Monday, 27 October 2008

Did It!


My poor feet will never be the same again - but despite the best efforts of the weather to scupper the charity walk, we all made it. Eventually... The rain was biblical, the wind was maniacal, the sky was dark, the route was underwater - but we did it!!!


Looking like a trail of Patagonian refugees, muffled in every type of waterproof clothing invented, we trudged and sploshed and giggled our way round the University Parks. It was fantastic fun - honest. There were sixteen of us in our group and between us we'd raised just under £3,000 in sponsorship - so again, a massive and heartfelt thank you to everyone who was kind enough to sponsor me - I really, really appreciate it. I now have a certificate to say that I managed to walk 10 kilometers (the minimum was 3 and we just kept going until our feet and the rain demanded that enough was enough...).


There were several hundred people taking part, and overall the sum raised yesterday was a phenomenal £50,000 - and we're really, really close to the target now. Apparently, once the relatives' area is up and running, any money left over is being spent on developing and landscaping the centre's gardens, for patients and visitors - to make the whole awful process of being there just a little more bearable. The centre for cancer excellence will be officially opened next month - and I'm really proud to have been a little part of making it happen. We're carrying on with the fund-raising, of course, but for me, this walk was a really big step in every sense of the word.


I did take some pics with my birthday camera but sadly have - um - mislaid the charger and the battery's flat and I can't upload them. As they'll probably be a series of dark, dank trees and heavily-muffled dripping trudgers this might not be a bad thing...


And yes, I cried. I was fine until I read the "memory cards" on everyone's chests. Far, far too much loss and sadness there. Particularly heartbreaking were three very young and pretty teenage girls all walking for "my lovely, darling mum", their cards covered in hearts and kisses... I was in bits.


While I was walking, I thought a lot about everyone who has told me they'd lost someone to cancer, and especially my dearly-missed Pat and Ali and Win and Paul and pa-in-law - and had a feeling they'd be pleased and proud but also, knowing them, chuckling a lot at my saturated discomfort - especially at my hair which doesn't take well to being rained on and wouldn't have looked out of place on Jimi Hendrix...


The only casualty was a bloke who ignored all the health and safety briefings (and the very odd mass-walker warm-up with a mad Green Goddess look-alike) and decided to run the course. He was dressed in the latest Lycra running gear, and some very expensive sports shoes - and he came a proper purler on the slippery ground, rolling down a small incline and ending up looking like a very thin mud-wrestler. After we'd helped him to his feet (he was sooo gutted and as mad as a wet hen), Elle said he looked just like the Pepperami advert...


We got home mid-afternoon, and ignoring the frizzed-out hair and aching feet, dried out by the fire with hot chocolate and crumpets (the pedometer said I'd used an amazing 914 calories so this seemed okay) - and all said we'd do it again - but probably not this week!!!


Thanks again to everyone who sponsored me, supported me, and sent lovely messages. I really hope that we've helped in some small way.


Now on with Moonshine. Yes, really....

10 comments:

Jan Jones said...

Glad it went well, Chris. So sad, but so uplifting too.

Money raised sounds incredible!

Christina Jones said...

Thanks Jan - for all your support. Very much appreciated. And yes, the money raised was way beyond our expectations.

Debs said...

Well done all of you that's an incredible distance and amount of sponsorship. I love the sound of the crumpets and hot chocolate afterwards too.

Those memory cards get me everytime too. It's so sad to think that so many people are missing loved ones.

Pat Posner said...

WELL DONE to you and your fellow walkers. It must have been so emotional reading the 'memory cards' - reading your post made me cry (I lost my Dad, Auntie, Uncle and three good friends to cancer).

The overall sum raised is amazing!

xxPat

Christina Jones said...

debs - many thanks for your fantastic support. Yes, there were lots of tears - but loads of laughter too. Hopefully, next time the weather will be a bit kinder to us - although the hot choc and crumpets were a great way of thawing/drying out!

Thanks so much pat - for everything. Sorry to make you remember and cry - it was really bitter-sweet yesterday because everyone was there for the same reason and it really did bring us all together.

Mummy said...

Well done Chris, I'm glad you managed to go ahead, despite the bad weather. 10K is a great achivement :)

The memory cards always have me in tears too....in fact they are the main reason I haven't done the race for life so far.. I've donated but I can't bring myself to wear one of those cards yet.

The hot chocolate and crumpets sound delicious! Mmmmm

Christina Jones said...

thanks mummy - my feet certainly know I did 10k today! Don't push yourself to do the race for life - you'll know when it feels right for you. Seeing other people so upset and reading the cards isn't what you need right now - it's too raw. One day it'll be okay - promise.

Margaret McDonagh said...

I am SO proud of you. Many congratulations on a fabulous achievement - and what an amazing amount of money raised. It's brilliant. And you are all troopers to carry on in the face of such hideous weather and awful discomfort. Well earned hot chocolate at the end! I hope you are not aching too much after all your efforts.

Good luck with Moonshine - I'm panicking as Deadline-Day looms!

Lots of love,
Mags xxx

womagwriter said...

Well done! Funny, I've just subbed a story based around a cancer-charity fun run... Never done one myself but intend to, next year. The memory cards choke me up, too.

Christina Jones said...

mags - thank you - I know you were with me in spirit. And honestly it was fun - and no after effects at all. Good luck with the deadline. I've now got 8 weeks to write the remaining - er - 100,000 words... ouch!

womag - thank you - and a great idea for a story, fantastic - I hope it's an instant hit - it should ring bells with lots of people. Funny, because I was people-watching all the time I walked (I don't think I could actually RUN one of these things - but you never know) and there was so much stuff going on - it was like a mini soap opera and a brilliant source of inspiration.