Javea teacher takes on 60km charity trek

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WHILST MANY English residents across the Marina Alta choose to fly back to their home country in the height of summer to avoid the torrid temperatures, Fiona Phillips – Head of Secondary at Xabia International College – will only be making a pitstop in England to collect her sister, Janette as they fly off to Iceland…

Fiona and Janette will take on the tough three-day 58km ‘Icelandic Lava Trek’ from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork, through one of the planet’s most volcanic regions, navigating thundering waterfalls, steaming lava fields, plunging fjords and spouting geysers.

Although the duration is short, the days are long and the terrain is very challenging with steep climbs and rough descents and as Fiona and Janette are camping along the way, they will need to set up their base each evening and break it down each morning.

The trek holds a special place in the hearts of Fiona and Janette as they set about the challenge in memory of their mother, who went to Iceland in 1980.

It was at their mother’s funeral two years ago that the sisters decided to, quite literally, follow in her footsteps, however Fiona was diagnosed with cancer a short while later so the trip was postponed until this year whilst she underwent treatment.

Fiona, despite having always played tennis, admits she has ‘never been an overly keen walker or into fitness’ but in the run up to the trek has been locking the school gates each day and heading straight out to train, attending keep-fit classes, pilates sessions and stomping local walking routes.

Fiona, whilst taking on the trek in memory of her mother, hopes to raise funds for Christian Aid, a charity her mother worked tirelessly for.

Christian Aid has fought poverty for more than 75 years, working to support sustainable development, stop poverty, support civil society and provide disaster relief in South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Christian Aid campaigns to change the rules and systems that keep people poor, speaking out on issues such as tax justice, trade justice, climate change and Third World debt.

If you would like to sponsor Fiona, you can visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FionaPhillips64 or catch Fiona at the Xabia International College, Monday – Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

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