Saturday, November 8, 2014

44,000 Steps for Charity

Most Sunday mornings, we choose to sleep in and start the day a bit later. Not on Oct 26 tho as we were participating in Cancer Council NSW's Seven Bridges Walk 2014. With our starting point being Milsons Point at 7:30am, we were out of the house by 6:45am. A bus ride and a train ride later, we arrived at Milsons Point. We were relieved to arrive 10 minutes before kick-off time until we saw the queue! Apparently, at least a few hundred people were earlier than us.
Gulp! We thought we were early. The queue starts on the left behind the trees.
Fortunately, it was not a long wait. When the registration counters opened at 7:30am, the queue was fast moving. By 8am, I received my event passbook, wristband and limited edition Cancer Council NSW bum bag (for those who fundraised >$250). With cap on, sunscreen applied, water bottle filled and bum bag in place, we were good to go. 
See how fresh I looked at the start?
The 27km circuit was divided into 14 legs. At the end of each leg, participants were required to get their event passbook stamped as proof that they were there. Although this is a walking event (not a race), participants are not forced to walk the whole way as the organisers made arrangements for bus rides connecting one village to other. 

As per the event name, we had 7 bridges to cover throughout the walk. They were:
  1. Sydney Harbour Bridge - the largest steel arch bridge in the world.
  2. Pyrmont Bridge - stands at the entrance of Darling Harbour. This bridge is open to pedestrians only.
  3. Anzac Bridge - longest cable-stayed span bridge in Australia
  4. Iron Cove Bridge - last steel truss bridge to be constructed in New South Wales where rivets were used for field connections (this was before the introduction of high strength bolts)
  5. Gladsville Bridge - longest single span concrete arch ever constructed. It celebrated its 50th birthday on 2 Oct 2014.
  6. Tarban Creek Bridge - opened in December 1965. This bridge connects Gladsville Bridge and Fig Tree Bridge.
  7. Fig Tree Bridge - built as part of north-western expressway linking the city with Sydney-Newcastle Freeway.
There were also 7 villages (list below) set up complete with water stations, entertainment and food stalls to help the participants carry on the next leg between the bridges. These villages were God sent for Mr H and I. We took advantage at every location - stopping for food, refill our water bottles and more importantly, to rest our feet! 
  1. Milsons Point
  2. Observatory Hill Village
  3. Pyrmont Village
  4. Rozelle Village
  5. Hunters Hill
  6. Lane Cove Village
  7. Wollstonecraft Village
It was during one of this stops it dawned on me the longest I have walked in any one day is probably 10km (my average is about 7km daily). Hence this 27km in one day is nearly three times more than what I normally do and did I feel it. The last 10km was most difficult for me. Not only it was one of the hottest and sunniest days I have ever experienced since stepping foot in Sydney, it was steep uphills most of the way! 
Walk, stamp, rest and more walking throughout the day.

Highlights at the different bridges.

At 22km, I can only feel my ankles throbbing and nothing else. We were approaching Wollstonecraft Village. I wondered if I should throw in the towel and take the bus ride back to Milsons Point which is 2.2km away. It was already 3:30pm and we had been walking for 7.5 hours. To get the final stamp, we needed to be at Milsons Point by 4:30pm. I ran the idea with Mr H about taking the bus. He did not seem keen (which surprised me) and kinda ignored me while he looked for a shaded spot to rest. A few minutes later, I asked him again about the taking the bus. He looked at the bus stop just as the bus was leaving. He looked back at me and said we missed the bus, so let's walk. With heavy feet, I walked back to Milsons Point. Hahaha. At 4:00pm, we got our final stamp. 

Clement was there to greet us after 8 hours of walking and helped with taking pictures of us at the "finishing line". I bought myself an ice-cream as a treat soon after.

It took us 8 hours and approximately 44,000 steps. What's important is we did it!

Overall it was a long, tiring but fulfilling day. In addition to that, I successfully raised $664.50 for Cancer Council NSW through this event. I would like to thank once again to my generous donors who helped me EXCEED my fundraising target:

  • Rebecca Zagoudis - my very first donor & supporter!
  • Assunta Spirit Alive!
  • Nadiah Kimie
  • Marissa Tan Ghazali
  • Reyvo
  • Charmaine
  • Gaik Swee Lim
  • Michaeline Lee - who helped me meet AND EXCEED my fundraising target
  • Eva & Ellie 
  • Hajar
  • David & Fahimah
  • Green Jig & Code Blue
  • Marianne Rozario

 Your support not only will be valuable to Cancer Council NSW but also to me as you guys kept me going throughout the whole time. There were moments I thought I would not make it yet I could not let you down.

The good news is, donations can still be made until November 26, 2014. If you were inspired by my story and the cause, please donate via this link .  

All donations go directly to Cancer Council NSW. Any donated amount goes a long way but if you are stuck for an amount, $27 would be a good one. That comes out to $1 per km that I walked.

Seven Bridges Walk turns 10 next year and if time/financials permit, it would be nice to be a returning participant. I am sure the event will be bigger, better and more happening. 

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