Anyone out for a quiet stroll across the Meadows in Edinburgh might be in for a surprise, as 8000 women (and a few men) from all over Scotland descend on them, wearing decorated bras and pink baseball caps. This is the Edinburgh MoonWalk - not a genteel take on Michael Jackson’s trademark move, but a fundraising power-walking marathon around the city centre in aid of breast cancer care. And you do it in your bra, at midnight. The walk is another three months away but places are filling up fast. The good news is that, if you hurry, you can apply for one of five places the organisers have reserved for List readers (see below).
The MoonWalk has been running for ten years in New York and London, but last year’s extravaganza was the first Scottish event, and everything raised will go to Scottish breast cancer charities. At time of going to press, organising charity Walk the Walk reported that last year’s event had raised £1.7m and was still rising.
The huge popularity of the event is testament to the fact that breast cancer awareness is an issue that can unite women like no other. There’s also something interestingly pagan and ritualistic about the idea of women congregating at a new moon (this year’s Edinburgh MoonWalk is on Saturday 16 June and the New Moon falls on Friday 15 June) for a common cause.
Then there’s the bras. If you’ve long nursed a secret ambition to march through the streets after dark with your underwiring on the outside, this may well be your chance. There are bra-printed T-shirts if you’re feeling modest, but the organisers encourage women to get creative with their underwear. Last year’s walkers (pictured) used feathers and fake flowers, coconut shells and fake fur, and there were a few Madonna-inspired conical bustiers (might chafe a bit after 26.2 miles, surely?). It’s definitely good exercise, and there might be a tongue-in-cheek attitude to proceedings, but underpinning the MoonWalk is an idea of female solidarity that’s worth walking for.
Applications for this year’s event are being accepted at the moment, and although Walk the Walk have upped the capacity to 10,000, places are filling up fast. You can apply online at www.walkthewalk.org.