Morven completes The MoonWalk Iceland under the Midnight Sun!

Walking a marathon around Lake Myvatn was the most amazing, magical experience.

L-R Elle, Andy, Lizzy and Morven


I must confess to being pretty easily distracted when I’m working, so when an email about Walk the Walk’s 25th Anniversary landed in my inbox one dreary day at the end of October I opened it straight away!

Having walked the Half Moon in Edinburgh a couple of times in the years after my Mum and her eldest sister had breast cancer, I was aware of the charity, but until then, had no idea that there were so many Walk the Walk challenges available.

I immediately loved the sound of the Iceland trip – exploring a fascinating country… walking under the midnight sun… all whilst raising invaluable funds for a great charity.

I’d also just turned 50 and thought ‘why not?’, so by the end of the day, I had called to find out more and within two weeks I was signed up!

The cost of the trip is paid by myself, with all the money I raise going directly to Walk the Walk to help support people living with cancer.  I set myself a target above the minimum and was keen to get the fundraising underway, so I could concentrate on walking!

My daughter and I loaded the car up early one Sunday morning and headed to a car boot sale to kick things off. I had a banner and a collecting tin from Walk the Walk so even people who didn’t want to buy any of my ‘treasure’ would still make a donation. I also sold a number of things which were destined for the charity shop on eBay or Marketplace, stating that the proceeds were going towards my fundraising.

I added a photo and personalised the text on my fundraising page as well and then linked it to Strava so friends, family and business contacts were all able to see that I really was putting the miles in when I sent the link to my page.  It’s not always easy asking for money, but breast cancer has touched the lives of so many, that even chatting to a stranger in a queue about your walk, can lead to another few pounds. So with a bit of hard work and a lot of generosity, I reached my target long before I headed to the start line.

In terms of my training, as a dog owner, I was a regular walker anyway, so continued with my 4 and 5 mile circuits all through winter - usually before sunrise with a head torch - but I did start using Strava to track my pace and get accurate distance markers.

This meant that I was able to start the official MoonWalk Iceland training plan at about week 6. From then on, I pretty much followed it to the letter, marking the long walks on my calendar to make sure I did them! The training plan provided is brilliant. It starts with 2 mile walks so even if you are not a regular walker, it gets you building up your distances slowly until before you know it, you can walk a marathon!

So, training completed I was Iceland bound!

Most of the team met for the first time at Heathrow.  A mix of solo travellers, pairs and small groups of all ages and backgrounds, but everyone was inspired to Walk the Walk for breast cancer. The only other thing we had in common at that stage was nervous excitement!

There was no time to be nervous once we got to Iceland though. The two days before our walk were filled exploring the highlights of the area, the Diamond Circle, so by the evening of the MoonWalk, everyone was desperate to get started.

You might think that seeing humpback and blue whales would have been the highlight of the trip, or the warm lava bread just out of the ground, the views from the top of the volcano, the natural hot springs, or the roar and spray from the Dettifoss waterfall, but I can honestly say that the actual MoonWalk round Lake Myvatn was the most amazing, truly magical experience.

We were incredibly lucky to have a still, clear night so we really did get to walk under the midnight sun, as it didn’t get dark at all. We set off through farmland with the sun glowing orange on the horizon, then a few miles in, as we crossed the Laxa river it dipped behind some mountains just long enough for the temperature to drop to 3 degrees. I can’t say I noticed though, I felt totally invigorated and walked the entire way in my sparkly bra, a buff and my Walk the Walk arm warmers!

The sun reappeared as the route took us through a lava field, creating the most amazing light and long shadows and shone all the way, as we passed through a sleeping village and landscape that reminded me parts of the west coast of Scotland, to the finish line.

What an amazing night it was! I took almost 150 pictures on the way round to try and capture the magic of it, and a video diary to capture the incredible birdsong that accompanied us. 

Some people walked in groups or pairs, some on their own, I did a bit of both. I think the main thing is to walk at your own pace – the one you have been training at – and enjoy it! And when it gets tough, remember why you are doing it and think all of the people who have donated to your fundraising.

The fun didn’t end there though…

After breakfast we had the chance to visit natural hot baths, which was blissful after 26 miles. Then we were treated to a celebratory afternoon tea and after dinner that night we danced!

We still had a night and day in Reykjavik to enjoy, and – the icing on the cake – a visit to the Blue Lagoon on our way back to the airport. It’s hard to believe how much we packed into 5 days!

The support from Walk the Walk team, from my first tentative call to them right through to the finish line was fantastic.  If you need training advice, fundraising tips, even a jelly baby boost at 21 miles, they are there, smiling and cheering you on.

My advice would be to train in the full kit - from your underwear out - that you will be wearing on the night because if a rubbing seam or a flappy collar is annoying you at 6 miles it will be a lot worse by 16 or 26.

If reading this makes you even think about signing up for The MoonWalk Iceland – do it!!

Do it for all your family and friends who have been affected by breast cancer. Do it for everyone that is facing it right now and those who will face it in the future. And do it for you!

Thank you for sharing your story Morven!

Tempted... Sign up now for The MoonWalk Iceland 2024



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