Four months ago, one of my mummy friends emailed me to ask if I'd like to join her on the Moonwalk London. She suggested that we walk 26 miles in the middle of the night, in our bras. I don't know if I was more horrified at the prospect of wearing a bra in public, or walking 26 consecutive miles. Before I could reply back (telling her that she had probably emailed the wrong friend), she emailed to say that perhaps we could do the half marathon instead. Upon reflection, and after looking at the Moonwalk website, I hesitantly agreed.
If you're not familiar with Moonwalk London, it is a nightime walk to raise money for breast cancer. Wearing the bras is a way to show solidarity as well as to raise awareness and to just have some fun. Walk the Walk organise the Moonwalk challenges (in the UK and abroad) and this year was the 20th anniversary of Moonwalk London.
Regular readers will know that I enjoy a weekly walk. But that meant walking for about an hour, maybe totalling three miles. I found my walks in Richmond Park to be more of a mental health break rather than proper exercise. But training for the Moonwalk gave me purpose. It gave me a goal. Each week I began to add extra miles. The week before the walk, I managed 12 miles in 4 1/2 hours. I felt confident, for the first time, that I could finish the Moonwalk.
Then it was time to decorate the bra. This was nerve-wracking as I don't consider myself to be very creative. Moonwalk send an entry pack to all participants that includes a push-up bra. Regular readers will know that I don't wear bras on a daily basis and I certainly don't wear underwired bras. So I grabbed an old bra and used fringing to jazz it up. Thankfully my friend has a glue gun. On a side note: glue guns are fun and I now want to decorate all my clothing. But I digress.
After 12 weeks of training, last Saturday was the big night. We headed to Clapham Common, to Moonwalk City. There were entertainers, bands, face tattoos, shoulder massages and men wearing skimpy outfits. We had some dinner, enjoyed the sights and did a warm-up.
As we had stated that we could do the walk in 4-5 hours, we were placed in the blue group. I now realise that we should have said that it would take us longer (as it did), then we would have been placed in an earlier group. The blue group was second to last in leaving. This meant that we didn't begin the walk until 11.42pm. As we had arrived at 9pm, we were feeling quite impatient to begin. But then we did.
And apart from a couple of bottlenecks, the walk went smoothly. We were drinking little and often, and did not need the toilet during the walk. This made the walk a bit quicker for us. I have heard that the people who stopped for the toilets at St. Paul's ended up queuing for an hour. Eek. Anyway, I was surprised that I didn't feel sleepy during the walk, but I think the Starbursts I was popping every hour helped.
We finished the Half Moon at 5.25am. My feet were hurting a bit, but I was feeling very happy and proud. We grabbed a taxi and I was home for 6am. After a shower and a peanut butter sandwich (I know, I am so American), it was time to get some sleep. It took a couple of days to recover from the all-nighter and all that walking, but it was worth it. Not only do I feel fitter than 12 weeks ago, but I have raised money for breast cancer research. Moonwalk London has been such a wonderful experience, and I plan to keep on walking (but with a shirt on).