I’ve know Kat for a long while now, we first met when she joined the office that I used to work in. We’ve been friends ever since and in 2013 she kindly agreed to be one of my bridesmaids.
I recently put some questions to Kat all about her recent and upcoming physical challenges for charity, so you can all see just how fabulous she is. Most recently, Kat along with some friends took part in a very wet Race for Life for Cancer Research. Soon she will be doing the St Lukes Midnight Walk – which is a local charity.
You can visit the St Lukes website here
We have been caring for thousands of terminally ill patients for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 30 years and our passion and dedication to offer dignity and choice has never dwindled. Our vision is a community, where no person has to die alone, in pain or in distress. Caring for local people, no matter where; at home; in hospital or at our specialist unit in Turnchapel.
With over £4million to raise each year to maintain our vital service to the local community we’re extremely grateful to all of our supporters, fundraisers, volunteers and employees who help us to keep providing free end of life care to those who need us most from across Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall.
I’m sure pretty much everyone is aware of what Cancer Research is about and what they do and you can visit the website here
What made you decide to take part in St Lukes Midnight Walk and the Race for Life?
I have not done the 5km Race for Life event before. The main reason for doing this one was because one of my best friends, Ali, had broken her ankle last year and she has only recently just starting to get back into fitness. I was a bit hesitant at first about asking her but she was more than up for it and even 3 members of her family are also taking part in our team.
I first took part in the St Lukes Midnight Walk back in 2011 when a friend had asked if I wanted to take part as she had previously done it in Exeter. I was quite apprehensive about doing it as it was a 7 mile walk and back then I really wasn’t a very keen walker. I didn’t do any practice for it and ended up getting a stitch within the last mile but I did it and raised nearly £200.00. I then did my next one in 2014 when I persuaded my colleague Karolina to take part in another 7 mile one. We then did the 12 mile one in 2015 and we are now challenging ourselves to the 13.1 mile walk this year which is now half a marathon!! Its become tradition for us now!
Tell me about both events?
The Race for Life is in aid of Cancer Research UK and is a 5km (3 mile) event on a route around The Hoe in Plymouth where you can run, jog and even dance if you want too.
The St Lukes Midnight Walk is in aid of a local charity St Lukes Hospice who do an incredible job caring for local people in the community. This year is an equally special event as it marks their 10th anniversary. This years event has 3 different walking routes; 3, 6 or 13.1 miles which takes you all around Plymouth starting and finishing at the University of St Mark & John.
This isn’t your first year for the Midnight Walk – how many times now have you taken part?
I think this is my fourth year taking part in the Midnight Walk. As mentioned earlier my first time was in 2011. Each year I have gone up to the longer route to try and challenge myself.
Have you had to do any training for the physical challenges?
I always do training for the Midnight Walk as its such a long distance you need to prepare yourself physically and make sure you have very comfortable walking shoes. The main route for training walks has been along part of the Drakes Trail from Plympton to Tavistock which is about 12 miles. It is a good route as its already tarmacked and it has various uphill and downhill gradients as well. Another great way for training this year has been walking along parts of the South West Coastal path. This is a great way of seeing the coast and as most of the coastal paths are so variable in gradients it is very good practise and the walk always ends with a pub lunch!
The Race for Life training fitted in quite nicely with the Midnight Walk. I know I can easily walk 3 miles so I was fairly confident. What I wasn’t expecting was that the on the day it would chuck it down with rain and my best friend starting jogging lightly at the start of the course. I went along with this then had to stop as I am not made for running. I did manage to run over the finish line which did make me feel proud.
What have you found the hardest – the Midnight Walk or the Race for Life?
This is my first year doing any Race for Life events but for me the Midnight Walk is the harder one. When I was younger I used to hate walking so when I first did this event back in 2011 it was an absolute killer. Since then most of the training has been started earlier on in the year and the walks begin short say about 5 miles and then gradually get longer.
Will you be taking part with anyone?
This year I am taking part in the Midnight Walk with my work colleague, Karolina, who has done this event with me the last two years and she is also taking part in the Pretty Muddy event with me.
For the Race for Life I am taking part with my best friend Ali and some of her family and friends.
Preparation on the day – what do you do right before the race/walk?
The Midnight Walk I always make sure I take a nap during the day. The event doesn’t actually start until about 10pm in the evening and you don’t tend to finish until way after 2am and I don’t want to be tired when I start the walk. I warm up at home with stretches before we leave and they also do a warm up at the event location beforehand.
What do you do on the day after your charity challenge? Back to work or lie on the sofa all day?
Luckily the Midnight Walk always lands on a Saturday so depending on the walk length I am doing I am probably going to be in bed complaining that all my limbs hurt!
Will you be wearing fancy dress?
We were supplied with temporary tattoos for the Race for Life and I wore everything possibly pink; trainers, leggings top. The Midnight Walk everyone who attend always makes such an effort with fancy dress. I think this year it will be pink tutus, flashy bunny ears, leggings… you get the picture!
Helpful tips for anyone who wants to have a go and raise some money?
I started by googling local charities and seeing what events are coming up that may interest you. It is a great way of getting friends and family involved and doing something good for fantastic charities.
Do you anything else planned? Or other charities you’d like to get involved in?
I managed to persuade Karolina to do the Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research in October. This event is another 5km (3 mile) course where you run and also have to get over various obstacles that are covered in mud. Sounds a lot of fun.
I am more than happy to help any charity that has any events going on. One I have seen is Dartmoor Moonlit walk for Marie Curie UK which I was interested in but I think that maybe one for next year!
You can support and sponsor Kat and her friends using the links below! Please show yur support for these very worthy charities.
Race for Life was on 19th June but you can still donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alicue4
Midnight Walk is on 9th July: https://mnw.everydayhero.com/uk/kat-karolina-s-midnight-walk-2016
Pretty Muddy is on 2nd October: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katherine15
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kat for taking the time out to answer my questions and I’d like to say how massively super proud I am of what she does.
Have you taken part in any charity challenges? Let me know below.