There was a sea of pink in Aylesbury as 570 women took part in the Midnight Walk in aid of Florence Nightingale Hospice in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Despite several light rain showers, each lady proudly showed of their brightly decorated t-shirts as they strode with pride on either the six or 13-mile route, starting and finishing at Aylesbury College, which has sponsored the walk since the event started in 2010.
The warm evening air certainly raised spirits on the night, creating a great atmosphere throughout, with walkers munching on jelly babies, Jaffa Cakes, chocolate bars and a special ice-cream treat at the mile six pit-stop, courtesy of The Works, to boost energy as 13-milers powered along the route.
A fantastic pre-walk show hosted by Mix 96’s Katy Brown, entertained the crowd with music from local band The Zefrones, as well as tunes, which walkers had dedicated to loved ones or their walking team-mates. JBD Fitness and Dance created an energising warm-up, which revved up the crowd for the start of their challenge.
Mayor of Aylesbury, Allison Harrison (who took part in the six-mile challenge with daughter Isobelle) was given the privilege of setting walkers off after a 10-second countdown.
The first sight of six-mile walker bunny ears crossing the finish line came in at around 1.20am, with 13-milers power walking in at around 3.30am. Brave Day Hospice patient, Annie Leigh, also took on the six-mile challenge on her trusty glowing scooter. All walkers had returned home to receive their well-deserved medals by 4.57am.
The hospice’s event lead Karen Shardlow said: “What a night! On behalf of Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity (FNHC), I must say a huge thank you to each and every walker, who took on our Midnight Walk challenge in the twilight hours. It certainly was a sight to see and we are absolutely delighted with the turnout.”
She added: “Thank you also to all our volunteers and marshals, local business sponsors, media partners – Mix96 and The Bucks Herald, Mayor of Aylesbury, Allison Harrison, supporters and the community, who have showed fantastic support for the event, from start to finish.
“Early indications show pledges on the night are approaching £50,000, which is simply fantastic and will support the work of Florence Nightingale Hospice charity in funding local palliative care services.
“It’s really important now that walkers send in their sponsorship money as quickly as possible. This will make a big difference to the overall fundraising target from the event.”
The Midnight Walk is the charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year and has raised over £350,000 over the past six years.