News - 8th January 2019
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Going for a walk… for four years!

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Is there a challenge you’ve always wanted to take on but have been put off by the sacrifices you’ll need to make to achieve it?

 

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to run a marathon but can’t face the hours of training or you want to take on a lengthy trek or cycle ride but can’t face being away from home for so long.

 

Take inspiration from Newport parkrunner Karen Penny who is making some extreme sacrifices for her fundraising challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

 

On Monday the 53-year-old will set off on a trek – and she won’t be back home until 2023!

 

Karen, who has run over 100 parkruns and volunteered on 41 occasions, is aiming to trek 20,000 miles around the British and Irish coastlines and 20 largest islands.

 

She plans to walk 15 miles a day before pitching her tent and camping out nearly every night of the four-year challenge. She will only take a break every six weeks when her husband Mark Faulkner, who is Event Director at Swansea Bay parkrun and an Event Support Ambassador, meets her in a camper van.

 

She is inspired to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity as Mark’s parents both died with dementia.

 

She said: “I am now ready to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a feat never achieved by a woman, least of all by one on the wrong side of 50!

 

“I have previously raised over £6,000 by running a marathon and walking the length of Britain. I am now devoting the next four years of my life, leaving family and friends and my cat Bilbo behind me to raise a target of £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

 

“Dementia has had a profound impact upon our family. During the last 10 years we have lost two very dear family members – Alma, who succumbed to the effects of vascular dementia in a matter of months, and Kingsley, who deteriorated to such an extent both mentally and physically that ultimately, he couldn’t even recognise family members.”

 

During her epic challenge, Karen also hopes to visit as many coastal parkruns as possible where she will accompany the Tail Walker around the courses. If you see her at your parkrun do say hello and give her some support.

 

To sponsor Karen click here.

 

If you’d like to take on a challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK take a look at our range of events and sign up for a place here. Or why not come up with your own fundraising challenge?

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