If you have been following this blog you will know that on Saturday 9th July, Charlotte and I were walking 20 miles to support Breast Cancer Care. I would have loved to said that we had done weeks of planning and training but that would be a complete lie. We did one long walk a couple of days before, and as I had a damaged toe it wasn’t the quickest walk we have ever done.
On Saturday evening we started prepping our kit, getting everything ready that we might need, waterproof jacket, plenty of tissues, wipes, hydration drink and snacks, lots of snacks. I think I know where my daughter gets her approach to planning from; we were very well prepared when it came to what to eat! After cramming everything into backpacks, getting our Breast Cancer Care tee-shirts on and having the obligatory photograph taken, we set off on the tube for the Imperial War Museum.
The event village was a sea of pink, with women adorning some fabulous outfits, pink tutus trimmed with lights, bunny ears and even some moose antlers (or were they reindeer). We realised that our head torches weren’t really going to cut it amongst all these beautifully lit women. Charlotte dashed off and bought us some glow in the dark bracelets so we didn’t look quite so unilluminated.
We were so lucky with the weather as it was a warm, breezy dry evening. We timed our arrival so that we didn’t have to wait long for the warm up. The less said about this the better. The warm up was a Salsa routine. As well as being incredibly clumsy, I am also totally uncoordinated. Enough said!
The walkers were set off in waves of 50, and the marshals stopped wave two in front of us, then changed their minds and let us join that group. We set off along the river with the Houses of Parliament on our left. Of course I stopped to take some photographs and was told that if I kept that up we would never get the walk finished, and my phone would be confiscated. No idea where my daughter’s bossy streak comes from but, she was right, if we didn’t make a good start it would take us so long to complete the course. The first few miles it was hard to really get up a good pace because we were dodging people enjoying a Saturday night out on the town.
Once we got into our stride and my phone was firmly zipped into my bag, we started to make good progress. The route was quite breath taking, seeing so many wonderful sights, like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Nelsons Column, Buckingham Palace, St Pauls and the shops, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, we passed them all, lucky they were closed. We took a toilet break at 10 miles on the Embankment and carried on along the river and saw parts of London that I had never walked before. We did get a few cheers and words of encouragement along the way and started to tackle the walk with military precision. Each time we saw some pink clad bodies in front of us we made them a target to overtake, we were certainly power walking and eating up the pavement.
Although we were well stocked with healthy snacks, it was hard to resist a couple of tiny (honestly they were) packets of Haribo to keep our sugar levels up, look away Rob Hobson and Yvonne Wake, it was a special occasion and we needed sweets!
It wasn’t until we were heading towards Kensington and the Royal Albert Hall that we were aware of our legs; not pain just awareness that we had walked quite a long way. The last three miles did seem to drag on a bit as there weren’t many people around and very few targets to overtake and I had started to feel a sensation in my left heel, I later found out this was a two pence piece sized blister under my heel. I had expected more so having only one was quite a good result. The Ibuprofen that I took at the start had stopped any discomfort from my damaged toe. It wasn’t until we reached the event village that we realised we were some of the first people to arrive back and actually came in about 6th out of the 100 people that set off at the same time.
We actually managed to walk the 20 mile course in 5.31hrs, which was pretty amazing. Although the start of the course was a bit slow, due to me wanting a couple of pictures to show you, and the party people, we did pick up speed, even completing one mile in 12 minutes, we are still not sure how that happened but, we did average 15.50 min per mile.
Now, most importantly. So far we have managed to raise £675 for Breast Cancer Care, which is fantastic. Thank you to each and every one of you who got behind us and gave so generously, we really do appreciate it and we couldn’t have done it without you – and a few snacks!
If you would like to top up our Just Giving Page you can HERE