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.

1 comment:

Red said...

Hmm - someone saw that photo of me striding along, taken from the side and said that even if the face had been obscured they would know it was me from the peculiar walk........is that true?!? Do I have a weird walk?!?!?

Anyhoo - I have been very quite recently so here's my tuppence. I was feeling very ambivalent about the whole thing when the day arrived as I was anticipating hours of being cold and wet and tired. In actual fact, I didnt feel the cold, didnt get very wet and was in that tired stupor where you dont even feel tired!

It has taken a while for the achievement to sink in for me. Think it finally registered last week when I noticed a sign saying Aviemore 26 miles. I paid a lot of attention to just how far it was going in the car, at 60 miles an hour, to get there and I began to think "bloody hell - we WALKED that!" :)

I am really glad we did it - its good to have raised money for Walk the Walk, and it was a great experience on the night (hated the flu-like symptoms the next day mind you!)But I think one of the best things for me has been the walks we have gone and the weekend away we had while we were training. I might not do the Moonwalk again, but the prospect of keeping walking in some of Scotlands lovely scenery is great!