(Half) Moonwalk 2012

14th May 2012:

It’s hard to believe this was only my fourth Moonwalk.   I had no (well, very few) nerves as I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for.   And despite the cold and the soggy conditions at the Start, it was one of the best.

 

All 15,000 of us taking part had kept our fingers, toes, legs, and eyes crossed that the weather was going to be kind – and it was.   The rain that had made the previous few weeks the wettest drought since records began thankfully stayed away but, at our Start/Finish point in Hyde Park, the ground was absolutely soaked, and more like a bog in places.

 

The temperature was around 3 degrees during the night and well into the following morning but Moonwalkers are hardy souls (walking through the night dressed in a bra does that to you) and we kitted ourselves out in space blankets and the oh-so-attractive plastic ponchos.

 

The big show in the big tent at that start of the evening was great – with lots of singing, lots of disco, a message from the WalktheWalk charity’s Patron, the Prince of Wales, a short film showing how the money raised is  spent, the aerobic warm up and a fabulous drag act who got everyone inside and outside the tent dancing and singing along to “All the Single Ladies”!   What a party!

 

I was in the last group to start, at around 11.55pm, and everyone started off at a blazing pace.  There were lots of groups of supporters all the way around the park cheering everyone on – and then we were at Hyde Park Corner, waiting to cross the road.  The Police stopped the traffic and as always we crossed to the noise of car horns, buses full of people shouting encouragement (at least I think it was encouragement), with people, just going about their business stopping to clap and cheer and wish us good luck.

 

The Moonwalk is a great opportunity to see London at night, all lit up, looking spectacular.  The London Eye, Houses of Parliament, South Bank Centre, Festival Hall, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s, Bankside – there were far too many photo opportunities for us take advantage of.

At around 9 miles, I started talking to a woman called Jackie and we completed the 13.1 miles to together, chatting about all sorts of things: urban foxes, the business she runs with her husband, how they were going to meet her at the end of the Walk.  As I have done the last two Moonwalks all by myself (or as ‘by yourself’ as you can be with 14,999 others) it was lovely to have the company.

 

Despite starting only five minutes earlier than last year, I was over 45 minutes earlier at Westminster Bridge than previously.  That felt good!  Then it was another 35 – 45 mins back to Hyde Park, medal and a lift home.  Driving back through Chelsea we could see lots the Full Moonwalkers around the 18/19 mile mark.  We hooted and waved – at 18 miles you need all the encouragement you can get – and got a few waves back.   But seeing how tired they were made me very glad that I had resisted the temptation all those months ago to say “yeah, let’s do the 26 miles again, why not?”  13.1 miles is quite enough, thank you.

 

Christine …

 



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