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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Circle Line Charity Hike

Metro Life Hike - 17 Miles, 27 stations, all Overnight - We finished!

Exhausted - my legs still feel like jelly. My feet are killing me, my sleep patterns are totally screwed, I have blisters but we made it. (see
this entry for why I wanted to do it)

My favourite sight of the day was this, just after we passed Liverpool Street at about 7am - "No stations to go"

No Stations to Go


Other good pictures were getting to Ken's House - The City Hall at about 5.30am and going out onto the balcony to watch the sunrise. Simply magical and almost worth the pain.

Tower Bridge from City Hall

Tower Bridge from City Hall

Sunrise over Tower Bridge from City Hall


Many others will have already blogged (including Ann's excellent mobile phone blogging on route) and Helene and doubtless Neil will. I've started this post early Sunday morning and then went back to bed. Now I'm up for some breakfast, then a quiet, chilled out day and now a final late night blog.

Just noticed that Geoff has already blogged the most surreal moment of the day:

"I didn't go along (I was busy, enjoying an evening of having all my spelling mistakes pointed out to me) and was thus on the last, late train home when Neil calls me up, saying "Guess what! We've just seen you on TV!". Indeed ... as the 1,000 or so people who were taking part all trooped past some office block on the Euston Road, they could see inside the reception area a big widescreen TV, which had been left tuned into Sky Travel overnight, who were at that exact moment repeating for the umm-teenth time the episode of 'The Tube' from 2003 with me in it! "It was like you were with us, but not actually with us" said Neil. Ah bless, I think he missed me."

This all took place just as we were coming up to Great Portland Street and past the pub - The Green Man, where I'd first met Helene at the funjunkie Xmas Bloggers party in 2003.

Here's the face of Channel 4 News Jon Snow at the opening of the hike. We were just behind him for quite a bit of the walk and he's a very languid and cool looking walker as you might imagine:

Channel 4's Jon Snow Speaking at the beginning of the Hike


Big Ben at 4.25am!

Big Ben at 4.25am


St Paul's Cathedral at about 5am!

St Paul's Cathedral at 5am!!!


I was amazed at how cold it was when the sun was rising. I expected it to be colder at 3am or 4am, but I suppose as we were at City Hall for a long time too whereas on the other times were walking "reasonably" briskly hoping to get the bulk of the walk over with.

Sunrise over Canary Wharf


I put on a pair of gloves and scarf at City Hall when we saw daylight again and lent Neil my spare bright blue fleece:

Neil looking cold & grumpy at 6.30am


Here's a shot of some of our team, in our "gorgeous" green T shirts:

Group Shot at Guildhall before leaving


But the colour of the T shirts was the only downer with the organisation of the whole event. Maggie's Centre staff and volunteers were simply, simply brilliant. There were a huge amount of free snacks and drinks at the stops as well as a great opening pasta party and a champagne breakfast at the end, with medals and goody bags for everyone taking part. It was also good that a cancer survivor gave an inspiring talk at the start, to show how Maggie's Centres can really help to provide fantastic support and a unique positive environment that will have a special effect on people's will, morale and spirit.

Speaking of spirit I must thank Neil for keeping me going throughout the walk. The part between the stop at Whiteleys at Bayswater and the next stop at the Treasury near Westminster was a walk of around five miles and we did that between about 3.30am and 4am. Many a time during that stretch, I felt like giving up as I was so knackered and grumpy and must have been shit company. I must have tripped up and stubbed my toes about 10 times in that stretch and Neil's pretty constant chatter and concern really kept me going!

I'd also like to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far and please keep your sponsorship and donations coming in to mine and Mecca's page.


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