It’s that time of year again, where individuals choose to say goodbye to their toenails, a good night’s sleep and pain-free walking. Today, the famous Parish Walk is expected to take place after a year in hiding due to Covid. Some entrants were walkers who missed out last year and some are newbies taking the plunge. With 1,841 walkers signed up compared to the 1,621 in 2019, it will be a busy year on the roads. Here we caught up with just a few of the brave people who are attempting the grueling challenge.

Georgia Perry and Kiara Fleming

Georgia and Kiara will set out on their colossal challenge in loving memory of Georgia’s stepbrother, Luke McNicholas. The money they have raised will go towards a memorial bench for Luke in Port Erin, where he spent his 21st birthday celebrating with friends. Any excess money will be donated to Fibromyalgia Action UK. This charity was close to Luke’s heart as his mother Jane suffers from the disease. Georgia said: ‘I will be walking with my best friend Kiara, whose support has been unwavering to my entire family in this very difficult time.’ They confessed that motivation for training was difficult between lockdowns and they only signed up in February. However, they have tackled the dreaded Sloc, so will know what they’re up against. Georgia revealed: ‘We are both nervous for the event but feel on the day we will just be ready to see what we can achieve, with the knowledge that Luke will be with us every step of the way and no doubt laughing at how mental he will think we are for entering.’ 

Best of luck girls, we will all be rooting for you. 

Georgia and Kiara

Ray and Nathan Harmer 

Peel MHK Ray Harmer will be walking back to his constituency with son Nathan, who is keen to compete in the under 21s. Ray and Nathan’s chosen charity is Graih, a charity on the island which offers refuge for homeless individuals. Ray said they chose this charity because: ‘Homelessness is a very real and important matter in the Isle of Man. I wanted to support and help them to help homeless people by giving them shelter, food and warmth.’ Ray revealed that his training consisted of getting in his 10,000 steps a day and often walking along the coast near his home. He has however completed it twice before and so has experience on his side. He confessed his only worry is whether he’ll keep up with Nathan – good luck guys!

Nathan and Ray Harmer

Eleanor Deveareau and Kirsten Lane

Friends Eleanor and Kirsten are attempting to go the whole way for Hospice. Eleanor is no stranger to walking challenges – last year whilst raising money for Isle Listen she walked the whole of the Raad Ny Foillian in just 4 days. Eleanor said: ‘I’m always up for a challenge, especially one that allows me to see various parts of the island’ and is this one she has always wanted to conquer. Although, feeling nervous they feel quite excited to get going. Eleanor has packed everything you would need and more. From jam sandwiches to gels to salt cubes, she is ready to remedy any sugar craving. The pair have had weekly 10 mile training sessions but Eleanor admits they are taking a ‘winging it’ approach. This matched with a good mindset and the support from each other they are hoping to finish the following morning. 

Go on girls! 

Eleanor and Kirsten

Rory Dearden, Liam Quinn and Jack Lancaster

This is not Rory’s first rodeo – he completed the Parish walk back in 2018 with some close friends. He said: ‘I would not have been able to finish it without the support of my Mum, who through both a mixture of parental support and sheer fear I was going to hurt myself, stayed up through the night with me in my slightly delirious state.’ He is as determined as ever and relishes in the ‘opportunity to challenge oneself to the absolute extreme.’ The goal for the lads is to go the whole way in order to raise money for Hospice. This a charity close to home for them, Hospice has supported Liam’s Mum, Elaine, with her breast cancer diagnosis in 2019 which Rory said: ‘helped her get back to her usual and marvelous self.’ Much like Georgia and Kiara the lads have conquered the sloc to remove any mental barriers and have put in the miles for preparation. 

All the best lads, you can do it! 

Rory, Jack and Liam

Good luck from Gef!

Finally, good luck to all the other walkers out there- Gef wishes you a cool breeze up the Sloc, zero nipple chafing and secure toenails!

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