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Three cheers for the Moonwalk supporters

Written by Fiona June 23 2010

My dad, who should by rights be known as Grandpa Outdoors but who will, for the purposes of this blog, be called Dad-in-a-Support-Car, spent Saturday night and a great deal of Sunday as part of the support team at the annual Edinburgh Moonwalk. This is his fourth year – and without people like Dad-in-a-Support-Car the Moonwalk could not take place.

The same is true of every challenge and race that takes place across the world. Behind the scenes there will be a huge team of people (often volunteers) who come together to ensure that events are well organised, smoothly run and generally safe and fun for participants.

The support team’s jobs include a host of essential tasks from manning water stations to first aid, and from registering participants to handing out medals and bananas at the event end. Then there’s all the pre-event work and the post-event tidy up. Indeed, if you’ve ever taken part in any race, big or small, you should be aware of the army of supporters working diligiently behind the scenes.

Like most of the volunteer team at the Edinburgh Moonwalk,  Dad-in-a-Support-Car pretty much gave up his whole weekend to support the event, which raises a huge amount of money for breast cancer charities. There were numerous volunteers that manned all the street checkpoints, road crossings, water points, toilets and litter picking etc. Not to mention the hundreds of volunteers who ran Moon City, the start and finish event village.

The main part Dad-in-a-Support-Car’s job for previous years was to was to drive to the aid of any participants who were struggling in whatever way. He was on call all night as the participants walked a half marathon or full marathon through the streets of the capital. This year, Dad-in-a-Support-Car was driver to the Chief Marshall, who is responsible for the route and its safety while walkers are on it.

Dad-in-a-Support-Car reported that some walkers were simply exhausted, some were injured and some had even collapsed.

This year, as ever, Dad-in-a-Support-Car was impressed by the determination of many entrants. In particular he had nothing but praise for “the number of teenagers that I saw pushing themselves to complete the final stages of the walk”. He said: “These days many teenagers, especially girls, get a hard time from the press and public about being lazy. But on Sunday morning I saw some extremely determined teenage girls pushing themselves to their physical limits to make it to the finish line. Even with six or seven miles to go they didn’t want to give up. I really took my hat off to these walkers.”

So while we should cheer on the participants in such events who take on a remarkable challenge and raise a great deal of vital funds for charities, we should also give three cheers and a hip-hip-hooray for the supporters who give up their time (and sleep) to ensure the events are such a huge success.

I’m proud of you, My-Dad-in-a-Support-Car.

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