Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walk the Walk America. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Saturday evening started off much like every other evening – dinner, bath and TV for the kids before winding them down for bedtime with a book or two. However, instead of changing into my pajamas and relaxing for the rest of the evening, Ed and I got ready to walk 13.1 miles overnight as part of the inaugural MoonWalk NYC in support of Walk the Walk America and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Breast Examination Center in Harlem.
We were among approximately 1,500 people who came out to walk all night – either a half-marathon (13.1 miles) or a full marathon distance (26.2 miles) across Manhattan. We all came together to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. It was an incredible evening and event, definitely a unique experience.
From the Statue of Liberty bras to super heroes costumes to bras decorated with blinking lights, the bras and outfits were amazing. You could tell that there was a lot of thought and care that went into creating the perfect MoonWalk outfit. I kind of felt like a slacker with my DIY bra!
We drove to Randall’s Island where the event started and arrived with plenty of time to enjoy the festivities. There was a large tent set up with music, entertainment, booths featuring sponsors such as Maidenform, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Crunch, KIND and others.
They served snacks and a pre-event dinner. One of the coolest acts was an extreme pogo team Xpogo – as in pogo sticks. These three men – decked out in super sparkly bras – bounced sky high and performs crazy flips, turns and jumps.
Brandi Chastain, retired U.S. professional soccer star who famously scored the game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup and then took off her shirt to her sports bra, spoke and shared why breast cancer is an issue close to her hear. She then recreated her infamous moment and took off her shirt to reveal her red, white and blue decorated bra and encouraged those who were still donning a t-shirt to do the same.
Ed and I sat around on the astroturf field outside of the tent, just hanging out until the tent started at 10:30pm. As we were waiting, I had some nervous energy to burn off and I had a sudden urge to try to do a handstand. So I did.
Normally, I will only attempt a handstand or an inversion if I have the safety of a wall behind me. But you know what happened? I stuck a handstand without a wall for the first time. It’s still a huge work in progress for me but I wasn’t scared. I’m not scared of inversions anymore.
Pretty soon, it was time for the walk to officially start. The route would take us around Randall’s Island, across a footbridge to Manhattan and then down south along the East River path. For the half-marathon route, we made our way west across 57th Street all the way to West End Avenue. We then walked north along Riverside Park until 110th Street where we made our way east and back towards Randall’s Island.
A marching band warmed up the crowd and we counted down to the official start. It was inspiring to see this huge wave of women and men flood across the starting line. Everyone couldn’t wait to get the walk started.
It was a beautiful and clear evening. Slightly cooler than it had been the past couple of days although still slightly humid. We got to visit parts of the city that we have never been to and we walked through neighborhoods that we haven’t visited in a long time. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to do an all-night walk and see the city at a time that I’m usually asleep.
As we walked along the East River, cars honked at us, surely amused by the sight of a thousand plus women and men walking in decorated bras late at night. As we walked along the sidewalks into more populated sections of the city, we got a few looks and questions about what we were doing. There were also a good number of people who simply ignored us, as if seeing people walking around in their bras is an every evening experience.
Even though I took a nap or two in the afternoon, I was still pretty tired during the event. And walking? Walking is tough! I think that I underestimated the training and endurance needed for the event. I assumed that I would be OK since I ran. And I was…mostly. I’m pretty sore and tired today.
However, this medal was worth it. The experience was worth it. The cause was most definitely worth it.
Have you ever walked a marathon or half marathon? Are you a night owl?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walk the Walk America. I received one complimentary entry for the event and compensation. I paid for my husband’s entry fee. We also raised money for the event and met more than the minimum fundraising requirements. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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