Saturday afternoon Madam and I jumped on the train and headed to London. We are very luck that there is a station in the village and three hours later without changing trains we are in London. On arrival at the Hotel, my priority was to have a cat nap, knowing that walking 15 miles was going to be tough but I would find the ‘no sleep’ aspect of it tougher! I managed my 40 winks but Madam did not!
After changing we headed out in search of dinner. Like all athletes we headed to the nearest fast food outlet which happened to be KFC to fuel. It was clear that it was not just the MoonWalk that was happening locally, masses of students were dressed as characters mostly to do with space, we saw Buzz Lightyear, star trekkers, Minions and OOmpa Loompas though I am still trying to work out how the latter fitted in the category. We had a fun time spotting them all, admiring the costumes. As we sat consuming our low fat, healthy dinner a man came and sat on our table. He asked what we were doing, intrigued I think to see if we were involved somehow with the students event. I explained why there was so many women around dressed similarly, same t-shirt, baseball hat etc. He asked if we were collecting money and I told him we had raised some money already for Breast cancer. At this point he started digging in his pocket, I realised he was going to give me a donation, but was totally unprepared for the £10 note he passed over to me. I tried not to take it, telling him it was too much and he should not give that much money to a stranger. He insisted he trusted me and that I take it, I cried and thanked him. I was stunned by his generosity and trust, this started the evening off the right way.
The Moonwalk this year started from Clapham Common and the pink tent soon came in to view, there was no missing it. Meeting up with our friends was not too difficult, but would have been a nightmare without a mobile phone. Madam was pleased to see her Essex school friend who she had not seen in two years. We were walking with the lovely Madam M, her mother and experience full Moonwalker Mrs M and a friend/ex relative of mine!
At 10 0’clock we headed out of the lovely pink tent to the not so lovely blue port-a-loos. In half an hour we were off, I was so pleased to be off early, this meant I would get to my bed sooner! The mile 1 marker came round pretty quick, the girls set the pace, walking fast and talking non-stop, oh yes they are females! London is beautiful at night and we passed lots on the sights, The Shard, Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, The Globe, and Buckingham Palace. Then of course we passed the London nightlife, there was the drunk staggering out from the pub lurching towards us with his legs not seeming to belong to his body, and the women holding her dog under one arm, hitting her make companion with her other arm whilst spouting a torrent of abuse (got to love a multi-tasking woman). We met many lovely people on the way, some walking, some just crossing the road with us and of course a big shout out to all those volunteers standing out in it all night. The atmospehere is always amazing.
The girls both begun to suffer at about 12 miles which was a shame because usually that would mean only one tough mile to go, but with the extended route we had another three to go. This is where the dynamics got interesting, Madam M retreated to walk along side her Mum, my Madam however retreated in to her shell and kept the speed up for a while working on that runner’s theory that the quicker you move the sooner the agony will be over.
We completed the 15.1 miles in 3 hours 50 minutes finishing before 2:30 am. So proud of our Madam’s who were absolute troopers, not one moan between them. When the going got tough they just kept going. They must have been the youngest walkers as are both only 13 years old, and we were one of the first back to the Pink tent. Granted we started at the front, but we held that position and a great pace all the way.
No running for me for a while, though Madam with her younger, slimmer fitter body tells me she will go to training tomorrow!