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Mary's First MoonWalk London

You may be told that you don’t look like a Walker or look fit enough but do it and you’ll see there isn’t a “look”, you’ll see all ages, shapes and sizes...

Walk the Walker, Mary, shares her experience of taking part in her first MoonWalk London in 2016... she and her Walking partner Andrea will be joining us again this year for our 20th MoonWalk London.

After 13 weeks of training, covering as many of the recommended training miles as we could, we were ready to take on The MoonWalk London to raise some serious funds for the fight against breast cancer.

Saturday 14th May dawned. D-Day had arrived! Hats... check. T-Shirts... check. Bras... check. Tickets... check. Church... check! Yes... on our way, we called in to the Holy Cross Church to a Dinner Dance to have some team photos taken and to remind everyone where we would be that night! And finally... Chips... check! Well, you got to have carbs before a marathon – everyone knows that! Then we took the tube to Clapham South ready to do our bit for the fight against breast cancer. Arriving at MoonWalk City, the fairytale pink tent was so inviting - every girl would love a party there! Inside the tent they warmed us all up with carnival festival music... the theme for 2016 was carnival and the sights and sounds were so colourful! More carbs were consumed, a hot meal provided by Walk the Walk, inside the tent. We followed this with a little shopping (all proceeds going to the charity). The atmosphere was electric and we felt really motivated to get moving.

Our start was called to go and off we set at around 11pm. The first five miles went by very quickly, we were Walking the Walk, helping and raising money for breast cancer. Battersea Park is beautiful at night. In fact, London by night is pretty magical and when Big Ben chimed midnight, it felt such an honour to have this wonderful landmark, seemingly all to ourselves. At 10 miles the Half Mooners leave the Full Mooners and go their separate ways. But everywhere you look you witness a sea of pink so that you never walk ‘alone’ – there is a real sense of community and a feeling of “we’re in this together”.

When I think of the highlights of the night there were three for me. Firstly, I love bridges and we were treated to three; Battersea Bridge, Chelsea Bridge and Tower Bridge. It was such a privilege to witness these beauty queens of the night. Secondly the positivity we felt was overwhelming – we were two amongst thousands of Walkers but we felt so personally supported by the staff, volunteers and the public. Through traffic, cars, cabs, bikes and buses tooted and shouted good luck messages. Eurovision street parties stopped to wish us well, even one group of partygoers sang the “Eye of the Tiger” to motivate us to carry on! And all along the route, Volunteers followed us closely on bikes, offering us fruit, water and sweets at every stop along the way. Thirdly, there was one particular Walker who will never leave my mind and finds me very emotional each time I think of her. She was an extremely elderly lady, flanked by two guys, this to me acknowledges that each Walker has a very personal story to tell. Her name is Mary and she is 85 years old! And she was not the oldest to participate – a 91 year old man also completed the full MoonWalk that night. How inspirational!

Andrea and I kept a steady pace throughout the whole walk and felt delighted when we completed it in 7 hours 13 minutes. A personal best for us both. We joked that the 26 miles would not be hard, it would be the .2 at the end, uphill, that would be the killer but we breezed it. By then, we were on a natural high... fuelled maybe by too many jelly beans! When friends came to collect us with duvets and diet cokes stuffed in their people carrier we were overjoyed to see some faces we loved. I tried to hold a conversation on the way back home but tiredness overcame me. Back home my son had waited up to tell me he was very proud of me and to ask me had I come first because my medal was Gold? Well of course I had won the race... I had completed my first MoonWalk challenge!

Walking the Walk has been one of the best things I have done, the feeling at the end lasts long after you have crossed the Finish Line and I would encourage anyone to have a go.

If you want to do something amazing, surround yourself with amazing people (I had Andrea!) Whether it’s walking or running a marathon, cycling 100 miles or swimming the Channel – if you start hanging round with people who think that your dreams sound like a great way to spend your time, rather than those who question why you’d want to do such a thing, you’ll find those dreams become a reality a lot sooner.

You may be told that you don’t look like a Walker or look fit enough but do it and you’ll see there isn’t a “look”, you’ll see all ages, shapes and sizes... that’s one of the things that’s great about Walking the Walk, anyone can do it.

One word of warning though, I don’t think anyone ever does it just once….  

Mary

Our 20th MoonWalk London is nearly here... see you all on Saturday at our ‘Roaring Twenties Extravaganza’! 

P.S. Still time to get your friends and family on board to join in the fun as one of our incredible Volunteers... sign up here

 

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