Last Friday, we got up early. EAR-LY. It was going to be a very pink day. I was not allowed to be late since I was bringing the group banner plus the extra T-shirts for those who haven’t collected them yet. Thank to the amazingly awesome Dubai Police, parking at Bur Juman Mall was a mess because they closed off the first two parking entrances and allowed cars to go into the parking entrance by the new section of the mall, right next to where the u-turn/left-turn spot was. Bra-vo!
Thank God, my husband knew his way around and managed to go around the back where the parking entrances were wide open. Jezzel and Neil called as we were going up the escalators. We should not have gone to the Starbucks on the first floor since it was only for people who have not pre-registered. Even the group registration staff who visited our office didn’t mention this. I understand most of them were volunteers and giving their free time for this event, but a bit of organization won’t hurt, right?
Okay, moving on, we caught up with most of the walkers from the office and their families and we huddled, or rather they did as someone has to take the photograph right? Don’t let those smiles fool you – everyone in this picture was probably still sleep-walking!
Seriously though, it was great to see these guys and have them sacrifice their Fiday morning lie-in for a very worthy cause. We tried to stick together as a group but it was difficult with so many people around, I think the news reports said there were over 4000 people that day. WOW. This was just before the start of the walk, we inched slowly towards where the arch of pink balloons were.
My son wondered if the balloons go up and out towards outer space. That made me picture the earth surrounded by all those multi-coloured balloons hovering just within our atmosphere. Must be some sight from a space shuttle’s view.
The company got these shirts made especially for the event. We thought long and hard about what tagline to put on the back without upsetting anyone and I think this final one is the best. Come on, show ’em! 🙂
And we’re walking…take note this is about 5 minutes from the start so we still look quite fresh and keen. As the minutes rolled past, beads of perspiration started to tickle and the heat of the morning sun became more intense. The nice pink shirts were made of nice, thick material so it was hot.
Not sure if these guys are from Dubai Drums, but they were certainly entertaining. They banged those drums like there was no tomorrow and even as we walked away from them, the drumbeats could be heard and gave us a beat to match our strides.
A bit further down the road, we saw a TV camera crew up on what looked like the Metro emergency stairwell so Evelise and I held up our banner. Not sure if the cameraman managed to grab a few frames of it.
Some folk decided to cheat and wheeled down the road instead of walking. This is my niece, Isabelle. Or Roslin as she apparently prefers to introduce herself to strangers. She and Patrick wore their Heelys to the walkathon.
With the exception of my brother and his wife, my entire family was there including cousin Jade whose mother, my godmother Penny, is a breast cancer survivor and one of those I was doing the walkathon for. The other one, my cousin Evelyn, sadly succumbed to the disease earlier this year.
The 3.6km walk was not hard work. By the time we rounded the block towards Bank Street though, the sun was right on our face and most of the walkers, us included, decided to shift to the sidewalk for some shade. Call us chickens but it would have been a disaster if we couldn’t finish the walk because of heat exhaustion!
And we made it! As we reached the old section of Bur Juman, we were ushered inside the mall, up the escalators and towards the food court. We had done it! We completed the walk! Some of us participated in the event in honour of loved ones who have either lost the battle with cancer or have survived it, and the feeling is amazing. Giving up my Friday lie-in was a small sacrifice to make and one that I am willing to do every year from now on.
We skipped the festivities at the mall and headed to IKEA for a spot of breakfast. We got in early so it was not as packed as it usually was. I had the Amiras meet-up later that day so we headed back home after we filled out tummies and relaxed a bit. Before we left, my sister made everyone pose on the stairs for this shot. Aren’t they a nice, well-coordinated bunch?