Anne Conrad walking tall after charity effort

Edinburgh's Anne Conrad completes the Nijmegen Marches
Edinburgh's Anne Conrad completes the Nijmegen Marches
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A CAPITAL fundraiser has proved she can walk the walk after completing the equivalent of four marathons in four days to raise money for a leading breast cancer charity.

Anne Conrad, 50, joined more than 45,000 other walkers to take part in the Nijmegen Marches in the Netherlands in July with the goal of raising funds for the Walk the Walk event.

The Marches, the largest multi-day walking event in the world, challenges participants to take on distances of 30km, 40km or 50km every day.

Choosing the 40km event, Anne walked the equivalent of four marathons, or 104 miles, over the course of the event, raising over £1,400 for the charity.

Anne, who began fundraising for Walk the Walk in 2011, described the event as “bonkers” and encouraged others to get involved.

“Where else do you get euro pop, big brass bands, and hundreds of soldiers walking with you?

“It is like being part of a big parade and you are really taken to the hearts of the Dutch people who are unbelievable in the support they give you every single step of the way.

“The only comparison I can draw, is it being a bit like the Cavalcade Parade in Edinburgh – everyone comes out to see you.”

She continued: “The Nijmegen Marches is a bonkers event, in the best possible sense of the word.

“I have made some very special friendships which I know will last a lifetime.

“To anyone thinking about taking on the Nijmegen Marches for Walk the Walk next year, I would say ‘go for it”.

Having previously completed the MoonWalks in London and Scotland, the Berlin Marathon and the Dublin Marathon twice for the charity, Anne was determined her latest fundraising effort would have a unique new theme.

After celebrating her 50th birthday in April, she decided to incorporate the milestone into her challenge, raising an extra bit of cash for every birthday wish.

She said: “Fundraising gets harder the more events you take on, so I’ve had to be imaginative with my ideas.

”I set myself a challenge of getting a different military team to sing Happy Birthday to me each day of the Marches. For every team that sang, 50p was added to my fundraising.

“The Swiss Army sang to me on the first day, and then caught me out on the second day, saying ‘We thought it was your birthday yesterday,’ – they ended up singing to me every day.

“Happy Birthday was sung to me 20 times in total and my highlight was when it was sung in Swiss, Italian, English, Dutch and German within the space of five minutes.”

She laughed: “I even had someone play Happy Birthday on the bagpipes one morning.”