Carolyn joined us in September 2021 for Follow the Seagulls in Fife. We caught up with her as we prepare for Follow the Seagulls 2022 to find out more about why she chose to take on this challenging trek for brainstrust.
“I turned 50 in 2020 during lockdown and wanted to take on a fundraising event with my son, David, in memory of my Dad who sadly died of a Glioblastoma brain tumour in 2019, aged 74. I have run numerous 10K’s but never ever contemplated walking 50 miles in 2 days so I wanted an event that would really challenge me. The East Neuk of Fife is a family favourite as we holiday every year in Elie and my Dad is buried at St Monans so we have often walked along the Fife Coastal Path.”
Follow the Seagulls is much more than a stroll in the park, with 50 miles to cover in just two days training is a must for our supporters. Carolyn explained how it felt for her:
“I am very fortunate that I run my own Doggy Day Care business and walk dogs five days a week but I also have my own black Labrador so was able to walk at least 10K each day. I also found myself looking for new walks in and around Edinburgh which I had never done before which was amazing. The final training walk I did with my son was from Edinburgh to South Queensferry. I am very competitive so I wanted to get as fit as I could to ensure I completed Follow the Seagulls but I have to admit it was a challenge for me.
I had the most amazing weekend. You couldn’t have written the script … my 50th was in lockdown and due to COVID last year’s walk was re-arranged from April to September and guess what day one was my 51st birthday! Lovely Carol presented me with a birthday cake at 7.30am at St Andrews Bus Station!
Highlights for me were making new friends and the positive attitude of everyone who all had a reason for taking part. On day two when everyone was tired we spurred each other on and we finished altogether as a team. I was super proud of what everyone achieved as it is no mean feat to walk 50 miles in 2 days.”
Top tips from Carolyn for this year’s walkers:
“Definitely pack compeed, plenty of water and energy bars there are amazing places on the route to get fantastic food to re-charge your batteries which include Newport Bakery, Salt and Pine (crepes at Tentsmuir) and The Cheesy Toast Shack at Kingsbarns. I would strongly recommend having a support team (family and friends which I did) to meet you at each checkpoint who can pre-order any food required.”
“Without a doubt the toughest part of the walk was on day two after checkpoint four which is the final leg heading to St Andrews. At points there was no path as you walk on the beach, I had to climb up and over rocks and the hardest part was the number of steps you had to climb as you manoeuvre up and down the cliff face. You can see St Andrews to your right but with tired legs it was hard but with sheer grit and determination you can do it!
You cannot describe the satisfaction that you have managed to walk 50 miles in 2 days and have your family and a 12-week-old Labrador puppy waiting for you at the finishing line. It is also lovely knowing how much you have raised through very generous family and friends for the amazing charity that is brainstrust.”
Finally, we asked Carolyn, if you could give this year’s walkers one piece of advice or suggestion, what would it be?
“Train hard but most importantly enjoy the whole experience.”
We look forward to welcoming Carolyn back to Follow the Seagulls in Fife this April as a Volunteer Event Steward!
There’s still time to join up to Follow the Seagulls in Fife, Whitby (North Yorkshire), Dartmouth, and the Isle of Wight, just click here for further details!