Fifers prepare for charity MoonWalk

Alain will be among those taking part. Pic: Neil Hanna.
Alain will be among those taking part. Pic: Neil Hanna.

Next month, thousands of people across Scotland will don bras for a midnight marathon.

The MoonWalk, now in its 13th year here in Scotland, raises funds and awareness of breast cancer.

Organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, this year it is turning Holyrood into Hollywood as all the challengers will be wearing decorated bras based on their favourite film characters.

Entrants can walk various lengths – from the New Moon (6.55 miles) to Over the Moon (52.4 miles) for those who really like a challenge.

Alain Leger from Cupar will be among the thousands who will be running in Edinburgh in June, setting off from Holyrood Palace.

The 37-year-old has been taking part for six years, and even signed up one year for the Over the Moon endurance walk.

“My grandmother had breast cancer about eight years ago and survived,” Alain explained.

“She is still alive so that is a big motivation for me – to show support for what she went through. Plus, it’s a great charity.”

The event brings together people who have survived breast cancer, people who have been affected by it and others who just want to show their support.

Alain said: “There’s a wonderful atmosphere and you meet people who are cancer survivors or who have lost relatives to the disease.

“It’s always a powerful experience because you meet so many folk who have been affected by cancer.”

While doing a MoonWalk might be daunting for some, there are a number of distances to tackle.

And for those who don’t want to put on their walking shoes, there is also an opportunity to volunteer.

“The volunteers are wonderful,” Alain said.

“They really do support all of the walkers – it means so much to see a friendly face cheering you on.”

Alain has been busy training, with the aim of beating his personal best of five hours 36 minutes.

He gets up at 4.45am once a week to walk the 11 miles to his work at the University of St Andrews and then pounds the streets home too.

Alain also receives a lot of support at work.

He added: “I’m pleased that all my colleagues are behind me.”

Jacqui Black, who is also from Cupar, will be taking part in her seventh MoonWalk this year.

She said: “I do it for the exercise and every year I hope to do it faster than the year before.

“I’ve lost a big chunk of weight – in fact, I’ve only got a couple pounds to lose and I will have lost 4 stone.

“Walking has definitely made the difference.”

Mother and daughter, Nicola and Theo Mitchell, from Glenrothes, will be taking part in the event because the family has a history of cancer.

Meanwhile, fellow Glenrothes resident Elaine Macdiarmid will be taking part alongside her community pharmacy colleagues.

The group had discussed getting fitter ahead of the summer; when one mentioned the MoonWalk, they decided to sign up.

The team have been encouraging customers to sign their sponsor form and will be visiting shops in the local area – all with the aim of raising as much for Walk the Walk as possible.

Suzanne Callan, from Leuchars, first decided to take part in the MoonWalk because, compared to other marathons, she could walk rather than run.

She said she got a “thrill” taking part in the event last year, along with a friend and her daughter, and is now preparing to do it all over again.

She said: “I just love it when we are half way through the walk and on the downward slope.

“The atmosphere is fantastic, with volunteers along the route cheering you on and encouraging everyone to keep going.

“When we walked over the finish line, I thought ‘Wow, what a feeling’.”

Dawn Doherty, from St Andrews, has donated funds to cancer charities for a number of years.

However, she said the cause has been closer to her heart in recent years, following the death of her mum from cancer in 2015. Her aunty has also undergone treatment for breast cancer.

For more information or to sign up, visit walkthewalk.org/challenges/the-moonwalk-scotland-2018/.