Shine Night Walk

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

I participated in a 10k walk for Cancer Research. Yes, me. Me who hasn't gone for a walk since the original lockdown when everyone was 10,000 steps per day crazy. In fact, the only thing I exercise now is my right to be out of shape. But ahead I went and signed up on the Cancer Research website with the walk two weeks around the corner. It was a mere £10 fee to participate.

Within the next few days, I received in the post everything I needed to take part including a Shine Night Walk t-shirt, map of the route, sponsor sign-up sheet and information pamphlet. This felt very official.

My slot on the day was 7pm. We were hesitant whether to go or not as the forecast was heavy rain all evening so going out was asking to get ill but at the last minute, we decided to put on our big girl shoes and just go for it. When I say last minute, I mean last minute. We completely missed the 7pm slot BUT we were able to join on to the 7.20pm slot.

When we arrived, the atmosphere was absolutely electric when I turned up. The music was loud and upbeat. The host, on a very big centre stage, was fun and lively. Let's just say, I heard all the commotion from a mile away. People had come along in groups with their family and friends, dressed to the nines in fancy dress. I was disappointed I had not considered this... there's nothing I would have liked more than to whack on a tutu, some face paint and bright arm bands.

But amongst this light-hearted dress up, everyone had on the back of their t-shirt a sticker that stated 'I am walking for...' which they had completed with their very own personal reason. Some were walking for family members battling cancer, some were walking for family members who had passed away and some had said they were walking 'for all of us'. Bottom line, it really bought to home the real, heart touching reason we were all here tonight amongst all the cheerful vibes.

We got in line to start the race with the host on stage giving us unlimited encouragement. And after 2, 3, 1... off we went!

The route was all through central Birmingham. We started at Victoria Square, and went through to Jewellery Quarter, Millennium Point, New Street, Mailbox, Broad Street, Brindley Place until finally ending up back at Victoria Square.

Along the route, there were volunteers guiding us and offering their support which added to the whole atmosphere. There were also markers at every km stating how many km we had completed which many people took as a picture opportunity. At the mid way point, there was an opportunity to rest and grab a free water bottle or snack.

Me, auntie and uncle soon overtook our fellow walkers and by default led the walk. It was by no means a race, but I have realised everyone in my family walks very fast. I only realised this when I started going on walks with other people, such as my husband, that I actually had to consciously slow down for them to keep up. It's not even like I have more stamina, I just walk very fast. I read somewhere this indicates someone is unhappy, I would have preferred mysterious or busy.

Anyho, this move to the front meant that our fellow walkers were looking to us to lead the way where to go. This was real responsibility so when another trio took the lead, we gladly stepped back. Although now our challenge was to keep up with them so we could see where they were going because they were SUPER fast. Like, Flash's distant half cousin fast.

2km in is when it first dawned on me how much 10k is. Call me naïve, but I thought this walk would take an hour tops. At the 2km marker, I thought I had done at least just under half way so it was a reality check and I realised in that instance what I signed up for. I mean 10km is not so much, don't get me wrong, but when you are just expecting a brisk 1 hour walk then back home to have your dinner, it was a gulp moment for me realising the full extent. Still it was all in the name of charity and for this reason, it made the walk seem like a breeze. This reminder was all I needed to keep my energy levels and motivation high. In fact I would do the walk ten times over is that's what got the donations in.

The walk was also a very good tour of Birmingham. Despite living in Birmingham most of my life, I had never spent much time at the Jewellery Quarter or Millennium point so I was able to eye up these locations whilst I was there and decided I would head back there to soon. Jewellery Quarter has a lot of independent cafes and shops to try, Millennium point was very scenic and peaceful. We then passed the beautiful Canals in Brindley place and on to Broad street where Saturday night was in full swing. It was no doubt buzzing and the crowd there egged us on all the more. Thanks, drunken Matt!

Soon, the finish line was in sight and everyone getting in their finish line pictures with a shared look of euphoria on their faces.

We finished the walk in just over 2 hours, passing the finish line after stopping for a quick selfie. We all got our own medals and there was even an opportunity to have them engraved. All in all, this experience was honestly one of the best natural highs. All that adrenaline and dopamine pumping, all for an amazing cause. Plus, I went home and slept like a baby. Win, win, win!

P.S it did not rain all evening, not one bit.

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