Some of you may remember that last year I took part in Cancer Research’s Shine Night Walk which was a marathon walk through the night totaling 26.2 miles/ 42km. It was probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I ached and I got injured, but I succeeded. When this years’ dates came up I booked straight away and almost forgot about it. An estimated £4 million was raised on the night alone across the 17,000 people who did the walk so it’s incredibly worthwhile.
When last Saturday (24th) rolled around it was time to head to Southwark Park and think about the next few hours of my life. As I’d completed the Shine Night Walk before I was able to be a bit more prepared for 2016 which included taking my iPod with me (10 hours walking last year with no music almost drove me mad), taking a spare pair of socks (a godsend), taking some snacks (they do give you some but walking for that long without more substantial food is tough) and taking a waterproof jacket (fantastic as it did rain for an hour this year).
10:35pm came around and the klaxon had gone off and I was beginning the walk. My original aim was 3 miles per hour which meant an 8-hour walk, I wasn’t sure if I could manage it but I was damn well going to try. The first mile went by in a flash, as did the second, and each mile up until about number 8 I was doing in around 15 minutes instead of the planned 20 which gave me time to slow down further along the course and still be on target. Having taken a pre-walk toilet break I knew I didn’t need to stop at Pit Stop 1 which was heaving and I carried on.
Things started to get tough by mile 14 which was the half way mark and having not stopped properly yet I took 10 minutes out to have a sit and a breather. From here on in things got a bit slower, my feet hurt more and more but I was determined and pretty much 8 hours after I started I crossed the finish line at Old Billingsgate, right on target (and an hour and a half quicker than last year!)
The Shine Night Walk was by no means easy – especially for someone who isn’t a small petite active person like me – but I am so proud of myself for pushing through. A massive thanks has to go to Flexitol who sponsored me on my journey and provided me with some foot care goodies which have come in very useful for my aching body.