South Queensferry’s Louise Mackie tackles 16th MoonWalk

Dynamic duo...Linda Anderson and her daughter Louise Mackie, who lives in South Queensferry, at the end of one of their 15 marathons for Walk the Walk since 2006. (Contributed pic)
Dynamic duo...Linda Anderson and her daughter Louise Mackie, who lives in South Queensferry, at the end of one of their 15 marathons for Walk the Walk since 2006. (Contributed pic)

Few people will be able to say they’ve done as many MoonWalks as Louise Mackie and her mum, Linda Anderson.

The pair signed up for the first Scottish event back in 2006 and have taken part every year since.

In 2007, they volunteered in Edinburgh rather than pounding the pavements – because they’d already taken on the London MoonWalk that year.

While they enjoyed the London event, nothing compares to Edinburgh for atmosphere so the dynamic duo have since focused their energies on that.

In 2016 and 2017, they also took on two very special challenges.

Louise (36), from South Queensferry, said: “We did the Three Land Challenge in 2016 – the MoonWalk in London, then Edinburgh and Iceland in the space of five weeks.

“We walked during the midnight sun in Iceland – it was a very special event; amazing really.

“Last year, we took on the double marathon Over The Moon here in Scotland.

“It was probably one of the toughest things we’ve ever done.

“As we started out on our second marathon, we were passing other walkers who were finishing their one, and only, marathon.

“They looked at us as if we were totally mad but it also made us feel pretty special.

“It was a really inspiring way to start that second marathon.”

The inspiration for their fundraising efforts is a close friend of Linda’s who received treatment for breast cancer in 2006.

Louise explained: “Mum was feeling a bit useless and thought it would be good to do something positive.

“She heard about Walk the Walk’s MoonWalk being held here for the first time and asked if I would take part with her.

“The Over the Moon event last year was the hardest thing we’ve ever done in terms of physical activity – two marathons back to back.

“We walked for more than 13 hours – we started before midnight and were still walking at lunchtime the next day.

“I got to the point that I couldn’t speak to anyone – I was just grunting.

“But the feeling when we finished was unbelievable.

“Mum’s an absolute machine. She’s 62 now – she’s incredible! She copes with it better than I do.”

Linda’s friend, who inspired the duo’s efforts, has since recovered from the disease and cheered the ladies on during their 2017 walk.

Louise said: “She showed up half way round the second marathon.

“We had no idea she was going to be there so it was a total surprise.

“She walked along with us for a few miles and took us past the 40 mile marker – a massive milestone.

“She’s completed some MoonWalks with us in the past but we couldn’t believe it when she popped up on the side of the road.

“She cheered us over the finish line too.”

Linda and Louise, who works as an actuary in Edinburgh, also received incredible family support.

“My dad Tom and husband Chris drove around Edinburgh, meeting us every five miles during our second lap, with a change of clothes and shoes and supplies of bananas and Lucozade,” said Louise.

“They drop us off every year and are there at the finish line to cheer us home.

“We then go back to our house for breakfast and a wee glass of fizz, usually, to celebrate. They are a big support to us both.”

The ladies are now preparing for their latest MoonWalk – The Full Moon (26.2 miles) on June 9.

But this weekend they will miss training – as they will be volunteering in London.

“We’ll be there to welcome everyone to MoonCity and cheer people over the finish line,” said Louise.

On their return, they will focus all their attention on their own challenge.

Louise said: “Mum is far better at fitting training in than me. But we do a big walk every weekend.

“We’ve found some lovely walks over the years. One of my favourites is Bo’ness, through to Hopetoun and on to South Queensferry – it’s part of the John Muir Way and it’s a lovely route.”

Having completed 15 marathons, raising more than £10,000 over the years for breast cancer charities, the ladies are hoping to raise a further £1000 this year.

Louise added: “It’s the same people we ask every year so if we can raise that, we’d be delighted.”

To support them visit https://moonwalkscotland2018.everydayhero.com/uk/louisemackie.

From Hollywood to Holyrood

The MoonWalk Scotland will be held in Edinburgh on June 9.

Starting and finishing at Holyrood Park, the original night-time walking challenge – organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk – will have a Hollywood to Holyrood theme this year.

All the challengers will Walk the Walk of Fame wearing decorated bras based on their favourite film characters.

There will be lights and action as they march past some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, Lloyds on the Mound, Arthur’s Seat, Carlton Hill and St Giles Cathedral, many of which will be lit up in pink in honour of all the amazing women and men that are prepared to go that extra mile to help those with cancer in Scotland.

Walkers can choose from a New Moon 6.55 miles (for 10 year olds and over), Half Moon 13.1 miles (13 years and over), Full Moon Marathon 26.2 miles (13 years and over) or the Over the Moon Ultra 52.4 miles.

A MoonWalk spokeswoman said: “Wearing bras is our unique trademark.

“Girls and guys all Walk the Walk in decorated bras.

“It is a vision to behold and one that succeeds in not only raising awareness but also millions of pounds for breast cancer charities every year.”

For Louise and her mum, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere in Edinburgh.

She said: “People are always so happy to see you and come pouring out of the pubs to cheer you on. Children come up to you and give you sweets.

“And around the 14 mile mark, when you’re wondering if you’ll be able to make it to the finish line, you get to watch the most stunning sunrise at Portobello beach. It’s incredible.”

To find out more, visit https://walkthewalk.org/challenges/the-moonwalk-scotland-2018/