Researching the cures


Camino de Santiago – lockdown style

A fitness trainer from Blackheath is walking the Camino de Santiago by completing the entire equivalent route up and down her own stairs – over 100,000 times!

Fundraiser Heather Lawson is half way through an amazing year of 50 fitness events she needs to complete by September in aid of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, which have included ultra walks, half marathons, and a fire walk.
She had just returned from completing a gruelling ski marathon last month when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Most of her remaining events, including her planned Camino de Santiago trip this summer, have been cancelled due to lockdown, but Heather is determined to rise to the challenge and will be walking the famed pilgrimage route by tramping up and down her staircase.
Heather said: “I’ve measured the stairs and they are 3 metres high. Now I just need to go up and down 103,333 times and I’ll have done the distance of 620km which was my Lisbon to Santiago trip on the Camino!”
It’s a major change of scene for Heather, who was just adjusting to being back in London after trekking the vast Arctic expanses of Abisko National Park in Sweden. Now she’s confined to her staircase – with the only company her boyfriend Jamie occasionally passing her on his way to the loo.
It’s going to be harder than the real thing, she thinks.
“I’m fairly sure I’ll be getting authentic blisters – or perhaps splinters – but there will be no delicious Portuguese food or wine to tuck into every evening! I’m also a bit worried about losing count!”
Heather’s starting the trail today and estimates she’ll be doing it for most of April.
Founder and Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Maggie Blanks said: “What an ingenious solution, even if the scenery won’t be quite so picturesque! We are so pleased and impressed that Heather is persisting with her efforts. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, we are hearing from many of our remarkable fundraisers who, like Heather, are determined to complete the challenges they’ve set themselves.”
If you’d like to donate to Heather’s fundraising you can do so here:
You can also follow Heather’s progress on her Instagram page