Caroline Hume Marshals Moonwalk
Caroline Hume of our MK office wishes that she had properly read her friend’s email regarding the Playtex Moonwalk 2009 when she received it back in February. If she had then she probably wouldn’t have agreed to her friend’s suggestion that they sign up as volunteers for this event. She then definitely would not have had to get up at 3.45am on Saturday 15th May to drive into Central London, ready to start an 8 hour Sunday morning shift as a marshal at this annual event.
For those of you not familiar with the Moonwalk it is a moonlit walk where walkers walk 26miles (or 13 miles for those walking just half the course) starting out at around 11pm and finishing between 6 and 14 hours later depending on walking speed, tiredness, weather conditions etc. The event is specifically to raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness. Unlike Race for Life events (which are women only) both men and women take part although all walkers must walk proudly displaying their Moonwalk bra.
The walkers put many hours of work into coming up with the most creative take on the simple bra that they are supplied with by the organisers and they make a colourful and interesting sight walking through the streets of London in the small hours of a Saturday night/ Sunday morning.
We arrived at the volunteer registration desk to find very well organised chaos but were supplied with very fetching t-shirts and caps – as you can see from the photo, the t-shirts were of a one size fits everyone variety and were intended to be worn over all of your other clothes. Caroline and friend were then taken to the end of Horseguards Road (this road runs behind Number 10, the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and the MOD) and asked to ensure that walkers stayed on the correct route and also to ensure that the various authorities who need access to this road were not held up by the walkers. Spending the morning dealing with the Police, M15, Paramedics and the Royal Marines was not a problem although the t-shirt and cap outfits were an issue.
When the last walker (now 12 hours into the walk) Sam, made it past their marker at the end of Horseguards Road, Caroline decided to offer some moral support by suggesting that she and her friend walked the rest of the route with her. It took the combined joke telling effort of 6 marshals, significant repetition of the phrase “c’mon you can do it, you’ve come this far” and difficult moments but Sam finished the Moonwalk to huge applause.
This was the 12th London Moonwalk and this year over 15,000 walkers took part. This year's walk has to date raised more than 2.5million pounds for Breast Cancer research and awareness. Without volunteers events such as the Moonwalk could not take place. Caroline and friends will definitely be volunteering again next year and would recommend it. To get involved log onto www.walkthewalk.org.uk and find out more.