Blister Sisters finish 50-mile charity walk

Blister Sisters finish 50-mile charity walk

29 August 2018

THE Blister Sisters have made it back home after their 50-mile trek in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care.

The group of friends who walk several miles together most evenings in Ballynahinch and beyond took on the challenge of walking to Carrickfergus and back for their latest charity fundraiser.

Last year the Blister Sisters supported member Joanne Hall who undertook a 50-mile trek between East Belfast to Portavogie to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), inspired by her friend Willie Annett, who is living with the disease. Joanne also chose the length of 50 miles because she turned 50 last year. 

Sticking with the theme, this year Joanne’s ‘50by50’ was for Macmillan Cancer Research, in honour of her sister, Jacqueline Hamilton, who is being supported by the charity.

This time round the Blister Sisters walked from Ballynahinch to Carrickfergus and back across two days on August 17-8.

While sponsorship money is still coming in, Joanne said they hoped to match or better their total from last year of £4,650.

Outlining the details of this year’s sponsored trek, she said: “After breakfast kindly made for us all by Granny Bos we made our way round to the Square in Ballynahinch and kicked of our challenge at 8.30am.

“The weather was against us from the very beginning but I know these girls are made of tough stuff and they sure did prove me right. As we say — pull the socks up get the trainers on and away we go.

“Rain makes it very, very slow. We usually try to walk three or four miles an hour.

“But while it was raining Friday, Saturday was beautiful.

“We were also closely followed closely by our support vehicle driven by Rodney Hall and supplied by Ian’s School of Motoring.”

Joanne and the team received encouragement and much-needed refreshments along the way, and have thanked staff for their “outstanding” kindness at venues such as the Spar in Carryduff, Carrickfergus Cricket Club and Square View restaurant, Dobbins Inn, where they stayed overnight, Brackenvale service station, Temple Golf Club and Ross’s Bar, where they finally got to put their feet up.

“We arrived back at the square around 6pm and were greeted by family  and friends with champagne, hugs, tears and laughter,” said Joanne. “We ended the night with a party in Ross’s Bar with food and refreshments.

“Many thanks to Carlisle’s, Billy Bell’s, Joe Hanna’s and Jim Murdock for their help with the supplies we needed for the bus. Also to Saintfield Striders running club who sent supporters to encourage us along the way.

She added: “This is not an easy thing to do and I could not complete it without the help of my Blister Sisters. These girls are amazing and I love them all. 

“The charity was close to my heart this year which just made me more determined to finish.

“There were 17 of us started the walk on Friday as a team and we all finished on Saturday as a team. Thank you all; you were truly amazing.”