Monday, May 19, 2008

Moonwalk Diary - Part Two

Sunday morning, 7.15am. We've been walking over seven hours when we get the phonecalls to tell us that our partners are waiting for us - at least we've got a lift home. I start to have fantasies about bacon sandwiches and cups of tea. Possibly the worse part of the walk is when we re-enter Hyde Park, nearly twelve hours after we first arrived. We can glimpse the pink tent across the park but have to walk round the outside for two miles before we cross the finish line.

Bemused tourists stare at us. Children wait along the edges and then whoop 'Mummy' as if they've seen a celebrity. I'm crying again. A banner held up by a middle aged couple just reads: 'Thank you'. It's hard not to think of who they must have lost to cancer. Bloody, bloody tears.

Outside Buckingham Palace, we see two of our partners in the crowd. I'm so dazed I can hardly recognise them. We stop and have our photographs taken, and almost skittishly, show off our decorated bras that have been hidden under warm fleeces for most of the walk. It's the first and last time I expose myself to the Queen.

And then at last, at last, it's almost like a mirage, but we finally see the end:

I'm going to say it myself but it's a big achievement and I'm so proud. Not just for the walking through the night and surviving 26.2 miles on our feet to win our medals ...

... but most of all, when we hoped to raise £500, as a team we actually managed well over £1,000 - and, hint hint, you're not too late to sponsor us. The page will be up for at least another week. All the money raised from the night is going specifically to buy machines that will allow those undergoing chemotherapy treatment to keep their hair.

(And those of you - you know who you are - who only promised to sponsor if they got to see pictures of me in my bra, you are very very sad but I never renege on my word. Email me. I promise not to humiliate you publicly - oh lordie, I think I just have, haven't I????)

It sounds cheesy, lots about the Moonwalk could sound cheesy, but it was a joyful, painful, but most of all life-affirming evening. There was a moment before we set off when I looked round the room and had a Shania Twain moment and was completely and utterly overtaken by just how proud I am to be a woman. Although special kudos to the men taking part. Your bras looked lovely too!

And most of all, a HUGE thanks to Nina Barough CBE, founder of the Moonwalk. It was an amazingly well organised and incredible evening. We can't have been the only ones wishing Nina would stand for PM and show everyone how it can be done...


SueG said...

I said it before and I'll say it again....fantastic! What I didn't say is that my younger sister had breast cancer at age 40. But now, 8 years on, she's fine. So, I've always followed and supported this research, but also assumed I could never do the walk myself. You're an inspiration! xo

Sarah Salway said...

Oh Sue, thanks for sharing that. And so pleased your sister is fine now.

womagwriter said...

Well done Sarah, great achievement! One of my oldest friends was on the Moonwalk too - girl called Jo, did you see her? ;-)

I sponsored her, but feel free to consider half what I sent her, yours.

Well done again. Will you do it next year?