26 Sep Shine Walk 2017: Action PR Light up the Night for Cancer Research
On Saturday night the Action PR team once again took on the Shine Walk. Run by Cancer Research and sponsored by Everyone Active, the Shine Walk sees thousands of people from all over the country come together to walk a full or half marathon through the streets of London at night, all to raise money for Cancer Research. Five brave members of the Action team volunteered for the walk, and they share their unique experiences of the event below.
If it wasn’t the flashing wristbands or UV paint of 14,000 walkers that lit up London on Saturday night, it would have been the contagious energy and enthusiasm of every single person involved with the Shine Walk. I thought the event was brilliant and although I wasn’t able to complete the half marathon because of an ongoing injury (boo!), I’m so glad I got to be a part for the seven miles I was. I got chatting to loads of people along the way who shared their stories of why they were there and we got a few high fives from punters outside the pubs en route. I’m sure I even saw Shine Walkers take a quick pit stop for a passing pint…
The whole experience was incredibly uplifting, and the positivity that was still able to shine through from all these people that have been affected by such a god-awful illness was inspiring. Huge kudos to every single participant and to knowing that we’ve all been involved in yet another big leap towards nailing cancer once and for all!
Katie Brown, Junior Account Executive
Having taken part in the Shine Walk last year, I knew what to expect. But one thing I’d forgotten was how much pain my feet would be in the next day.
This year we actually got to start the race. It was a great experience and meant our group could set the pace. The downside of being so far in front however, was that we sometimes felt quite on our own. It wasn’t until we hit the first pit stop at St. Paul’s Cathedral that I felt part of something bigger.
The Shine Walk holds real sentimental value for me. Last year I was raising money for a dear family friend who passed away from pancreatic cancer, and this year I sadly received news that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I certainly had them both in my mind as inspiration when my feet started to hurt. The event was extremely well organised and the volunteers cheering everyone round the course were fantastic. In fact, I think they had a harder job keeping everyone going throughout the night. Not sure I could keep up the same level of enthusiasm!
Ellen Rowles, Account Manager
Admittedly, I was little apprehensive for the Shine Walk. Back in July, when our team first discussed the event, I enthusiastically volunteered to do the full marathon walk. I had just run a marathon. Surely, I could walk one, right?
Upon arrival, my anxiety completely disappeared. I was immediately buoyed by the colourful atmosphere and energy of the event. I was also delighted with my marathon team which consisted of my colleague Charlie and four interesting runners and endurance athletes. In fact, one of our team members had completed his first Tough Mudder that afternoon!
The route meandered through London’s streets, passing many historic landmarks. I’m not much of a night owl these days, so it was interesting to watch London’s nightlife unfold around us. We made great use of every pit stop, manned by dozens of energetic volunteers handing out sugary treats, water and coffee. In addition to frequent selfies and photo breaks, the route remained open to traffic which sometimes made it seem as if we were just out for a casual stroll around London. No wonder it took us 9 hours, 19 minutes and 40 seconds to finish the walk!
Amazingly, our group stayed together for the full 26.2 miles. I didn’t know these guys at 7pm when we met, but by 6am the next morning, they felt like lifelong friends. A big thank you to Charlie, Edward, Martin, Paul and Richard for being an amazing team. A sincerely challenging event was made significantly better with great company.
Miranda Markham, Head of Industry
I opted for the full marathon. I love sleep more than anything so it takes a lot to convince me to give up a full night of it. Obviously, I was more than happy to do so for such a great cause. Having walked a fair few marathon distances before, mostly through difficult terrain with a heavy backpack on, I felt fully prepared for the physical challenge of a stroll round London. But my arrogance was short-lived. I hadn’t considered how tough it would be to walk through an entire night on no sleep.
The first half of the walk was a lot of fun – we had a great team and the regular pit stops providing water and snacks were a real mood boost. But by mile 15 I was falling asleep on my feet. The next few miles were something of a blur, my only clear memory being the moment I stopped to get a selfie with Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing as he emerged from a Kensington nightclub. Finally stumbling past the 20-mile marker gave me a much-needed spur of energy that carried me right through to the end. The view of London from Blackfriars Bridge, the city backlit by the rising sun, was astounding. What a way to finish!
Charlie Knight, Digital Marketing Manager
This was my second Shine Walk and still not brave enough to take on the marathon distance – I value my sleep too much – I lined up at the start for the half. We were lucky enough to be the very first to cross the line which turned out to be quite a different experience to last year’s walk. Rather than being surrounded by thousands of people, we led the charge from the start, allowing us to set our own pace and enjoy uninterrupted views of London at night.
It was an easy-going and enjoyable walk until about mile 10 when achy legs started to kick in. I had a little grumble to one of my team mates, only to look up and see one of the ‘I’m walking for…’ signs attached to the person in front, saying ‘Eva 2014 – 2017’
My daughter was born in 2014. It’s just an unthinkable situation. Life can be so harsh.
I felt goosebumps on my skin and my eyes well up. I forgot about my aching legs and remembered why Shine is such an important and valuable event, and with that resolve, pushed on to the end without any more complaining.
Cheryl Hersey, Director
Check out this brilliant highlights video from the Shine Walk by running blogger Richard Bazeley: