This is a sponsored article on behalf of Cancer Research UK.
This September, London will be lit up by thousands of glow-stick waving walkers as they march through the night on the path to beat cancer. It doesn't matter if you're a stroller, a strider or a power walker, Shine, the 26.2-mile walk from Southwark Park to Old Billingsgate, is open to everyone aged 13 and over. Here are five reasons why you should grab your trainers and take part in this year's event.
1. Burn calories and boost endorphins
Completing 26.2-miles isn't easy, so don't think you'll be skipping across the line blister-free without doing some prep first. Cancer Research UK has provided a handy eight-week training programme, which should put you in good stead for the night, and there's a half marathon option if the thought of walking around the equivalent of 121 football pitches fills you with dread. It's a big commitment but you'll be ecstatic you did it once all those exercise-induced endorphins kick in.
2. Walk side by side with thousands of others
They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Shine isn't so much about who crosses the finish line first as it is a space to share stories of loved ones lost and hope for those still fighting. One in three of us in the UK will be affected by cancer and Shine provides an opportunity to extend support and encouragement to friends as much as strangers.
3. There will be glow sticks
Things might get teary, they'll definitely get sweaty and if last year's photos are anything to go by, there will be lots of silly wigs, colourful tutus and oversized sun glasses. Shine is really about people coming together and collectively shining a light (metaphorically and literally) through the darkness of cancer, so get ready to wave those glow sticks in the air.
4. Get to know the city at night
London almost feels like a different city at night but it's not often we have the time (or the energy) to see the new morning in. While the rest of London catches 40 winks, you'll set off from Southwark Park, past iconic sights such as the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Somerset House, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London before finishing at Old Billingsgate as the sun rises over the city. Plan your journey here.
5. Raise money for Cancer Research UK
The amazing thing about Shine is it recognises every individual's struggle with cancer is different. As well as funding life-saving research for all types of cancer, it also allows participants to personalise sponsorship, so you can choose the area of research you would like to raise money for. Remember every penny raised brings the cure to cancer a step closer.
Shine Night Walk takes place on Saturday 23 September. Entry costs £39.99.