10,000 in bravura performance at MoonWalk
THOUSANDS of women painted the town pink throughout the wee hours of yesterday for what organisers said was the most successful Edinburgh MoonWalk yet.
The 10,000 participants enjoyed a beautiful clear night, perfect for walking 13.1 or 26.2 miles around Scotland's capital city in a bid to raise millions of pounds for breast cancer.
Walkers, including 1,000 men, donned some bizarre and creatively decorated bras to raise awareness of breast cancer as they marched past key city landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, specially lit in pink for the occasion.
Television presenter Lorraine Kelly joined the walkers and opened the event in Inverleith Park with a minute's silence to remember those who have died from breast cancer.
Speaking after the event, she said: "Not only does the MoonWalk help raise awareness and a massive amount of money for breast cancer charities, it is also a deeply moving, hugely enjoyable challenge.
"Crossing that finishing line with fellow walkers – some who have lost loved ones and others who are living with breast cancer – was overwhelming and makes the lack of sleep, blisters and aching limbs well worth it. It was a really great night."
The carnival atmosphere was reflected in the Edinburgh MoonWalk web forum, where participants were posting messages immediately after the event.
One breast cancer survivor, known as Marz on the forum, wrote: "I think I can safely say that tonight was the best night of my life so far. The venue was fantastic, the staff were fantastic and the volunteers were fantastic but most of all we were fantastic as walkers."
Nina Barough, founder and chief executive of the Walk the Walk charity that organises the event, said that it is expected to raise in excess of 3 million for breast cancer treatment and care in Scotland.
"It was fabulous," she said. "We couldn't have had better weather and this morning it's just been glorious to see people coming back into the site to get their medals with big smiles on their faces, then just sitting around on the grass having coffees. It's just been a huge success."
The funds raised from the MoonWalk are set to go to a new 2-3 million Maggie's Cancer Centre in Glasgow, 20 NHS scalp coolers to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy treatment, and 1.5 million for a new ward at the Edinburgh Breast Unit.
10,000 in a giant, snaking carnival of hope
THIS was my third Moonwalk. In year one, my friend Christine met our group at the finish line. She had intended to take part but pulled out when she became ill. She revelled in our stamina and enthusiasm. Today, she is gone – another victim of breast cancer.
The Moonwalk is a 26-mile roller-coaster of emotions and memories. On the surface, it is one giant, snaking, fancy-dress party bouncing across the streets of Scotland's capital, but behind the bejewelled bras and painted faces of so many who take part are untold stories of pain and suffering. As we prepared to set off, it was difficult not to think of this. To think of Christine, to think of my mum, and the countless others who have succumbed.
Before the walk begins, 10,000 women and men join hands to remember those we have loved and lost, but as quickly as the giant, pink, nipple-shaped tent falls silent, it once again rouses into life.
That's the great thing about Moonwalk: it gives you hope. Hope that others are going through the same experiences that you are. Hope that money is being raised. Hope that you are making a difference.
As the walk began, everyone was higher than a push-up bra.
The clapping and cheering made the first seven miles pass so quickly. Then, as we moved into miles 10 to 12, everyone began running low on chat. The whole carnival-esque procession turned into a hushed, snaking plod. As the half mooners (who do 13 miles) peeled off, I don't mind admitting I wanted to follow their B-line to bed too. However, once over halfway, the brain starts to count down the miles to the end and the spirits rally.
As the sun came up, we walked along the seafront on a beautiful morning. Then the home stretch. Done. Eight hours. A marathon achievement.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east