We did it. All 20 miles of it. Our optimistic estimates that we’d nail it in 6 or 7 hours at a good pace were laughably naive. Only halfway round, eating delicious chocolate brownies and drinking tea at midnight at Maggie’s, it dawned on us this really was an all night hike.
Having failed to agree a unifying team theme we went for random eclecticism. A polar bear, Maverick from Tom Gun and Tupperware boxes containing 9 yards of homemade sausages joined our crew. Horror show masks kept us laughing for literally hours, especially when worn Janus like on the back of the head, meaning walkers to the rear could imagine themselves being pouted at eerily.
As we wandered into the wee hours conversation turned whimsical, hysterical and surreal. We digressed from where to buy tonic to keep the boys’ gin levels topped up into the consumption of skinless balls (of the meat variety) and the art and science of bee freezing.
In spite of the slog, the blisters, the leg ache and overwhelming tiredness the Night Hike was a top night out. Cheered on by Maggie’s staff at every turn and fed and watered at all the brilliantly organised rest stops we felt part of a truly lovely thing. The final stop at Horseguards was particularly affecting, walkers having decorated lanterns with the names of loved ones lost or suffering and created glowing heart shapes in the dark. OK, we were tired and emotional anyway but it was just deeply moving.
You’ve already helped us raise just over £2,000 for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. If you haven’t supported us already and can spare some lunch money, please donate at our JustGiving page and justify our blisters. Thank you.
You can browse more photos here. Congratulations and thanks to our intrepid and unhinged team of hikers: Ben T, Ben N, Dan, Hazel, Leane, Lindsey, Marie, Paul, Sarah and Tom.