Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Maggie's Night Hike in London

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I've walked around London quite a bit in my time, but never have I walked the streets all night -- until last night.

I was one of 1,500 people to take part in this year's Night Hike, a fund-raiser for Maggie's Cancer Care Centers, free care centers that provide support and activities for anyone afflicted by cancer. It's a wonderful program, and one we need more of in Chicago.

We could also use a Night Hike in Chicago. Here's how it worked: All the walkers gathered at London's funky City Hall on the south bank of the River Thames. At 10 p.m., we started our 20 mile route. That's right: 20 miles. We walked all night, ending up back at city hall to watch the sunrise around 7 a.m. (I've never seen so many people limping in my life.)

The event is held each year in conjunction with Open House Weekend in London. That's when buildings that aren't typically open to the public throw open their doors and welcome people in. Our walk included eight stops at some of these buildings, like the Battersea Power Station.

It was so amazing to see London overnight, when the sidewalks aren't nearly as crowded. I'll be writing a story for Travel on it soon, but figured I'd jot down a few lines on this blog since I'm too sore to sleep and I'm jet lagging like crazy.

I'd love it if Chicago started something like a Night Hike. And more importantly, something like Maggie's.

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Interested to see your piece. I also walked the streets last Friday and thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was brilliantly organised with lots of interesting stuff to see en route and, although curiously my toe joints were really sore afterwards, it was much less arduous than I thought. I'd urge everyone who is reasonably fit to give it a go.

It's a real achievement to walk 20 miles virtually non-stop. And when we walked through the doors of the Maggie's Centre at Charing Cross Hospital to be welcomed and thanked by all the volunteers there [at 3am in the morning in my case] you know it's worth all the effort.

I'll see you there next year then! Oh and the other thing is that it's about raising money. We set ourselves an ambitious target, then focused on getting the sponsorships in to make sure we made it.

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on September 20, 2008 9:55 PM.

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