I will walk 500 miles….

Just Regional
Mar 15, 2023 3 mins read

Encouragement from friends, family and strangers – and a message from a pop duo – is keeping Louisa Dye going during a charity walking challenge.

Having never done anything like it before, she decided that she would raise money for the oncology unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by walking 500 miles during March.

The inspiration came from her favourite song – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – by The Proclaimers, and the Scottish duo even sent her a message to get her on her way.

“It’s my end-of-the-night party song – everybody knows me for that,” said Louisa. “My husband messaged their manager and everybody he could think of to tell them what I was doing, and on the first day I got a video message! I just couldn’t believe it. I was so excited!”

And with that to spur her on, she said she had no choice but to crack on – even after her first day’s walking left her hardly able to move or put her trainers on.

“I had to talk myself back into it and tell myself I’d got to get on with it,” she said.

“To get the miles in I worked out I needed to do four marathons a week. I’ve gone full out. The first day I did 30 miles and then the next it was 30½… My husband came to join me and we got so far down Marriott’s Way we realised we weren’t going to get back for the school run. We had to run part of the way home and we had two minutes to spare!”

And although she says she is aching and has “the blisters from hell”, she is determined to reach her target of £5,000 in memory of her mum and dad, Christine and Stuart Clarke, who both died from cancer.

Louisa, who is 44, has been leaving her home on Wroxham Road at 8.30am and not getting back until 4pm or 5pm.

“I’ve been to Whitlingham, the UEA, and round Dussindale. One day I walked to Whitwell station. I’m doing around 60,000 steps a day.”

Her dog Stanley accompanies her for some of her walks, as does husband Roger and their children, Emily and Henry.

They will be joined by some of their friends at Langley Prep School at the weekend for a special leg of the journey.

Louisa said she listened to podcasts and feelgood playlists to keep her going, but she said people often saw her T-shirt and got chatting as she walked, which gave her a boost.

“Two ladies stopped and asked about it and last night I looked at my page and they had sponsored me,” she said.

And while she still loves “her” song, she said: “I’m now wishing they only walked 300 miles…”

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