So, the moonwalk. An event for a very worthy charity, especially given breast cancer took my husbands mum from him at such a young age. 26.2 very long walking miles done. So how was it? Let me tell you.
We had to be there between 8.30pm and 9.30pm then they lock the gates – a safety thing I presume I’m not sure. Louise and I got the train at 6pm so we were there in good time. Didn’t have a clue where to go after the train so we tried to ‘sneakily’ follow some fellow Moonwalkers until it was beyond obvious what we were doing so I just asked them if we could tag along – thankfully they said yes! So we get there and we get locked in to this tent, it’s freezing cold (rain and wind, fab) and there are no seats. There is however, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers – and they are fantastic:-). We were provided with a free meal and I have to say that also was great! But time drags on, and on, and on. There’s a presentation but no one can speak on a mic very well so we can’t hear anything. They do a little warm up with the crowd which I enjoy until the BFG in front of me gets too carried away and is completely unconscious about personal space and ends up stomping on my bad toe. I wanted to ram my glow stick up her……
Louise and I don’t have the same start time but we were that fed up of waiting around that by half past 11 she snuck in to my group with the aid of my glow stick (yellow, not brown) and we were finally counting down to ‘Go Time’. I braved the cold weather in the hope of a good photo at the start in my lovingly decorated bra – I stressed so much about my costume I was going to show it off! Under the balloons we went and this was it! We got to the first mile really quickly and we were quite pleased with our pace (jumper was on by now though). Through the park and up towards the town. We were a little anxious about going past the pubs but it was perfectly fine – and we loved seeing the landmarks lit up all pink. We followed the route I had done in the Edinburgh 10k – up the dreaded hill at Arthur’s seat – ‘you ran this??’ Louise kept saying – yup, every blooming bit of it ha ha.
Five miles in we were ‘ok’. It was cold, it was wet, it was raining, the wind was picking up. But we were still in quite good spirits. My brother was sending texts of encouragement ‘quit moaning’ and ‘get a move on’ – thanks bro. We were not the fastest by any means but we were doing ok. Conversations about politics, churches and how lovely the houses were kept us going (don’t ask ha ha). By 10 miles Louise was needing a bathroom stop so we kept going until about 12 and stopped. It was a bit of a queue but to be honest I was welcome of the break too as my legs were beginning to hurt so I wanted to put some gel on – Tough Mudder the following weekend was NOT going to be put at risk over this. I was ignoring the blister feeling on my foot also – if you don’t believe it’s there then it isn’t. Anyway the queue was taking that long some girls were talking of wee’ing behind the wall – no need.
Back on the road and we finally hit half way point – yeah!!!! Oh, no, now it’s the seafront. And not only is it the sea front but it’s the gale force winds to accompany the cold rain – great. And of course you’re not allowed to run, you can only walk. This was no longer fun, the blister was no longer fictional, my costume was no longer appropriate. We were doing this why? I tried to entertain Louise by pushing to get our fastest 1k (yes I had strava on, bite me) but that only worked for about 1k. Her hips were really giving her problems by about 18miles and my legs were beginning to ask ‘why??’ – she wanted to stop for another toilet break and I honestly thought she was going to quit. By now I was already settled on not doing this challenge again so I was having a conversation with myself about what to do if she said she wanted to quit. At about 20 miles we stopped and I sat down whilst she queued for half an hour for the toilet. The break did us both good and we soldiered on determined at least to keep going despite the morning sun and warmth we had been counting on never appearing, hmmf.
Finally we reach 25 miles and by now there is no talking, just sad faces longing for the finish line. It’s pretty much down hill so it’s ok. We make our way back in to the park and by now it’s just a passing photo of mile 26, I’m not stopping. On to the grass, under the balloons and over the finish line – there were no smiles for the photo. There was also no atmosphere. We were met with a medal but that was it. No cheers, no noise, no music – nothing. Our plan was to have a rest before heading for the train but it was that deflating we went straight for the bus to the train station. The woman on the bus were saying the same – ‘never again’. Luckily we didn’t have to wait long for the train and I had been smart and booked seats – very grateful for this forward thinking! My brother offered to pick us up from the train station and my dad even phoned asking as well but Louise was confident she could drive us home. Once she had had a snooze on the train of course 🙂
It’s such a shame but I just don’t feel like I really accomplished anything with this challenge. I don’t know if it was because there was no ‘push’ with it or if the weather really did get to us that much but I’m sorry to say it’s not one I will be doing next year. A lot of people I’ve spoken to have all said it’s something they would only ever do once and I can understand this. Many of the walkers who had signed up for Over the moon (52 miles) quit after 26 – this doesn’t surprise me.
On to Tough Mudder though! Just 3 days to go!!