Lycra can be so unforgiving as can the dark days of January and February but Sarah Keggan has embraced both in a bid to get fit and raise funds for the Port St Mary lifeboat.
Sarah, 30, from Port St Mary, has entered the Sara Killey Memorial Walk, a 50kms challenge on open roads that follows the Parish Walk course from Peel Fire Station to Ramsey Fire Station and is held in memory of the former Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service worker who died in 2007. Proceeds from the entrance fees will go towards the Fire Fighters Charity.
Sarah, who works for global online sportsbook operator Celton Manx which has pledged to match her fundraising up to £500, readily admits that for many years she and physical exercise were not the closest of companions. But that all changed towards the end of 2012, since when her views on fitness have changed and so has her wardrobe, which now includes Lycra leggings, two pairs of premium quality trainers, LED flashing armbands and her ‘miner’s lamp’ to light up her way on her evening training sessions.
Sarah explained: ‘I’d reached 30 and was out of condition and overweight so I decided to set myself a goal to get fitter by taking part in the walk and raise funds for a cause close to my heart, the RNLI.’
Sarah was a member of the Port St Mary lifeboat crew for five years. Her brother, Thomas, is a Gough Ritchie II crew member and her father, Michael, a coxswain and has served with the lifeboat for 38 years.
She continued: ‘My first walk was on January 2nd this year and I’m now doing three 5km walks and one 15km walk a week in all weathers, sometimes accompanied by my sister-in-law Alison.’
Sarah’s efforts are already paying dividends. ‘I never thought I’d ever be walking 30kms a week. Now when I’m walking uphill I’m much less out of breath than when I started; I’m also finding I’m needing a size smaller in some of my clothes…and I’ve even stopped looking for the parking space that’s closest to the entrance to the supermarket.
‘I don’t care if I come last. I’m doing this walk not only to raise funds for the RNLI but also to prove to myself I can do it. I also hope that by taking part I can help show other people who might be out of condition that you don’t have to be super-fit to enter a challenge like this.’
Celton Manx executive director Bill Mummery will also be taking part. He has chosen Douglas promenade as his training ground and can often be seen early in the morning wearing a bright red hooded top as he walks the five miles from the Sea Terminal to the MER terminus and back. He said: ‘I’m pleased to be joining Sarah on this challenge and have chosen to raise funds for Kemmyrk, the charity helping combat homelessness in the Isle of Man.
‘From the company’s perspective our involvement with this charity walk complements our drive to support initiatives aimed at encouraging people to take the first steps, however modest, towards improving their fitness levels and also to help develop opportunities for those looking to return to sport in some way.
‘The people of the Isle of Man are unfailingly generous towards deserving causes so I would hope they will join with us at Celton Manx and support this “worthy exercise.”’
Sarah is determined to keep exercising so will be taking her trainers with her on holiday to the Outer Hebrides later this year. Meanwhile you can follow the highs and lows of her fitness regime on her blog, sarahs50Kchallenge.wordpress.com and on Facebook, Sarah’s 50K Challenge.
To make a donation visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SarahKeggen.