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On a mission to get fit for Cancer Research!!


Fat Fund-raising Fanatic
Hello :)
Newbie here - I've stumbled across the site a few times in the last few weeks looking for recipes for SW!!
A friend has convinced me to join!!

So .... after many years of being lazy and content i have decided to change my life this year.

Test 1 - lose some weight ...
Test 2 - Walk a 13 mile night-time Cancer Research event without dying!
Test 3 - To fit comfortably into an aeroplane seat when I go on my honeymoon to Oz in December!!!

So thus far I have lost 16lbs in 3 weeks! Which I am over the moon about!!!
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Fat Fund-raising Fanatic
The full story ...


- How a fat woman walks 26.2 (and a bit extra by the looks of it) miles and survives with a little help from her friends and some complete strangers....

Ok then so our story begins in January 2011 - when in a fit of fatty rage I signed up to take part in Shine London 2011 to help me stay on track with my weight loss and raise some money at the same time.

I originally signed up to do the half marathon distance - as I felt this to be the most sensible option for a woman who has done very little exercise in the last 10 years!!

Then stupidly in March - I upgraded to the full Marathon distance. So I stepped up the training.

Thankfully, a band of other merry competitors had gathered on twitter and very soon we had created #twittershineteam, Nancy, Janine, Richard, Craig, Kate and myself. However as the date came closer a few extra faces appeared to swell the ranks - including Phil, Becky and Louise.

Throughout the period i was sporadically posting my sponsorship link (Shine - Surzy's Fundraising Page) and many generous people gave Cancer Research some cash in return for the promise of my effots in October.

This always prayed on my mind... what if I didn't finish? What if I got injured? How could I let those people down who had spent their hard earned money on supporting me and my chosen charity? So that was my driver - no matter how bad i felt, no matter how much it hurt, I would get to the end - even if I was on my hands and knees crawling over the finish line.

So the months that we had til the event turned to weeks, and those weeks turned to days and finally those days turned to hours ...

The marvelous Jackie and Martin fed me and put me up the night before the event (Even tho it was Martin's Birthday on the day of the walk and no-one told me!!) and took me off for a hearty brunch in Stoke Newington to prepare me for the day I had ahead.

I left them and went to collect Janine from Paddington station and then we made our way across the city to the huge O2 Arena at North Greenwich.

Originally planning to eat at Frankie and Benny's (Or Ben and Jerry's as we renamed it!) the queue was huge so we went for a chinese :) And one by one the #twittershineteam assembled like some mythical Round Table Knights...

We all got changed into our #shine regalia - t-shirts, glow sticks, wigs and for one - a Duck suit!!

And made our way into the main arena to get warmed up - which was a little pointless as it took nearly an hour to get us all out and over the start line - so we'd probably gone cold by then!!

The view that I saw as we crossed that line - the iconic London City skyline of Canary Wharf and surrounding buildings - all lit up. It was great to be outside - this was what i'd been training for. It was 21:05.

The first mile seemed to take forever - massive crowds (6000) for the full marathon made it difficult to get into a good walking pace and couple that with awful traffic lights to get into Greenwich - #twittershineteam soon got split up.

It took the best part of an hour to cover the first two miles. The next 4 we managed to get some pace going - Becky and I doing our best to keep pace with 'The Duck' as we passed through historic Greenwich and the first pit stop at the Naval College.

My 23:20 we had made it to Tower Bridge and the second checkpoint - where we were asked to be interviewed by Cancer Research, The Duck, Becky and Me (Sounds like a Roald Dahl book!)

We follwed the signs off along the south bank, past the Tate Modern, the Globe and the OXO tower. We were soon greeted by the blue beauty of the London Eye - and the Houses of Parliament across the river - knowing that another checkpoint would be waiting for us on College Green when we got over there.

Becky and I lost the Duck on Millbank due to shoe adjustments. But #twittershineteam were all re-united at the 11 mile pit stop. We ate some lovely treats and stocked up on extra water to help us on the next leg.

It seemed to take forever to get to the 13 mile mark - which was just after Buckingham Palace - the long walk up and down the Mall - a little celebration in my own head as this was the distance that i'd originally signed up for (and I had I done it I would have had a pretty bum deal as the half marathon route was pants!)

On our way to the Pit Stop at St Bart's hospital - we passed the Cancer Research Facility. Really made me think about what I was doing and why it was so important. Becky had seen something on a participant's back sign that simply said ... I Shine because I can. And we agreed that no matter what - our bruises would heal, the aches would go away and the blisters would fade - so would carry on and Shine for those that were not so lucky.

Emotion levels continued to increase for me from the St Barts checkpoint onwards ... I started to feel quite dizzy and sick. But I didn't want to cause a fuss - so I kept walking and tried to eat.

We had a quick stop at a 'public loo' which was frankly disgusting but the only one we'd seen in 18 miles!! As I sat down I felt my head start to spin. I tried to eat but it just made me feel worse. This couldn't be heppening. Not now - i'd been so careful to stary hydrated, and to eat plenty as I walked.

Nancy, Richard and Kate caught up with us and it soon became clear to me that I was unable to go on just yet - even standing was difficult. So I sent the others off on their way - Nancy leaving me with some Lucazade tablets and Kate with a very beautiful piece of flapjack - which both heleped a lot.

I'd been stopped nearly 40 minutes and I thought i'd started to feel human again. So I walked about a mile. I was now all on my own - it was approaching 4:30 - and i'd just been sick in a gutter near the Tower of London.
Not my finest hour.
Out of the night a black cab pulled over. The driver introduced himself as John, just John. and proceded to give me a fresh bottle of water from his cab, use a larger bottle to wash my 'embarrasment' down the grid and gave me somewhere to sit down.
He then gave me a choice - a free lift back to the O2 (which was lovely i said, but i had to finish under my own steam) or a £10 donation to keep going as John's wife had been saved from Breast Cancer 2 years earlier and he appreciated what I was doing.

So after a little cry, and a thank you - I accepted the £10 donation and made my way over Tower Bridge to the second to last Pit Stop.

The final 8 miles are all a bit of a blurr. With headphones turned upto 11 and my head down - I plodded on.

I'd developed horrible blisters on the balls of my feet, and on a few of my toes. My right hip was hurting a lot as was my back. But there was no way I was going to stop - to stop now would have been game over.

I got a horrible feeling as i was being over taken by people that I was genuinely going to be the last person over the line!

The route now seemed very familiar - a reverse of the fisrt 7 miles - So i could feel myself getting closer to the finish line - but it just seemed to take forever.

As I finally rounded the corner and could see the O2 - my heart nearly stopped - I was nearly there.

I crossed the finish line in floods of tears - there was no-one there to see me do it as my sickness had meant i was way behind the rest of the #twittershineteam and Chris had fallen asleep in his car ... but I was handed my medal.

I'd done it.

The woman who struggled to walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath in January had managed to walk 26.2 (and a bit extra by the looks of it) miles and survived with a little help from her friends and a cabbie named John....