26 Jun 2009
I arrived in Edinburgh on Friday afternoon and headed up to the hostel I was staying in during my visit. The Castle Rock Hostel was literally across the road from Edinburgh Castle and a hop, skip and jump away from the Royal Mile. It was an ideal location to base myself for the weekend.
As I was on my own I arranged to meet up some of the others that were doing the MoonWalk on their lonesome for a bite to eat. It was nice being on my own, but also good to meet up and have some company too. Too be honest the last few weeks had been so stressful that it was a miracle I even made it to Edinburgh, let alone plan anything. I was still absolutely crapping myself at the thought of the impending 26.2 miles of hell that I had voluntarily signed up for, but for the time being forgot about that and enjoyed good food and company.
Saturday arrived after a disturbed night of sleep, mainly thanks to chatty drunk Irish girls sharing my room, they were fun though. After a lazy morning I met up with one of the girls from the night before (Debs) and we had a lovely lazy lunch. Then it was back to my room to rest and prepare for long long night ahead! Still not believing what I was getting myself into.
Panic began to kick in as everyone was excitedly talking about the walk and all the training they had done. I didn't think now was the time to confess that the most I had walked was 8 miles of late and that I was going to be sick! So as everyone got more and more excited, I got scared!
In the great big pink city we gathered for pasta, talks from the sponsors and then the dreaded warm up. I can't grapevine to save my life, my brain says left, my leg goes right! so I shuffled further and further away from the warm up zone and felt lost in the crowd. At this point, more than any other, I felt very alone and sorry myself.
I was in the Pink group, so that was the last group to be called to the gate and the excitement was all around as we were herded to the gate ready for the off. The Pink group was about 30-40 minutes behind the lead group and it was slow going through the gate. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle and then I was free from the crowd, well a bit free anyways. Whoops, claps and cheers abound, so much so that you couldn't help but feel part of something special.