Monday, 20 September 2021

Women walk 26 miles of icy wilderness for charity

TWO women from Wargrave took part in a 26-mile walking challenge in Iceland to raise money for a cancer

TWO women from Wargrave took part in a 26-mile walking challenge in Iceland to raise money for a cancer charity.

Megan Rankin, a breast cancer survivor, and Sue Murphy decided to join MoonWalk Iceland 2013 having completed the London MoonWalk in 2007.

They were among almost 100 men and women who braved temperatures below freezing to walk through the wilderness near Lake Myvatn, a landscape featuring volcanoes, hot lava pools and natural mineral spas.

The seven-hour walk took place during the summer solstice, meaning that although the group set off at midnight, they were walking in daylight throughout.

The event was in aid of breast cancer charity Walk the Walk in Iceland and many of the participants wore decorated bras.

Mrs Murphy, 50, of Station Road, said: “Megan and I decided to do it as we had done the London one a few years ago and wanted to up the challenge. It was very hard, much harder than we expected.

“We thought we would cope better having done the distance before but it was much harder walking in the wilderness without the cheering and noise we had in London.

“It was in the middle of nowhere and as I feel the cold I never really warmed up. I don’t know how some of the women walked with just bras on!

“Officially it was 26.2 miles but we actually walked about 27 miles, doing it in seven hours. We were right in the middle of the group but the first person finished in five -and-a-half hours and the last woman did it in nine-and-a-half.

“When we crossed the finishing line just before 7am it was with a fantastic sense of achievement and relief.

“After a hearty breakfast, our treat was to soak our aching limbs in the lovely hot mineral baths for as long as we wished.”

Mrs Rankin, 56, of Blakes Lane, spent two years fighting the disease before being given the all-clear in 2007.

Mrs Murphy said: “Megan was the first of my close friends to be diagnosed.

“Walk the Walk is a grant-making charity which gives away everything to other breast cancer charities, so it was a charity that meant something to me.”

The duo spent four days in Iceland, enjoying activities such as whale watching and climbing volcanoes before the walk.

Mrs Murphy said: “The whole weekend was surreal and it was a humbling experience meeting some very special people who all had their own very personal reasons for doing the walk.” The women raised more than £5,000, almost double their target.

Before the walk, they held a fund-raising lunch for more than 100 people at Mrs Murphy’s home. Each guest bought a £25 lunch and there were a variety of stalls selling eggs, bread and household goods.

They raised about £4,000 when they took part in the London walk.

Mrs Murphy said: “At the time, it seemed hard but the Iceland Moonwalk was much harder. They were two very contrasting challenges and we raised so much money with this one. We have £5,290 and people can still donate on the web page.”

To make a donation, visit www.walkthewalkfund

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