Few people will be able to say they’ve done as many MoonWalks as Louise Mackie and her mum, Linda Anderson.
The dynamic duo from Lanark 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 pair have since focused their energies on that.
In 2016 and 2017, they also took on two very special challenges.
Louise (36),a former Lanark Grammar pupil, 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.
“Last year, we took on the double marathon Over The Moon here in Scotland.
“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 was a really inspiring way to start that second marathon.”
The inspiration for their fundraising efforts is Linda’s close friend Eileen Clark, who received treatment for breast cancer in 2006.
Linda explained: “You feel helpless when something like that happens.
“But I heard about the first MoonWalk being held in Scotland and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to help.
“Eileen and I first met when our eldest children were born in the William Smellie Memorial Hospital 38 years ago so we’ve been friends for a very long time.
“During her treatment, we went for a walk every week –we’re still doing that now, followed by a coffee and scone as a treat!
“Eileen and her daughter Victoria have also done the MoonWalk a couple of times as a way of giving back to Maggie’s, a charity which was a huge support to her during her treatment.”
And last year, during Linda and Louise’s double marathon, Eileen was there to cheer them on.
Linda said: “Eileen showed up half way round the second marathon – she must have left Lanark at the crack of dawn!
“We had no idea she was going to be there so we couldn’t believe it when she popped up on the side of the road. She walked with us for a few miles and cheered us over the finish line too.”
It was their toughest challenge to date but Linda powered her way over the finish line.
Her proud daughter Louise said: “It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done physically – 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.
“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.”
But Linda – who works as a school support assistant at Lanark Grammar – is modest about her efforts.
She said: “I’ve always liked walking – when I need to destress it’s my go to.
“We could hardly move after the first MoonWalk but you get used to it.
“It’s hard fitting in enough training. I only work three days a week but Louise works full time (as an actuary in Edinburgh) – I don’t know how she does it.
“Training gives us some mother and daughter time, though, which is nice ... we’ve no plans to hang up our trainers just yet!”
Linda and Louise also receive incredible support from their husbands, Tom and Chris respectively.
They drove around Edinburgh last year, meeting the girls every five miles during the second lap with a change of clothes, bananas and Lucozade.
Linda added: “They drop us off every year and are there at the finish line to cheer us home. They are a big support to us both.”
The ladies are now preparing for The Full Moon (26.2 miles) on June 9.
Having completed 15 marathons, raising more than £10,000 over the years, the ladies are hoping to raise a further £1000 this year.
Linda 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/linda-10.
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 Linda, there’s nothing quite like the Edinburgh event.
She added: “The atmosphere is absolutely amazing – it’s smaller than London but somehow more personal and it’s a lovely route to walk.
“People are always so happy to see you and come pouring out of the pubs to cheer you on.
“Around the 14 mile mark, you also 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/.