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Monday, 01 March 2021
A WOMAN who is attempting a “virtual” charity walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats has passed the halfway point.
Karen Wiles, whose Dutch barge Edith is moored on the River Thames at Goring, has notched up 437 miles since she started the 847-mile challenge on September 28.
She has already raised £1,160 for the Thames Valley Ambulance.
Mrs Wiles, 60, took up walking and joined a Slimming World class during the first coronavirus lockdown as she was morbidly obese and struggling with diabetes.
The retired IT worker who lives with her husband Bret, is now at a healthier weight and hoping to tackle other sponsored challenges once she finishes her walk later this year.
She walks an average of three miles a day but has recently been hampered by the floodwater.
Much of the Thames towpath was underwater so she restricted her walk to about two miles a day by completing laps of a short circuit around Goring lock.
Mrs Wiles said: “Some areas are still too slippery but I’ve found lots of different routes so I’m able to keep it varied, which is important for motivation.
“I always knew this would be the hardest point in the challenge so I was prepared and I’m hoping it’ll become a lot easier from this point.
“It has been lots of fun and very rewarding because there was a time when I’d never have thought this was possible but walking is now a big part of my life.
“A friend of mine who’s a bit of a couch potato tried a ‘virtual’ walk along Hadrian’s Wall and was so motivated that now they’re doing the same challenge as me.
“I’ve drawn up a bucket list of things I want to do in the year I’m 60 and finishing this is definitely one of them.”
To sponsor Mrs Wiles, visit www.justgiving.com/
22 February 2021
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