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  • DIMBLEBY CANCER CARE ALL NIGHT 50KM WALK #WALK50

    On Friday June 10th, Kate Dimbleby and I did an OVERNIGHT walk of 50km (that's 30 miles) all around London, for Dimbleby Cancer Care - leaving at 9pm and arriving back around 8.30am - and we've raised 5x our £500 target so far at http://justgiving.com/RuAndKate because of our incredibly lovely friends.

    Dimbleby Cancer Care work with the NHS at Guy’s and St Thomas’s hospitals to provide support to people with cancer, their families and carers. They are amazing. They were originally set up after Richard Dimbleby died aged 52 in 1965, the first public figure to speak openly about having cancer, which was a huge thing at the time. Read more at http://dimblebycancercare.org

    The walking was the fun bit; the hard bit was done by you all giving up so much of your own money to support DCC. We aimed for £500, and so far you've given £2581, which has been coming in all night, so YOU ARE ALL THE BEST (and whenever we checked, it was like rocket fuel for us to keep feeling happy and power on ignoring the soreness and fatigue)

    I’m now posting this as a way to put off doing something about those blisters.
    • FUELLING AT LEON Kate's mum Jossy (the writer Josceline Dimbleby) and her partner Johnny were looking after Lila - they came to see us off & cheer us on. We'd both had full days, and were both already knackered even at this point. So we stocked up on Leon brownies.
    • OUR GROUP The 100 or so walkers were split up into 5 groups. We were Group 3, because we'd said our speed was Medium. They were all great people, pretty much all strangers to each other - and over the next 12 hours everyone would do a LOT of talking...
    • THE WALKERS AND THE PHOTOBOMBER Lila was SO EXCITED. Kate's uncle Jonathan Dimbleby was in the final group of walkers leaving an hour after us. They were the fastest, so they were threatening to catch us up and pass us. I didn't believe them. I was wrong.
    • AND THEY'RE OFF We started opposite Big Ben at St Thomas's Hospital, one of the hospitals with whom Dimbleby Cancer Care work. This was taken by Kate's mum Jossy, who was cheering from the wall above us, with Lila and Johnny.
    • RAIN AND BEAUTY We spent a lot of the walk next to the Thames, and it was beautiful. The route ran West to Putney, then East via St Pauls all the way to Canary Wharf, then back West again to London Bridge. This was about 17km into the walk - it rained only briefly.
    • JONATHAN THE SPEED DEMON About 20km in, Jonathan sped past us. He was a blur. He's just north of 70 and I'm pretty sure I have longer legs. Wow. I sped up briefly to record a quick 360 degree video interview with him (on Facebook), but then he blazed off into the distance.
    • LOVE! I think my favourite part was walking from Westminster to St Pauls from about 2.30am to 3am. So much beauty; so much love!
    • MAGIC! As well as following the shimmering river, it was amazingly motivating that the route hit so many great London landmarks - from Big Ben to St Pauls, Tate Modern, the bridges, Canary Wharf, Greenwich Foot Tunnel, Cutty Sark, the Shard.
    • IT'S ALWAYS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN - 3AM There was a weird part where we spent ages passing through areas of Docklands that I didn't even know existed, with lagoons, moats & canals around every road. It was a bit eerie before sunrise, and all the groups started coming together, for support.
    • CANARY WHARF One of the hardest things was that Canary Wharf was visible for so long, and it NEVER got any bigger. As the sky started to lighten at about 3.30am, we suddenly got there - and had a luxury blister inspection at the Four Seasons Hotel.
    • DAWN RIVER - 4AM We walked down the west side of the Isle of Dogs, and got wonderful views as the sun rose across the glassy Thames, with clear views back down to the city.
    • GREENWICH FOOT TUNNEL BENEATH THE THAMES Another favourite part was the long foot tunnel that runs under the river connecting the Isle of Dogs to Greenwich. It felt like a passage to a steampunk Hades; a portal through which you must pass in a sleepless rite of passage.
    • CUTTY SARK - 6AM The lovely old tea clipper was a welcome sight as we emerged from the foot tunnel in the grey dawn light at Greenwich, slightly deliriously feeling a bit like the tunnel had taken us back in time.
    • WORKIN' 9 TO 5 (Actually about 8am) Kate remembered from last year how difficult the last few miles are, as the end never comes. Our phones were dying, so we used the last of the batteries to play Dolly Parton & stream live video to Facebook. Dolly kept us moving!
    • THE END! - 8.30AM 11.5 hours later, we arrived at Guy's - another of the hospitals that DCC works with. We were given a cheering finish by the amazing volunteers, and bacon & sausage baps with tea. Then we had to find our way home before we collapsed.
    • BACK AT GRANNY'S Lila was SUPER excited to see us. Jossy & Johnny sent us straight off for baths & bed. I should be sleeping instead of posting this... Thank you to all of our friends who donated so much to Dimbleby Cancer Care - http://justgiving.com/RuAndKate - xx