Saturday nights are for unwinding, letting yourself relax after a busy week at work. Correct? (Writes Chloe Ivy Lily Bell)
Not for this year’s Moonwalkers though, they spent a recent Saturday night on their feet, working their way through a 13.1 +2 or a whopping 26.2 mile night marathon through the streets of London starting and ending at Clapham Common.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Moonwalk, it’s a breast cancer charity power walk set up by founder Nina Barough – who survived breast cancer – that raises much needed money for sufferers and funding for research through charity Walk the Walk.
2018 saw it celebrate its 21st year and to commemorate this, multiple London landmarks – including the Coca Cola London Eye – were lit in pink in support. The walk itself is a gruelling night-time walk through London’s streets with walkers encouraged to wear themed decorated bras to raise awareness of the cause. This year’s theme was ‘Wild West’.
This was my first Moonwalk, I accepted the challenge after my aunt – who is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2012 – asked me to walk with her, my other aunt and two of their friends.
I asked a close friend of mine if she would join us and we started training from then.
When the day of the walk finally rolled around we were optimistic, we had trained well, walking 27 miles to London Bride and back to Kent as a practice a few weeks previously.
We had our Wild West themed outfits on, our hair dyed pink, our amazing team bras were ready- courtesy of my mum- complete with Wild West style fringing and we were excited to wear them!
The actual walk however, was massively challenging, much more so than our 27 mile practice.
We set off at 10.40pm and by 7 miles in we were drained, tired and freezing cold, no amount of espressos could have prepared me for the experience. However, the fantastic volunteers who stood at each mile and shouted out encouragement really spurred us on, members of the public slowed down in their cars to congratulate us and families came out in the early hours of the morning to give out sweets to the walkers.
Also, the sight of thousands of women (and men) all marching along together in their bras and cowboy hats really made us feel united and determined.
The golden moment though, had to be when we finally saw the finish line in the distance and our families waiting for us back at Clapham Common. After 8 hours and 50 minutes of walking we were completely exhausted. However, even despite the difficulty of the walk, we were so overwhelmed with all the support and so thrilled that we finished it (and got our medals).
As a team we managed to raise over £3,500 for Walk the Walk and they, as a charity raised over 3 million. So, even though are feet are killing us for it now, we are so proud that we were able to participate in such a great, worthwhile event.