Well what can I say..... Let me start from the beginning.
I have always wanted to do the moonwalk, it has been on my bucket list. Amazing people coming together to raise awareness for Breast Cancer whilst raising money. I didn't even need to think about doing it this year. I had been personal training a great lady who had recently lost people very close to her through the dreaded disease and so I put it to her that we do it together. There was no hesitation from her either, so as soon as registration opened we were on it and we got our place.
I was very excited to get a place and thought nothing more of it, life carried on, kids, work and family. The moonwalk was months away! It was always in the back of my mind that we were doing this huge walk – 26.2 miles in total in the middle of the night! A training plan had to be put together, but still at this point I thought, oh well we have ages, it cannot be that hard to walk 26.2 miles. I had done a marathon!!!
We Started our training in February, this gave us 3 months. Our first walk was 8 miles around the Somerset countryside. We did find this quite challenging, 8 miles seems like nothing when you are going for a run, but takes so long when walking. We did 3 more long walks which included a 10 mile an 18 mile and a 15 mile. They got easier as we got more used to walking the long distances. It is essential to train, no matter what your fitness levels. Whilst on the walks we took snacks to keep up our energy levels, such as nuts, dried fruit, flapjack and protein bars and lots of water, on some walks we were out for 7 hours so it was important we looked after our bodies, I had bought new trainers also as your feet are the main component when walking!! Blisters need to be avoided at all costs, so the right socks and footwear are so important
Saturday the 14th May arrived, we were full of anticipation and trepidation. Would it be cold? Would we hit the wall? All these things we were unsure of. We had our bras fully decorated but we also had a few other layers as we were told it can get nippy at night, especially along the river. And it was very nippy. Another tip I was given was to get some long socks and make them into gloves, these were very handy.
With it being the moonwalk you do not start walking until late in the evening, there are 5 different waves, number one wave starting at 10.30 (this is the one we were in), so make sure you fuel up during the day, I had a big breakfast before I left which was scrambled egg, avocado, wholemeal toast and cherry tomatoes. Lunch was a salad and some snacks of nuts and fruit, then around 5.30 I had soup and bread, when you arrive at Moonwalk site they give you food, you have a choice of pasta or rice. I had the rice and they also give you flapjack (which I saved for later in the night).
There were people clapping, cheering and some tears. Everyone marched off, there was no stopping anyone!!! We made our way onto the streets of London. To start with it felt normal just walking along the streets of London with a load of women and men in their costumes and Bras, there were so many of us that it did not feel any different to walking in London on a busy day. But it then became a bit more surreal, I looked around and there were no NORMAL PEOPLE (the only way I can describe it)!!! it was all moonwalkers, talking, singing, laughing, crying. I heard so many different snippets of conversations.
There was so much to see. Of course I had been to London before, but to see it all lit up and quiet (just moonwalkers) was surreal. There more miles we covered the thinner the crowds became. The marshalls were amazing, cheering us on and giving us a clap, a wave, a hello. The marshalls all volunteer and they are absolute stars, it was not a warm night, especially by the river and to stand there for a very long time, giving words of encouragement was amazing. They were all so happy.
As the night wore on and the more miles we covered I did not feel at all uncomfortable or tired. I was actually a bit buzzy!!! It was the middle of the night I wasn't in a pub or a club, I wasn't getting drunk but I felt like I was OUT OUT!!!! It was amazing to see the sights and see the occasional person/people spilling out of a club or on the party boats on the Thames. I wanted to say hi to everyone, I wanted to let everyone know what we were doing (Mary thought I was mad)!!!
There was so much to take in that I can't actually remember some of it, walking past Harrods at 3.30 am in the morning was weird. There were still cars on the road, and life on the streets with the walkers and the occasional "normal person" but to see Harrods when the streets are not bustling with tourists, shoppers etc was weird. It started to get lighter around 4.40 am. the dim light made everything look amazing. I do love this time of the morning when you know most people are in bed. We went through Sloane Square, Belgravia, Chelsea. I had never been to these parts of London before and OH MY I will be visiting them again (when I have lots of dosh!!!).
As we crossed the finish line at 6.15am and it was an odd feeling, the sparse crowds that were there waiting for loved ones seemed to be half asleep themselves (well who would blame them it was early). The fantastic
marshalls were there yet again cheering us on and giving us our medals congratulating us on our achievement. Mary and I hugged, we were dazed, tired but elated. Coffee was needed!!!!!
It was an amazing journey, one that I would do again. If anyone is thinking of doing it I would say "do it", it is an amazing experience. But make sure you train!!!