Let me start by saying DO IT!! Sign up for now for Shine 2014! I would recommend Shine to anyone who wants to keep fit, have a lot of fun and raise oodles of money for a worthy cause.
It was Friday evening, 24 hours until the event was to take place. My training was complete and all I had to do now was carb-load, keep hydrated and get plenty of rest. I failed on all 3 counts. Oops. I can hear you tutting, but don’t blame me; it was a Friday, ie. the end of the working week!! Dinner in Farringdon turned into a full blown night out in Shoreditch, and feeling slightly unprepared for the challenge that lay ahead of me, I tore my heels off and crawled in to bed at 5am far from hydrated. I got some kip and drank bucket fulls of water (I wouldn’t recommend this technique by the way…), and set to painting my face so that I could shine brightly and sparkle away.
Kitted up and raring to go, the atmosphere when I arrived at Battersea Power Station was electric. 16,000 people wearing neon, glow sticks, tutus and flashing headbands – what a sight for sore eyes! Everyone was snap happy, joyful and seemed genuinely excited for the nights challenge. Would we still be this jubilant 26miles in!?
By 9pm, my friends and I had finally crossed the starting point and were off. Due to the sheer volume of people, we were slow to begin with but finally managed to get a decent pace going around mile 5, and could take in the wonderful sights of London at night. The Albert Bridge looked particularly spectacular. Dotted around the course were lively pit-stops, providing us with toilet breaks, entertainment and much needed fuel for the journey – mmmm lots and lots of jelly babies! The volunteers on hand to direct us, get us across the roads safely and boost morale were fantastic and so much fun; they remained on hand to help and cheer us on all night long, even in the rain.
All of my training, hard work and physiotherapy sessions paid off. Only at mile 24 did I start to feel a little stiff in my hips and I can happily report that I made it the whole way round the course without a single blister! Sadly, this was not the case for many others who had to stop at various benches and bus stops along the way to cover up with plasters and more socks. We spied one lady take her trainers off and then continue to walk in just her socks – I’m not sure Back in Action’s physiotherapists would advocate that!
It was close to 4am when I reached the 26 mile marker – and I’m not going to lie – I could have cried with relief! It had been an exhilarating, but long night and the sugar high from several zillion jelly babies was wearing off. The Shine team, volunteers and spectators at the finish line were fantastic; cheering everyone on and celebrating the night’s achievement with each and every person that crossed that line.
All in all, I had a wonderful night, thoroughly enjoyed my summer of training (the weather being a huge bonus!) with the help of the physiotherapists at Back in Action UK and most importantly raised over £600 for Brain Cancer Research, which will go towards curing cancer for good. I would like to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who sponsored me, your kind words and generosity mean so much and will go so far.
Now I’m back at work, I think I will book myself in with Elissa (our resident sports massage therapist) to soothe my legs and get of course, sign up for next year!! Are you up for the challenge too?
Back in Action UK are available on 02074805976 to help with all of your training and injury questions, or if you would like to ask me any questions tweet me @KerryOPhysio xx