Monday, 10 June 2013

Moonwalk Edinbra 2013

We arrive at the largest pink tent in the world.
Preparations begin for the night ahead;
Costumes are put on, and green sparkly makeup applied.
Meanwhile we are listening to drum bands and rock bands,
watching dancers,
learning about what the money raised is spent on, about the research it enables and the improvement in the quality of care for cancer patients.
A nurse gets quite emotional as she talks about the difference it means to her patients.
We get something hot to eat, and a neck and shoulder massage.
There is an emotional minutes silence.
A hug with the person next to you.
Music from the Rock Choir.
"Something inside so Strong" - the words stay in my head, and I sing them quietly to myself later in the night, and they help me up the hill  that is the Royal Mile at mile 23.
A warm up routine to get those muscles working.

Outside of the tent everything is dark and the tent is now decorated with giant glowing "moons".

We line up in our start group, waiting for midnight. It is much colder than everyone had hoped for, the sun of the previous days replaced by a grey day, drizzle and light wind. Clear ponchos are put on over the costumes and everyone rustles expectantly.

Midnight. Off we go, first stop Arthur's seat, up and up we go, there is a sound of gentle chatter, and the rustle of ponchos, but it is eerily quiet, and without any street lights almost totally black, some people are wearing lights, and they glow like Christmas trees in the darkness. We reach the top and see the lights of Edinbra spread out below us, but none of my photos in the dark come out well, and I give up until it gets lighter.
We walk through Edinburgh city centre and on the streets people are still out and about, everyone waves and cheers us on. The Castle is lit up pink for us, it is quite the sight!
Now we are walking through residential streets and it is oh so quiet, but there are houses with bra's hanging the windows, people waving from the ends of their driveways, ribbons and balloons tied to hedges. A child giving out drinks and home baking, a elderly lady waving a bright pink bra. Wonderful. 
As we pass Silverknowes we can see the sea, it's 3.30 am and it's already light. There is a chill wind off the water (gloves on now) and it feels like a long way to go, but there's a disco bus playing music and  cheerful volunteers encouraging us on. "Keep walking. You're doing really well."
There's a group of young lads playing guitar sitting on the wall and encouraging us to dance. At 4am!

4.30 and we see the sun, keep walking.

The light on the water is amazing, and I want to stop and take better photos  but I know if I do I won't start again, so walking and clicking, is the only way.
I start counting down the miles until I can have a cup of tea, and am impossibly excited at mile 20 in Portobello to find a beach side cafe van has opened early specially and is selling teas and coffees at reduced prices and giving away chocolate Brownies. I have never been so happy to buy a cup of tea. 
It warms me up and I gladly get take off the poncho, fed up with the rustling, and we are given oranges and sweeties by a hair salon, who have opened up to let everyone use their toilets. 

As we walk we admire the costumes of all the other walkers, we saw wonder woman and her twin, lots of sequins and feather boas, and the all colours of the rainbow. For some reason we always seemed to end up behind these three, so brightly coloured against the grey skies.
We skirt around the bottom of Holyrood Park, no need to go back up Arthur, but as we walk we pass a group of walkers heading out to do it all again. These are the elite walkers, the Over the Moon walkers, the once round isn't enough, lets do it twice walkers. We applaud them and wonder in awe how they are still smiling.

North Bridge, and we have done the last of the uphills, round the corner is a lady I was waiting to see, diagnosed with breast cancer 12 years ago she has supported the moonwalk for the last  few years, holding up a sign that says "thank you from people like me", this is her story.  She had promised me a hug on the walk the walk forum, and I walked over that bridge to get my  hug I had to try really hard not to cry. I was stiff and tired and ready for a sit down, but she was a reminder me of the reason we were there, and I really had nothing to complain about. 
and it was a good hug.

The next two miles were filled with the most cheerful volunteers possible,  

with the most fantastic signs.

I was ever so pleased to see this one!

and finally the finish line.

and a medal.

I may never take it off.


  1. Fantastic - your achievement and your write up! Well done you xx

  2. Well done, quite and achievement and an experience.

  3. Good grief Tess you're making me cry here. I feel like I've done the walk with you (on my sofa). Well blooming done!

  4. That was very emotional and a HUGE WELL DONE! x

  5. Blinking tears away here, you wonderful person. So proud of you xxxx

  6. Well done, Tess. You so deserved that big hug! Beautifully and movingly written post.
    Helen x

  7. What a beautiful and moving post. I am crying.

  8. oh wow... how wonderful!!

    Really moving and well done you.

  9. awesome! congrats! this is so great.

  10. Oh Tess, well done! You've made me go all teary.

  11. Wow, Tess! Congratulations!
    I don't think you should ever take your medal off :-)
    The bit about the lady with the sign saying "thank you" brought tears to my eyes .... I feel so humble reading that. Well done, and I hope you're still glowing with achievement and joy!
    Happy days to you
    Josie Crafter
    Thanks for Visiting my blog and for your comment

  12. What an awesome experience- Crying here to. well done :)

    1. thank you - and I'm thinking that this post clearly needed a "tissues required warning" xxx

  13. Wow -- that's awesome! Like everyone else, the lady with the hug brought tears to my eyes. Now I want to do it -- what a great place to have a long walk!

  14. Hello! What an achievement, you must be really proud of yourself. I love the mermaid costume. Have you done the walk before and would you do it again? xx

    1. I haven't done it before but I will Definitely do it again. Anyone want to join me?

  15. Wow how amazing Tess, huge congratulations and what a wonderful thing you did.
    Brought a tear to my eyes and yes, the Mermaid costume is fabulous.
    The hot cup of tea would have been a welcome relief and to be able to see the finish line. Well done!

    Happy week

  16. Awesomeness and total respect to you Tess, what a huge achievement and still standing at the end of it. And you are too cool, standing in the street showing off your bra .. I bet you wouldn't have done that the next day!!!!

    1. astonishingly there were enough other women in their bra's that it felt normal to be wearing one!

  17. I'm so late with my good wishes but the hugest well done from me too. You are awesome, just like the sign says. And thank you from me too, on behalf of people like my Mum x

  18. And I'm even later! But HUGE congrats - what an achievement. Hope you've found plenty of time this week to relax?


  19. VERY well done, I hope you are now well rested
    Twiggy x

  20. I could just cry--this is sooo AMAZING! Well, done Tess and everyone. I love the sense of fun you gave to an important occasion. (And who couldn't love the pink tent, balloons, etc. ;o) Hope you resting your trotters well now. ((HUGS))

  21. What an exciting post! Well done. A great achievement.

  22. Brilliant! A lovely, moving account of what you did. Good on ya! xCathy


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