Karen Penny had better have packed a decent pair of boots and a reserve of blister-protection bandages, because she is on a four-year, 20,000-mile trek around the coastline of the UK and Ireland.
The 53-year-old is traveling pretty light, with just a small tent and a 37-pound backpack containing the bare essentials. Penny, who walked from John o’ Groats in northern Scotland to Land’s End in southern England last year, believes she will be the first woman to complete the continuous coastline walk. And she’s doing it all to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
In January 2019, she said to the BBC that she was motivated to raise money for Alzheimer’s because “Both of my husband’s parents died from dementia-related illnesses and it had a massive effect on me. With Alzheimer’s, it just keeps getting worse and you see people who you love and care about deteriorating in front of your eyes. I just want to try and do something to help.”
Her journey started on January 14, 2019 when she departed Swansea in Wales at 11:00 AM. Her plan is to walk at least 15 miles a day, and she promised not to return home until she’s finished the challenge. She is currently spending day 58 of her trek in County Kerry, Ireland — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.