Stitch and pitt stops for cake (Tina Bragaglia aka WickedWoollyWitch on Race for Life)
BIG thanks to Nathalie at Stash for donating all our Cancer Fighter hat yarn. You're fabulous.
On the 6th of May 2009 11 girls with sticks and string and one girl (me) with just the one stick for walking (or hobbling) began a 5km journey round Battersea Park on a balmy late spring evening. All intent on just one thing – Racing for Life and raising lots of dosh for Cancer Research.
On May 6th last year my brother died from cancer just days after diagnosis. When I saw the date of the Race for Life I just knew I had to do it as it marked the first anniversary. Now I am not the fittest of people or the thinnest, and yes I have to use a walking stick cos of my back but I found determination to do this. It spurred on the ladies of Stitch and Bitch London to play their part as well. Within a short space of time numerous girls had signed up for Team Stitch and Bitch to race with Team Tina B and kick my bum if I struggled.
We gathered en-masse, pinned on our badges and labels, and took up our needles with cast on our chemo caps, yes folks we raced AND knitted for charity (big thank you to Nathalie at Stash Putney for donating a HUGE bag of specialist yarn for these).
During opening speeches the comedienne Amy Lamé, who is also a big girl, said “If I can do it anyone can”. Being bigger than Ms Lamé and sporting a stick I thought “I reckon if I can do it ANYONE really can too.” Male 'cheerleaders' also attempted to warm us up.
One of our gals nearly passed out before we had even got to the starting line and it was only with the delicious supplies in the form of CAKE from Hippolyra that kept her going. And the rest of us to be honest, as we knew what cakey delights we had waiting at the end.
We started, overtaken by children, pushchairs and wheelchairs, we flagged a few times, but we cheered as every kilometre marker was spotted. We knew we weren’t going to finish first but as the minutes ticked and feet ached it became apparent we might just finish last. And last we were. The girls actually decided to let me have the honour of being the last of 5000 to cross the line to cheers all round.
Coming up to the finish surrounded by race Marshalls we heard the announcer yelling support and encouragement, shouting out my name as I became a minor celeb for the night, as earlier finishers gathered round to cheer. Just as I got the line the ruddy announcer stopped me for an interview to declare that I had raised the most amount for an individual that night, and that it was the most inspiring story he’d heard all day. He also said I was the only person to have walked with the aid of a stick. I said my thank yous and talked about my brother, and as the crowd cheered I burst into tears as I crossed the finish line, my head full not just of those I have lost but of relief for ruddy well finishing.
Then we did what we do, apart from knit? We ate lots and lots and lots of CAKE. The total raised by these two teams (including Giftaid) is a WHOPPING £2754.10 and money is still coming in so you can still do your part if you haven’t already.
Tina B’s Race for Life page. S&B London’s Race for Life page.
Massive, massive thank yous to everyone who has donated and supported this fantastic event. Till next year...and more cake.
(You can see photos from the day on the S&B London blog here)