Pink Ribbon Walk 2011

Yesterday mum and I completed the Pink Ribbon Walk in Petworth, raising money for Breast Cancer Care.  We signed up back in January to give ourselves plenty of time to raise the minimum sponsorship of £175 each which seemed like a large target to reach.  However, we have been absolutely overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and managed to almost double our target, raising nearly £800 including Gift Aid.

Getting ready to walkWe arrived at Petworth around 10.45 am yesterday to give ourselves time to check in and get prepared.  The weather kept changing its mind and we were threatened with a couple of rain showers.  While we had hoped it would be dry, we didn’t want it to be too hot as knew that would make the walk harder.  When I woke up in the morning there were clear blue skies so I decided to risk crop trousers with the pink t-shirt, and take along a sweater and the light easy pack poncho mum had managed to buy us both.  In the end we didn’t need either as the weather was a mix of cloud and sunshine, with only a few specs of rain that didn’t even warrant a second thought.

On arrival we went and logged ourselves in, and had a quick look around the marquees that were laid out, decked in pink balloons before settling down to wait for the start.  Dan Mills from Heart radio station was wandering around chatting to people about why they were doing the walk and generally there was a friendly atmosphere.

Andrea McLean's doggy ready to do the walkAt 11.45 we were all called over to the main stage area where Dan Mills welcomed everyone to the event and then introduced the Head of Breast Cancer Care.  She thanked everyone for taking part and explained more about the cause and where the money went.  We were also introduced to our celebrity for the walk, Andrea McLean, from Loose Women.  Andrea again welcomed everyone and told us she was doing the walk with her dog – he was nicely decked out in his own pink t-shirt like the rest of us!  Finally, Diana Moran, aka the Green Goddess, came on stage to give us a quick warm up before the kick off.

As the clock turned 12 the event started and we all surged, like a giant pink snake, up the hillside out of Petworth.  Mum and I had deliberately positioned ourselves near the front so as to get a good start.  The first part of the walk took us in a circular route towards Lodsworth.  It was reasonably easy going through woodland and down a few lanes, with most hills being fairly gradual.  Our first official rest stop was at the top of the first hill at about 3 miles where we were greeted with water and fresh cut oranges.

Leaving PetworthThe route continued to the second rest stop at about 5.5 miles in Lodsworth village.  Luckily mum and I got here early ahead of many crowds so there wasn’t too long to wait for the toilets!  We were given more fruit and water, and some rather tasty Eat Natural bars for an energy boost.  We were surprised to find the third rest stop only another mile ahead, so we didn’t stop at that one. 

After the sixth mile the terrain changed and we were suddenly faced with some large and steep hills which were really hard going.  Some of the path through the trees was also quite slippy with mud.  So the seventh and eighth miles were really hard going and we soon began to feel our legs beginning to stiffen and cramp.  We were quite grateful to find some more marshalls with water at the top of one of hills.

Helena and Sue, Pink Walk 2011Mile eight to nine took us out over the top of the hill and rewarded us with some stunning views across Petworth park, and at last our final destination was in sight.  Before we could reach it though we had a steep descent which felt almost as hard on our legs and knees as the incline had.  Gradually the route flattened out and we could begin to hear the supporters on the finish line cheering everyone on.  It seemed like a long last mile, as we could see the end but had to turn the other way to go around the outside of the lake.

we finally crossed the finish line after 3 hours and 20 minues and were presented with our medals and a voucher for our free barbeque.  However, the first thing on our mind was to head over to the massage tent for a free massage to help loosen our calves, which by now were feeling rather painful! 

We both feel really proud that we took part and raised lots of money for such a good cause. 

More photographs from the day on my Flickr set.

With our medals

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