8 May 2016

Walking in the moonlight!

I walk. And I walk a lot. Always have done. Even as a kid I was keen to be out of my push chair and walking where ever I could.
Being a non car driver it also means I walk pretty much everywhere a car or public transport can not be accessed. So early 2015 when I saw a local hospice promoting a Moonlight Walk, I thought 'I can do that' and I signed myself up. The hospice is close to my heart as my cousin as well as a good family friend both used the hospice when they were diagnosed with terminal cancer. They were fully supported right though their illness til the end which such care at the hospice and all for no cost. This gave me the motivation I needed to get my trainers at the ready and walk 10 miles around my local town and surrounding areas at 10 o'clock at night. 
Dan and myself one night in May last year completed the walk in 3 hours. It's not classed in any way as a race, rather than a walk to raise money for the hospice, but being keen walkers we wanted to make good time.

After completing the walk last year and enjoying it so much, I straight away signed up for this years walk. Not being a fortune teller or a weather forecaster, you never know what the weather will be like on the night. But luckily it has been a warm day and continued to be a warm night too.

Dan and myself donned our trainers and me my sport leggings and top and headed off to the local sports centre for the start line. After registering ourselves as arrived with one of the volunteers, we were given our complementary yellow t-shirts with branding of the hospice and it's sponsors across the back and front.
The sports hall was awash with a sea of yellow t-shirt walkers, waiting to get to the start line. After a brief warm up in the car park outside, followed by a count down, we were off in the midst of hundreds of other walks.

This year Dan and myself were more familiar with the route and also we wanted not be in the middle of the pack as the first part of the walk involves an approx 2 mile walk along a footpath. And we discovered last year that we had to go at a slower pace then we preferred at there was so many people walking along a narrow path.

So we headed off and made ourselves nearer the front walkers which allowed us enough space to walk at our own brisk pace. It was a very mild and calm evening. Only a light breeze and a partially cloudy night sky, where we could see a number of stars being more out in the open, and apart from the chatter of our fellow walkers there was not much sound.

After about 50 minutes of walking we made it past the first check point and started to head in the direction towards the town centre. The route then splits into two. One way for the walkers doing the 5 mile walk and the other for the 10 mile walk. This was a good opportunity for Dan and myself to make more ground and head around some of the walkers and get ahead. I was beginning to feel I could easily stop and rest but I the buzz and adrenaline to keep going spurred me on. 
We saw a man walking as part of the walk on his own as we approached the Festival Theatre and as we passed him I asked him 'Are you enjoying the walk?' to which he replied he was but that his socks were rubbung his feet. I asked if he was doing the 5 or 10 mile walk and he said
the 10 mile one. Poor guy!

By this point the streets were pretty deserted, albeit for the occasional steward cheering us on. We could just about make put some other Moonlighters in the far distance, but we weren't sure how many of them there were! We continued walking, or powering walking around the streets on the designated route, and even though I was still feeling quite tired, I was also feeling a bit wired and powered on through.

We then went past a steward who said there was only five other walkers up ahead and with that I sprinted ahead to try and catch them up. Around the 7-8 mile mark we caught up and over took two of the five walkers and eventually caught sight of two more. By this point I was starting to lag, I knew the end wasn't too far away but I was running out low on my reserves. Still I kept marching on, with Dan by my side, or slightly in front and we followed behind the couple in front back towards to leisure centre and the start/finish line.

After 2 hours and 24 minutes, beating our previous record of three hours we arrived back at the leisure centre and resigestered ourselves back fro mthe walk. In the end we were the 4th and 5th people to return first from the 10 mile walk. Not to shabby. Still I reliterate, it wasn't a race. there is
no prize for coming first or forth. Just the acknowledgement we beat our personal best.

We had a quick hot drink, a brief sit down to cool down as we were sweaty messes and to assess my blistered feet. At this point it was about half past midnight and I just wanted my bed. 
We then headed for the ten minute walk back home, to promptly crash out when getting in. 

It was a great walk, every one was in high spirits and I'm sure lot's of money raised for the hospice.

If you would like to ever so generously donate to my just giving page the address is www.justgiving.com/abbiemoonlight and you can find out about
all the fantastic work St Wilfrids Hospice does at their website www.stwh.co.uk.

I'm off to continue resting my weary legs.

Until next time,

Lot's of love,

Abbie xxx

P.S. You can watch Dan's video of the whole walk in a sped up version on youtube :)

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