Saturday, 19 May 2012

What I did last Saturday

This time last Saturday I was getting ready to travel to London, leaving hubby to look after our three tinys, to spend Saturday night awake not clubbing or partying but standing up being a route marshal at zone 13.  At this point I did not know what this would mean or what was expected of me.  What I was about to be part of is an amazing event held once a year at Hyde park by the incredible people of walk the walk I was to be part of the moonwalk, (they hold other moonwalks in Edinburgh & Iceland, plus a sunwalk in Hyde park in the summer).

This is an important charity to me as I lost my aunt/god mother to breast cancer some years ago, earlier this year I had a conversation with a friend that we all dread to have, yes my friend phoned to say she had found a lump in her breast and it was cancer.  After spending sometime crying and thinking why me again, I did not want to lose someone else to cancer, I gave myself a good firm talking to, that I was not suffering from cancer and yes I know my friend had a hard road ahead of her to walk, I could not help her by crying or thinking of what if’s, what I could do in my small way was to walk the moonwalk and raise some money for this amazing charity.  Unfortunately by this time both the full and half moonwalks where full, so I decided to support those that were walking by becoming a volunteer and making a pact with myself to walk the three land challenge next year (the three land challenge involves walking a full moonwalk in London, Edinburgh and Iceland), if my friend Mrs R could undergo her treatment then I could train for three moonwalks.  

So Saturday evening saw me in Bedford train station, with my backpack packed with all the items recommended in the volunteer’s handbook, looking around the station I started to spot white (full moonwalk) and pink (half moonwalk) caps being worn or carried by other ladies also waiting to travel to Hyde park.   Little did I know at that moment of the sight I would see once on the bus from St Pancras station up to Hyde park, hundreds of woman and men walking along happily heading to Hyde park.  Then I spotted the big and I mean huge pink walk the walk marquee, I found where us volunteers where to sign in and get our bright green t-shirts’ with a black bra mortify printed on the front and out bright green caps with “the crew – moonwalk” printed on the front. 

I grabbed the first of many cups of coffee I would drink though out the night, and then went to wait by zone 13’s marshalling point.  Soon enough I was joined by other ladies who would be marshalling alongside me (out team had only one man in it, our team leader, who would spend that Saturday evening walking between each of the marshalling points in our zone making sure we were all right and doing our job).  We had a bit of a wait till our coach would take us it turns out to our zone, so a group of us went off to explore the huge pink marquee, I was amazed by the amount of woman and men that was inside the marquee listening to a rock and roll band, eating supper, getting temporary tattoos, generally relaxing before the night of walking ahead of them.  Hundreds no thousands (17,000 in fact) woman and men mainly wearing bra’s, it is a sight I will remember forever, it was just incredible.  After some of my group got a tattoo each, we went in search of more coffee and see who else would be in our team.  When we got back, we found out team leader Mark and Lucy where waiting for us, we had a safety talk and what our night ahead would entail, we then had a comfort break and supper.  Supper for us volunteers was potato soup and bread, sandwiches, biscuits and fruit and lots of tea and coffee.  We where then lead off to our coach pick up point. 

The coach was to take us to Chelsea Bridge and Battersea park,  I was stationed with Doreen, lynn and Jane our job for the night was to man a pedestrian crossing, making sure no walkers walked out into the oncoming traffic and to direct them into Battersea park, where the route continued and they would also find water and loos.  We were in zone 13 which equalled mile 13, our first walker power walked passed up at 1.15am, first the walkers came in 1’s and 2’s then in slightly larger groups then oh my, in their hundreds, we clapped each walker as they came across the crossing, congratulating them on doing so well getting this far, half way and directed them through to the park, telling them that water and loos would be found in the park.  At 6am our last walker came passed us, by this time the sun was well and truly risen and all had to do now was make sure no litter was left behind and wait for the coach back to Hyde park.  We got on the talking about the night we had, did we spot any celebrities, and the answer to that ....... no but I did get heckled for saying “well done ladies if you go though the park you will find loos and water!” and they reply I got “so you are taking us for a walk in the park!”  Yes that stopped me in my tracks and I did laugh and so did the ladies in that group and my only reply was “yes!”

Once off the coach we all said our “goodbyes” and made our way off in different directions, me to my train and home, thinking next year 3LC.

Was in an amazing night yes, was in worth it, yes.  All I can say is either try and do a moonwalk or help those that are walking, the volunteers don’t get a medal for volunteering, it just feels like you do every time someone walks passed you and says “thank you”.


  1. wow what a wonderful thing to be part of. i hope your friend is going ok with her treatments etc and will be well soon.

  2. Thank you so much, you all give us so much encouragement to keep going and you must have clapped until your hands hurt, and you all looked so cold. It's such a boost every time someone says "Well done". Thank you for being there. I hope things turn out well for your friend, I know how it feels, it happened to my best friend. xxx

  3. You were all amazing with your constant support and advice. It must have felt like such a long night too by the time everyone had made it to the finish line! Thank you so much xxx

  4. Ooh I remember you...thankyou and indeed all the voluteers for cheering, clapping and keeping us safe. Heartfelt prayers to your friend! xxx

  5. I remember you at the pedestrian crossing, I have previously walked 2 half moons and last Saturday completed the full moon. I am also from Bedford, many thanks for all your support and best of luck for next year.