Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The right hattitude

Ready for the off
Originally uploaded by Lidwit.

I'd love to see a satellite image of the MoonWalk as all those pink bunnets bob and weave through the streets and into the dawn. We took our first steps through the start gate at 23.46 surrendering our identities and becoming 'the MoonWalk'. We were no longer individuals taking part in a charity marathon power walk. Instead we were a part of a living, breathing, mobile entity that became much more than the sum of it's chattering parts as it pounded the streets like a megalithic pink millipede.
If you spot yourself shout up - who are you?
The pace was brisk and demanding as we wound our way up and around Arthur's Seat and then back to town and straight up the Royal Mile. Before we knew it the first hour had passed and with it the first four miles. Not a bad pace we thought, but could we keep it up for 26 miles?
Leith Docks
Mile Marker 17
The amazing thing was we actually did. With the exception of a 20 to 25 minute queue for the loo halfway round we managed to keep plodding on and gradually the miles rolled by with lots of cheers and encouragement from the volunteers posted along the way.
Two miles to go
By the time we reached Holyrood Park again the end was almost in sight. Just two miles left to go. By now we had gone through the pain barrier. We had 24 miles behind us, already 2 miles further than we'd managed before, and with one last pause to stretch out the muscles it was heads down for the grand finish. Endorphins and adrenalin were carrying us the final stretch and by now we were totally focussed on getting to that finish line. Not even traffic was going to hold us back as we sprinted several metres to catch a crossing before the volunteer let the traffic move... not a chance. We knew if we stopped now we might never start again. Against all conventional wisdom we managed to summon up the final reserves of strength for an impressive power walk down the hill and across that line, not forgetting to do a quick time check on the way past.
And in a very respectable time of 7 hours and 50 minutes. What a feeling to know we'd actually managed it and could collect our medals. With our muscles screaming for rest and adopting a work to rule ethic we headed for home on a high and celebrated with ibuprofen and a much needed cup of hot coffee on the train.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Nina's Ark

Arriving at Moonwalk City
Originally uploaded by Lidwit.

Pink Central, the hub of all things MoonWalk. When we arrived it was a cold, dreich Saturday evening and we were anticipating the worst. This is the point when you ask yourself, quite seriously, what the hell am I doing this for? The prospect of 26 miles in the pouring rain was not a pleasant one. Added to that we were having to try to tiptoe through the mire as the field slowly but surely turned into a mudpit courtesy of drizzle and feet.
The big pink tent
Consoling ourselves with the thought that at least it was only for one night we squelched in confident that if nothing else, there would be good humour and cameraderie among the Moonwalkers. We were, after all, all in the same big, muddy, pink ship. The trip to get here had been a good one having met other walkers, Helen and Fiona, on the train. We struck up a conversation and eventually shared a taxi to the Meadows. We never saw them again after that. I wonder how they got on?
Inside the big pink tent
Once inside the tent we began to realise just what a big event it was. 10,000 women (well there were a few men in there too but not too many) make a lot of noise and everywhere was a sea of pink hats and flashing, sparkling, fluffy, jingling, multicoloured bras. Truly a bizarre spectacle. With the party atmosphere in full swing, four hours didn't take long to pass and before we knew it it was time to stow our bags and head out to the start line.
The Countdown BeginsReady to go.
By now we were all just desperate to get going. This is what we came for and the sooner we started the sooner we could get finished and home to a hot bath and bed. Something that was becoming more and more appealing as we donned our plastic ponchos against the rain and tried to stop our feet from slowly sinking into the mud. In about 8 hours it would all be over and hopefully we would be the proud owners of a moonwalk medal.
Nearly time to go

Sunday, 17 June 2007


Full Moon medal
Originally uploaded by Lidwit.

We actually completed the Moonwalk in a very respectable time of 7 hours and 50 minutes. We're tired and our muscles ache but amazingly we have no blisters or injury and we are delighted to have achieved our personal best both in distance and time. The pace was quick but we kept up admirably and even had the strength (endorphine and adrenalin fuelled as it was) to attempt a power walk for the last 500m to the finish.

What an experience, what a night! Despite the aches I am so glad we did this. Six months ago I found it hard to believe that it was possible but we gave ourselves the challenge and we made it happen. I can't thank Red enough for doing this with me. I'm fitter, healthier and we raised a few pounds for a great cause. What more could we ask?

More details to follow but right now... I'm off to pamper my aching muscles and feel glad that it's all over.