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McArdle Disease (GSD5)

Activity & Exercise

In McArdle disease, building and maintaining a high level of aerobic fitness is essential. Here we introduce key aspects which can help you do just that.

“Walk over Wales”, 2010, a landmark event

Plans for a repeat of
“Walk over Wales”!

A plan is evolving to repeat the historic “Walk over Wales” to celebrate the original event, and more importantly to further raise awareness and funds for McArdle’s. And, of course, to rise to an amazing challenge!
The target year is 2026.
If you would like to be kept in touch with the plans for “WoW 2”, please drop a line to:

Awareness and fund raising

It seemed crazy. McArdle people doing a sponsored walk over Wales? Over from North to South. And over the main mountain peaks. It was 210 miles in distance with 35,000 feet of ascent.

This adventure was rightly abbreviated to ‘WoW’!

We made the ITV news at 6pm when we finished in Cardiff. 

The WoW turtle – slow but steady.

Aiming to boost diagnosis

The objective of the walk was to raise awareness of McArdle’s – so that more people are diagnosed at an early age. This walk helped bring McArdle’s to the attention of teachers, youth leaders and parents as well as the medical profession. Getting a diagnosis enables people to be fitter, healthier, more active, have less episodes of serious injury and avoid stays in hospital.

WoW crew, about to descend to Andrew’s home.

210 miles, 35,000 ft ascent, 32 days

The 32-day walk was led by Andrew Wakelin, McArdle’s coordinator. The route was planned from his extensive experience of walking with McArdle’s.

The route took in the main peak in each of the mountain groups, and many others, as they travelled south. As far as possible days were planned to start on level ground or only a slight incline for the first mile. The day’s finish point was also the next day’s start point, with a support driver shuttling them back and fore to their B&B accommodation.

On the 6pm television news

Andrew Wakelin (Wales), Stacey Reason (Canada), Dan Chambers (USA), Andy Williams (Singapore) and Charlton Thear (Canaries and UK) finished this massive challenge at the Senedd (the parliament building) on the waterfront at Cardiff Bay on 2nd August 2010.

They had made local headlines as they traveled through Wales, and then they made the ITV Wales news at 6pm that day.

You can watch the news item above, and read the first press cutting below.

Our first press coverage. (Click to enlarge.)

Sponsorship to raise funds

The team raised a total of about £14,000 for AGSD-UK’s work on McArdle’s, thanks to their many sponsors. Dianne Berryman and Lorraine Baguley in Australia and Marcelo de Luca in Argentina, walked locally in support and also raised funds for the cause.

The inspiring story captured in book form.

The story of the adventure

The story of the walk was published in “One Step at a Time” by Stacey L Reason. It has the daily photos and blogs from the trip, plus Stacey’s journal of the experience. A free PDF is available for downlaod from the Publications page of the IamGSD website.

IamGSD publications page – scroll down to the book.

First course, 2011, a walk on an old railway.

Then came the walking courses

The WoW event was the inspiration for the “Walking with McArdle’s” courses which have been held each year since and which are spreading around the world.

Ramblers article on WoW

There is a short article, and a few photos, on Walk over Wales and the development of the McArdle’s walking courses on the website of Ramblers, the association that protects access and supports and promotes the interests of walkers.

Read the article on the Ramblers website.