It was held at Prospect Park and over 6000 women dressed in Pink to run for loved ones in the mini 48 hour Monsoon we had!
I attracted a fair bit of attention from a lot of visitors and participants - dressed in my Fibroduck suit with a pink tutu, pink vest and Duck Umbrella! It was a great icebreaker to chat to so many wonderful people. I quickly got over my initial fretting and grumbling of being cold, wet and stiffening up whilst standing out on my marshal post, as I saw reminders of what the race was for. Many women there were either starting or finishing treatment for cancer, or in remission. One lady had just had her first cancer operation and was determined to still take part. There were also the beautiful statements on people's backs, some with photos, of why and who they were racing for. Even as I write this I am feeling quite overwhelmed with emotion, with goosebumps, as I was on that day reading the statements.
I had also been admonishing myself for not being able to keep up my training, especially as I am due to do a 10km race for life at Clapham 30th July. But there were all shapes,sizes,fitness levels taking part this weekend that I realised its not about completing the event as a race, with personal best times, it's about the bonding and participation of being in such an event. It's raising awareness as well as raising funds. It rained, oh boy did it rain! But all you could see were the sea of smiles. Those girls and women were the true rays of sunshine that weekend.
I had been placed by the Duck Pond, at the bottom of a steep spurt of a hill. My mission was to get everyone up the hill safely and with pride at their effort. My mission was to hear those smiles and giggles as they dug deep to run, walk, slide up that hill. I whooped my Jessie (Toystory 2) "Wahoohoo" and jokingly welcomed all to "Killamanjaro". I encouraged everyone up letting them know they were nearly three-quarters of the way around and after this little hill they were on the flat homeward stretch. With laughs, smiles, enthusiasm and gusto you could see everyone enjoy my commentary and push themselves to the top of that glorious peak! I was giving to them, what so many other Marshalls of other events, have done for me.. Loud Noisy Wild Abandonment Encouragment. This event wasn't about my own discomfort of standing in the rain for 2 days but making sure the ladies of Reading had a memorable day, as a tribute to why they were there, and hopefully come back again next year.
Quote of the day - had to be when my soaked beak was pulling my head/hood over my face thus making vision and hearing difficult. I couldn't hear a man asking me a question. "Excuse me whilst I ring out my beak then I can hear you properly" had him rolling around in stitches. I really must engage brain before I quack!
Thankfully the fabric of the duck suit, and the chocolate fish merino clothing underneath did not get water logged and I did stay relatively warm. As did the secret stash of Nakd bars and Hot chocolate!
There are lots of photos from the day and can be found here :-
Reading Evening Post