With the exception of 2012, Vanessa Cole has taken part in the Moonlight Walk every year since 2009 and has an armful of t-shirts to prove it!
Over the years, Vanessa has taken walked with various friends, and in 2016 her husband accompanied her for the first time. “He really enjoyed the event and we kept each other going all the way. Afterwards he offered to be my backup partner if I can’t find someone to walk with me or if someone has to let me down last minute!”
I just wanted to get involved with the walk when I first heard about it, to do something positive to show how much I support the work of the Hospice. Since then it’s become a fixture on my annual calendar and I don’t like to miss it!
Each year Vanessa has raised around £250 thanks to generous support from her friends and family, and over the years she has got to know the route very well. “Of course it helps if the weather’s good! Last year it was nice and mild and there was a bright moon to light up the way, but it’s still a fun walk even if it rains because everyone has the same unified reason for being there and being involved.”
For first-time walkers, Vanessa’s advises getting in a bit of practice before the event. “It’s not essential to train, but it does help to do a few long walks beforehand,” says Vanessa. “I walk Bognor seafront from Aldwick to central Bognor and back to build up my stamina and get used to the distance.”
Vanessa’s looking forward to adding our special 10th Anniversary commemorative t-shirt to her growing collection after she completes the walk this year.
You have to remember it’s not a race and not at all competitive. You can just walk at your own pace and because the route is mostly flat, it’s achievable. The marshals along the way are so encouraging, they really help to keep up morale right up to the finish line.