends I made in Iceland are now part of my huge walking family.  We sign up for events, we come from all over the country, and when we've done them (like after the “Big Half” Half Marathon in London this month), we relax together.

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After that, I could never do "just" one marathon walk in a year again! In 2017 I signed up to walk the Dublin marathon with Walk the Walk after doing the London and "Edinbra" Moonwalks. In 2018 I gave marathons a rest, signing up for a serious of shorter, mainly half marathon distances, and culminating in walking the first 50K of the Thames Path Challenge.  Wow!

So now, this year, my main challenge is.... the entire 100K of the Thames Path Challenge  - inspired by my friends who completed it last year.  In the lead up, I signed up for several other events, including my Mad March - comprising the Big Half, the Hampton Court Palace Half and the London Landmarks Half Marathon on successive Sundays.  And of course, The MoonWalk London in May! I need to have something I've committed to, to make me go out and do the miles.

Given everything I was signing up for, I thought that this year was surely the year to sign up to

#walk1000 miles. I'd slightly regretted not doing it last year.  I reckoned that I would surely easily walk 100 miles a month this year, which would see me reach the target with 2 months to spare.

I have a lot to juggle in my life, and I decided that, rather than counting only "boots on" miles, I would count all distances that I walk, which I could have chosen not to - simply walking to the station and back, and from Waterloo to work and back each day gets me over 5 miles and makes me think twice before getting that bus or jumping in the car.

I've got completely hooked on the 1000 miles logger!  In January, I logged 62 miles and was a bit downhearted.  In February, it was 104, going the right way.  March, I hoped, would be more still...

It was great at the Big Half to get a snap with Pat and Jane, who have already blogged on their challenges.

It was great at the Big Half to get a snap with Pat and Jane, who have already blogged on their challenges.

A band of 5 of us, proudly wearing our bra t-shirts, did the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon. It's a lovely course, and the medals are fabulous.

A band of 5 of us, proudly wearing our bra t-shirts, did the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon. It's a lovely course, and the medals are fabulous.

And then I was on my own for the London Landmarks Half. I was so happy to get a place in the ballot, even though 3 half marathons on successive Sundays did seem rather daunting.  It was a perfect day - no need for a base layer, and it was a lovely course.  It was odd being the only person in a bra t-shirt, but I wore it with pride!

And after all that, at the end of March, my monthly total was 128 miles, my total year to date 288 - and my Walk the Walk pack for the Thames Path Challenge has arrived!

• Want to turbocharge your 1000 miles and have a night to remember forever? Sign up to do a MoonWalk.

• Doing a MoonWalk and want to make your achievement and fitness gains last all year? Sign up for #walk1000miles