So it's been a whole week since myself and my mum walked around South London wearing our tropical bra's;surrounded by hundreds of other women doing just the same we didn't feel out of place. The aches and pains have subsided but the memories will remain with us.
I have done many charity walks before including several race for life's and the Dorothy house midnight walks, the longest of which was 10k, therefore the challenge of walking a half marathon was a massive one for me. Although my mum has walked the distance before I knew it would also be a massive challenge for her too due to recent health issues. So the physical challenge would be a big one but so would the mental one. My mum is someone who won't walk around in public wearing a strappy vest top and though I have no problem baring my arms (bingo wings included) I do have an issue with the size of my tummy, although I have lost a decent amount of weight I still have more to lose and the people of London are just not ready for the sight of my belly. So despite knowing it would be a huge challenge we signed up anyway!! when the theme was announced as tropical we set to decorating our bra's appropriately, when I say we I mean I helped choose the material but left the sewing to mum :)
We picked some pink material with ice creams on it and used some flowers from a Hawaiian lei to decorate the bra itself.
The 1st July arrived and we left home at 4.30am to get to Swindon in order to catch the bus to London and then walk the mile or so to Battersea park where the walk would begin. As we walked into the park we were greeted by hundreds of women, men and children sporting decorated bra's and tropical outfits. We stripped off our t-shirts and joined the bra wearing people to warm up by the stage. By 10 am we were queueing at the start line waiting for the off, with staggered starts we set off at 10.18. That was it, no turning back now 13.1 miles to go!
I'm not a big fan of London but the route was a great one, it took us past the millennium wheel, Buckingham palace gardens, and past many Londoners and tourists who wondered what on earth was happening when they were suddenly surrounded by all these people dressed in bra's. Though I can't remember fully this is the basic route we took. http://runkeeper.com/user/sharleene/activity/100423197 . I'm sure we will all feature in some tourist photo's and videos in our spectacular outfits. Some of them were cheering us on as we passed, we had hi-fives from a group of German tourists near Buckingham palace, a big issue seller with the brightest of hats on was cheering us all on as we passed him and blowing kisses. Some people were taking no notice of us (presumably they are used to it in London) and others were cheering us on or asking what we were doing. At no point on this walk did I feel embarrassed by my attire, even when the grass skirt was blown around in the wind baring my belly to all! After one toilet stop we returned to the finish line in under 4 hours Amazing!
We would also like to say an absolutely massive THANK YOU to each and every volunteer who helped out at the Sunwalk, the one's collecting bags, answering questions, guiding people on the walk, cheering us on through tunnels, across bridges, helping us cross the busy roads, telling us all what a great job we were doing, handing out water, presenting our medals, handing out more water, banana's and rain macs and generally just keeping us going. Without all of you we would never have made it Thank you :)
Now to beat my longest ever walk, anyone up for the full Moonwalk next year??