A FAMILY day out could include a visit to the cinema, picnic in the park or trip to the seaside.
But for the Hibbert family, pounding the streets of Edinburgh in the wee small hours is their ideal way to spend quality time together – and it’s all in the name of charity.
Thanks to a new, shorter addition to the popular annual MoonWalk marathon, Clare, 11, and Zoe Hibbert, ten, will be able to join their parents – and thousands of other participants – in taking to the streets for the event on June 8.
The girls are overjoyed to be given the opportunity to get involved in the MoonWalk, which their mum, Laura, has taken part in for the past five years, and have been in training for their quarter marathon.
“When this came up, it was like Christmas Day for them,” laughs Laura, 44.
“I have done the MoonWalk five times and they have been dying to do it, but of course they have been too young.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to do this as a family.
“They have wanted to do this for so long, so seeing their sense of achievement will be great.”
For those who haven’t taken part in, or witnessed, the spectacle of the MoonWalk, it is a 26-mile midnight power-walk through the Capital’s streets, starting and finishing on Leith Links.
Although traditionally an event for bra-clad women – as it raises money for research into breast cancer – it also attracts a lot of male participants.
Laura’s husband, Steven, will be taking part this year for the first time, walking with his wife and children in the 6.55-mile New Moon, which is open to children aged ten and over.
IT manager Steven, 41, says: “In all the years that Laura’s done it, I’ve been out at all times of the morning with coffee and croissants.
“The kids have been dying to get involved in the MoonWalk but they’ve always been too young.
“We have done a few practice walks so they will be fine with the distance.”
The Hibbert family members are no stranger to a challenge.
They can often be seen cycling, walking and running to raise money for various charities, but they always make sure at least one of their beneficiaries each year is a cancer charity.
“Since the kids were two years old, we have done 5K runs and cycles with them,” explains Laura.
“In the five years I have done it, Steven and the kids have come up at 4am so they’re used to being out and being part of it.
“They have been dying to do it.”
She adds: “I was brought up – and so was Steven – to put back into our community.
“We are fortunate enough that we are healthy and have good lives so we try to put back in as a family.
“I have got friends who have lost children and cousins who have had cancer but this is about giving back to the whole community.
“We try to do something every year as one unit to raise money for cancer.”
The MoonWalk Edinburgh has raised more than £15 million since it was launched eight years ago, with most of the money raised staying in Scotland, improving the lives of people with cancer.
Nina Barough CBE, founder and chief executive of Walk The Walk, the charity behind the event, says: “Everybody wants to do the MoonWalk, but not everybody can, so as a result of many requests, I am delighted to include the New Moon in our exciting MoonWalk challenges in Edinburgh.
“So many people have said that their children would love to join them and now it is possible for all those young walkers over the age of ten, and of course every other age, to take part in this 6.55-mile challenge and most importantly get a medal.
“Here is a chance to take those first steps to becoming honed, toned, healthier and fitter and at the same time raise money to improve the lives of cancer patients throughout Scotland.
“What a fantastic exchange. The Walk the Walk team look forward to welcoming all our New Mooners, young and old, to our big pink tent on June 8.”
• Entries for The New Moon close on Wednesday.
Visit www.walkthewalk.org for details.