This past Saturday Sean and I entered the Walk The Walk Moon Walk Marathon that was taking place in London. It was a 26.2 mile marathon that raises money for breast cancer awareness. Taking part in a Marathon is something that I have always wanted to do but I never imagined that I would be able to follow through and complete the entire distance. But, with the help of Sean and a gentlemen that we met by the name of Charlie ( who I will talk about shortly) I did it. In just 9 hours I completed the entire thing.
We arrived for the event in Hyde Park at around 7 but they were not letting us into the tent until 8 so we took a seat on the chairs on the grass to wait for the hour to pass. It was a midnight walk through the night so we just took the chance to rest a little in the chairs. It came close to 8 and the photographers were starting to line up at the gate so we thought we would head over to see if we could get in. Since we were coming in as special guests to the event we had to give the man at the gate our names. In waiting for him to find us on the list a man came up to the gate to get in as well. After introducing ourselves he told us his name. His name was Charlie Withers, and he was a man that was recovering from male breast cancer. He has been in remission for 6 months and he along with his 4 other friends were going to do the walk together. We told him that we were there to donate our time and join the walk as we had always wanted to walk for breast cancer to support the cause because Sean’s mom has been in remission for 23 years now.
So , in we all went once the man found us on the list! We went into the tent and was introduced to some of the special ladies that were running the event that had allowed us join and to take part. We got our t-shirts, our hats, and marathon numbers. We were all set to take part in the evenings festivities. We got our photo taken by the Walk the Walk Photo guys and then headed over to the table to sit down for a little and have some snacks that they had available for us. As we were sitting down we saw that Charlie was now inside too and sitting on his own. So, we went to go over and sit with him but in the process he came over to us. We had a really nice chat and got to know more about him and his battle with Cancer. He was incredible as he was not afraid to talk about it or answer questions as he said the more he talked about it the more awareness and the more the word got out. What an incredible outlook and I found him to be very inspiring. Shorty, after being at the table his 4 buddies apparently sweet talked the event staff and worked their ways into the tent to join Charlie. So, there and then we had the pleasure of meeting up with the rest of his team the Moobwalk. What an incredible group of guys. They had all joined the walk to support their recovering friend to help raise awareness. Listening to them all before we set off for the night and their stories was so inspiring that Sean and I decided that instead of walking the 13 miles which was the 1/2 a marathon we would try and complete the entire thing and not only would we be walking for Sean’s mom, I was going to walk for Charlie too! If he could survive and enter to walk the whole thing so would I. The guys were so nice they allowed us to join their group and then at the stroke of midnight we would set off together through the streets of London.
Before we headed off Sean and I entered the big tent where all of the 20,000 ladies and gentlemen were waiting to begin their walks. Because there was so many of us we were all divided into start times by colors with the first group of walkers kicking off at 11pm. As we walked around the tent there was all sorts of decorated bras and costumes that the teams of people were wearing. It was amazing to see what people put together and just the pure excitement as they waited for their go time. I could not help to think and wonder how they were each affected. Had they lost someone close to them, were they walking in support of a friend, or were they just supporting the event, or were they themselves a survivor. None the less it was amazing to see everyone together under one big tent ready to walk and do their part to raise awareness. As we walked around we decided to get a tattoo on our faces to show support and took a few pictures of some of the teams. Then before we left we were called up on stage with the rest of the special guests to be introduced as taking part in the event. It was a real honor to be there.
Then it was about 10 min before midnight and we were escorted to the front of the pink group to lead them off at the stroke of midnight, along with the Moobwalk. Everyone was pretty excited to get going. So, off we went on our walk. It was really amazing as mile by mile we went through the night walking through the streets of London and talking to the 5 new friends we had made. We walked the entire city not going over or repeating one step on the route. We averaged 3 miles for every hour. We got to the 13 mile marker and that is where we had originally said we would walk to but I could not stop. I needed to keep going because if Charlie could do it so could I and I was not born to be a quitter so I wanted to compete the entire thing. I was not doing it for me I was doing it for others and that motivated me to keep on walking. Mile by Mile we checked off through the night. Then the sun started to come up. What a beautiful site to see over the river. By this point we reached the 18 mile mark or close to. I started to slow down. We had been walking for about 5 straight hours now. But, I could not quit. We took at quick bathroom break, and we were off again. The only sad thing at this point was because there was a line at the toilets we lost of 5 friends that we had been walking with. But, we knew we had to keep going, I knew they were there somewhere ahead of us.
18,19,20,21,22,23,24 mile markers went by. We were getting closer but it was not easy for sure. My feet were starting to really hurt and I was getting so stiff I did not think I could do it. But, I focused in and kept thinking I can not quit. I am not a quitter. I need to finish this. I can not give up when I am so close to the final marker. Just keep walking, just keep walking I said to myself and each step I took I knew I was close to the finish line. The hardest point was the last mile. Wow, it is incredible what you can push yourself through. We got to the 26 mile marker. Only .2 miles to go. We stopped for a moment to just watch there other walkers as they saw the pink balloons in site. Tears of joy from so many as they approached the end. I wondered what exactly was there story. But, it was so incredible to think that so many pushed themselves too the end for either themselves or for others. Wow, such a humbling feeling and experience. Then at 8:59 we got to the end and at 9:00am we crossed the line. We did it, I did it. 26.2 miles! A walk through the streets of London that started at midnight and ended at 9am. Nine hours straight of walking in support of breast cancer awareness. I urge you all at some point in your lives to do something like this if you can and if you can’t get involved in anyway you can to volunteer. To experience this and to help others in this fashion is really inspirational and life changing.
I found out later that day that my new friends that were the Moobwalkers lead by Charlie had also finished the marathon at 8:30am that morning, 30 min before us. I was so proud to hear that and to think that they did it too. What an inspirational group of guys! I am so thankful that I got to meet them for my walk and not only finished it for them, for Sean’s mom, and also for all those that are touched by cancer.
So, there you have it! Our first ever marathon. Another thing that I have always wanted to do in my life completed and checked off my bucket list and for such a great cause and right by my side was my Sean. Its an amazing feeling when you can complete something like this and well just plainly do something for others!
I just wanted to now share the link to my new friend Charlie Withers blog. He is a survivor of Breast Cancer and he and his friends are working to create awareness though their group the Moobwalking Blouse Brothers. Great guys with a great cause! http://t.co/1i4h5wKC – Have a read, truly inspirational!
All the best to you all! Lets see where this week takes us! Jodeyne :-)