LOCAL fundraisers took to the streets of London to help Woking-based breast cancer charity Walk the Walk raise £3.7million at the 20th MoonWalk.
Walkers from in and around the town were among 15,000 women and men who wore decorated bras laden with fringeing and feathers at the Roaring Twenties themed event last Saturday.
Some, dubbed the Half Mooners, walked a half marathon distance of just over 13 miles while the Full Mooners strode out for 26 miles. They set off at 10.30pm with the quickest Half Mooners finishing at 1.30am and others on the road until up to noon on Sunday.
Among the Full Mooners were the Boys Brigade of Chris Harris, Clive Donnison and Andy McWilliam, complete with decorated bras and kilts. They finished in just over seven hours and raised about £1,800.
Chris, a mortgage broker from Send, said: “I was full of blisters but it was fun – there was hardly any rain.” The trio were challenged to do the MooWalk by their wives who had all participated previously, with many friends and family having had cancer diagnoses. Clive said: “We are a big family of friends, so this seemed the sensible thing to do. We have done some training – we’ve walked to the pub and back, twice.”
Andy said that the atmosphere in the MoonWalk City on Clapham Common was like a music festival. “Everyone here is so friendly,” he added. Chris said he was quite keen to do the event next year but Clive and Andy were not so enthusiastic after the exhausting walk. “After a couple of pints they might change their minds,” he said.
Another trio were Woking teacher Karen Cronan and her colleagues Gabriela Crean, from St John’s, and Debbie Aldem, who raised more than £1,000 between them.
Another group with a school link were Halstead Prep School mums Sarah Glanville, Beth Richardson. The decision to do the walk was taken at Beth’s daughter’s birthday party. Sarah, a lawyer from Hook Heath, said she had wanted to take part in the MoonWalk for a long time but her children had been too young for her to train. “My mum was diagnosed and has been treated – there are also too many young people being diagnosed,” she said.
Beth, who lives in Pirbright and Sian, of Woodham, said they had trained along the Basingstoke Canal towpath. “Finding time to train has been difficult,” said Sian, who has three small children. “Our husbands have been very patient.”
Golfing friends Kate King, Vicky Wheeler, Dorte Gray and Nadean Withers also used the towpath for training. The Sutton Green Strollers raised £3,000 and trained for up to 700 miles. Kate said: “We have walked all the main parks in Surrey – we are getting a bit sick of Virginia Water!”
One group not daunted by the night walk were St Peter’s Hospital workers Janet Wright, Susan Mandizha, Mihaela Gladman and Joi Kaundo. The four anaesthetic practitioners said they were used to being on their feet for 24 hours and had done some training. The group finished the Half MoonWalk in about six hours and raised just under £1,000.
“It was tough,” said Janet, of New Haw. “We all ached for a day afterwards. It was definitely worth it – we all worked as a team, supporting each other all the way.”
Walk the Walk Founder and Chief Executive Nina Barough CBE said: “I think our 20th year was certainly marked in style. Our Walkers looked magnificent!
“The energy of everyone coming together before the walk was electric. And even the early morning rain hasn’t really dampened anyone’s spirits. It was the most extraordinary birthday party and it really felt like the end of an era and the beginning of the next part of the story”.
Walk the Walk has raised more than £117 million since 1996, with the money granted either to fund research into breast cancer or to help improve the lives of those with cancer now.
ENTRIES for The MoonWalk London 2018 are now open at walkthewalk.org.