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Moonwalk Success!

Well - I did it !!!
 
I always knew I would but am still amazed when I try and put 26.2 miles in perspective.  It's one heck of a long way but didn't seem it at the time. 
 
My weekend started early on Friday morning when BBC Radio Shropshire came to see me at home again.  The interview was mainly about how my training had gone since our last chat, what I would be wearing and why I was doing the Moonwalk.  The interview was to be played on the breakfast show on Sunday morning.
 
I then started my journey to London and stayed with my daughter and grand daughter in Coventry and had a very restful night and restful Saturday with them.  My diet that week was a gradual build up of carbs - pasta, rice and potatoes - no bread though.  I felt a bit blobby by Saturday. 
 
The saw me off on the train to London and it was all very exciting indeed.  My sister in law who I was walking with, met me at Euston and we had a few strong coffees before we headed off to Hyde Park.
 
Moonwalk City was amazing. The actual Pink Palace was the size of 2 football pitches in which 15,000 of us ate, sang, danced and were entertained by the likes of Katy Brand, Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and others, and finally did our warming up exercises. It was a very emotional evening which culminated in everyone linking arms during a minute's silence for those who never made it because of breast cancer.  I was really choked and cried a few tears.   Everyone was so excited and many friends were made that night. Some walkers were actually recovering  from breast cancer and if they could do the walk, then I'm darn sure I would be able to do it.
 
The Met Police gave us the all clear at 11.00pm and as I was in the first group to go (apparently we were the fastest group averaged out over our training period) we were called to the start and set of at 11.10pm. 


 
So, to the start line.  Yes I had tears in my eyes again!!  I couldn't believed I actually arrived at the moment.  There was a steel band playing as we approached the start and everyone was dancing. Boy was it cold though.  The wind was biting but forecast to calm down to 5 degrees and a clear calm night.  It was too cold to walk in my bra and in fact there weren't too many that did.  I wore the Moonwalk T shire with two fleeces over the top, plus gloves.
 
Off we went through Hyde Park.  The first thing I noticed was that I kept stumbling and felt as though I was toppling.  It had never occurred to me, and most other "virgin walkers" that power walking in pitch darkness is quite a dangerous thing.  Training was only done in daylight. So there were quite a few people being attended to by paramedics as they had tripped. One lady had fallen straight onto her face and she didn't look too good.   A few fallers on the way were sick, but overall, every one got their heads down and marched on.
 
The sights were fantastic, I look loads of photographs a few of which were blurred but I kept snapping away.  London at night is stunning and the whole thing was quite surreal. On the one hand there were people coming out of the opera in ball gowns and tiaras and evening suits and on the other hand there were very young children playing under the underpasses alongside the Thames unsupervised at 3 in the morning.  It was all quite shocking at times.
 
We left Hyde Park and part of St James' Park then along Buckingham Palace's back garden and out on to the Mall. The Palace had all gone to bed, there were no lights on bar one tiny light on the top floor - who would that have been we wondered?
 

Down The Mall, past Horse Guards Parade and past the Admiralty buildings, The Cenotaph, Downing Street, Commonwealth buildings and monuments - on and on. Everywhere we went, the London Eye which was lit up in blue, peeped out from various buildings.  We crossed Tower Bridge and then headed back along the Thames taking in the old dockside and then round  a corner was the Golden Hind which was absolutely stunning. We stumbled along the cobble stones there and you could really feel the history of centuries gone by.  We passed round Battersea park where there was a very heavy police presence.  There were apparently a few stalkers hiding in the bushes - eeeoooowww!!!!!
 
On to Kensington and Chelsea. We passed the flats where Diana Spencer lived before she married Prince Charles and passed her front door where she was mobbed by the press every time she came and went.  There were parties in full swing at 5am in huge houses as we made our way through the streets. 
 
I would say quiet streets if they were, but in fact there was traffic going all night long. The continuous noise was unbelievable however everyone was hooting us and cheering and even as we passed local fire brigades, they were out on the street cheering us on.
 
We passed Chelsea Barracks and there was a Chelsea Pensioner standing on the street corner telling us he was very proud of us. Likewise we told him how proud we were of him too.


 
Daylight broke with a clear sky and sun coming up behind the Albert Memorial. it was stunning.  We eventually passed Westminster Abbey and made our way back along Horseguards Parade to the Mall - 25 miles had gone by when we reached Buckingham Palace again, and then ......... the finish line.  We were all elated and we received our medals.  I managed my walk in 8hrs 59 minutes and 36 seconds approximately what my target was.  I was very pleased indeed.


 
At 8.15 BBC Radio Shropshire called me and we had a chat live on the Breakfast show about how it had gone.  I was on cloud 9 but minded my "P's and Q's".  I haven't received the audio disc yet but I did make a point of thanking everyone including Lanyon Bowdler for the support, the marketing and donations live on air.  I hope someone (apart from a little old lady who lives at the top of our lane) heard it.
 


As I expected, my hips were really painful for a few days but I didn't have any blisters and my knees were good afterwards.  I was also exhausted for a few days and am only now just feeling better and more awake.
 
I have attached some photographs which I took along the way and I shall be making myself a scrap book of everything connected with my Moonwalk experience to keep as memento.
 
As the donations stand at the moment, I have raised £320.00 on-line donations and haved counted and bagged up £417.99 in cash.  I know there is at least another £200.00 in pledges yet to come in.  The running total is £737.99. So with the other £200.00 approx, that should bring me almost to £1000.00 raised for breast cancer charities.  Double my target.  I am hoping that if I fall just short of £1000.00 a very generous person/people will top it up.  Failing which, Howard my husband said he will top it up to a nice round figure.  That would be just amazing.
 
Once I have collected all the money in, I will let you know the final total.
 
Well - that's 8 months of my life that was taken over by the Moonwalk.  I do plan  to keep walking to maintain some fitness. It's good way to exercise without doing any harm.
 
Thank you once again for your generosity and support.