We did it.
It was amazing, but admittedly, I don't know if I'll do it again.
I am proud to say that my team, the Teal Magnolias, raised over $7,000!
Here's a brief recap.
I got up at my regular 5am hour, showered and ate my usual massive bowl of oatmeal with egg whites and chia seeds and downed 2 iced coffees. We caught cabs at 7am and got down to the Rogers Centre at 7:20am to get organized.
At about 8:45am they started getting us out on to the street. At the beginning it was very slow walking because there were over 3,000 of us, and they don't close down the streets like they do for marathons, so we were on the sidewalk, maneuvering around pedestrians, etc. in the downtown core.
The route was extremely winding, not a big loop, so we were all over the place, but eventually got out of the downtown, headed west to Roncesvalles, and then way north and west again, through Bloor West Village, and out to Etobicoke, where finally things were less crowded.
Next we stopped for lunch and then headed south, all the way down to the Humber River area and the waterfront, past Exhibition Place, Ontario Place and they back up north and east to the Rogers Centre.
We were done at 5pm. It was a very long day!
They did take good care of us, however, with numerous pit stops with plentiful port-a-potties, snacks and drinks. Some of the snacks were even healthy, like baby carrots, fruit, and almonds (there was also chips, cookies, muffins, granola bars and juice). There were also musical performers out for us in each neighbourhood playing different kinds of music (the African band down on the waterfront was the best!).
What was amazing was the support from the community we received. This was the 10th year of the walk, so I guess folks on the route know to expect us. So many people were out on their front lawns cheering us on, holding up signs, and offering us food and drinks. Volunteers periodically drove past us in vans playing music and shouting encouragement to us. It was awesome!
It was also inspiring. There was a 102 year old woman doing the walk! There was a pregnant woman doing the walk. There was a woman in her 70s whose t-shirt read, "11 year cancer survivor, 10 year walker".
And there were whole families walking for a relative, whole offices of coworkers walking for a colleague. Amazing!!
I am pleased to report that I got through with just a blister on one foot. My hamstrings are absolutely fine, and my bad foot that gets achy is also completely fine. I did feel like heck that evening and the next morning, and was seriously questioning having to go teach my spin class, but I actually felt much better afterwards. Wow, what an experience!!
A big thank you to all who donated and helped support our fundraising efforts.