It’s now 20 years since the first Moonwalk took place, when 13 women power-walked the New York marathon in their bras to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
Now, it’s firmly established as a fixture on the sporting calendar and has raised hundreds of millions pounds across the UK to help fight the disease.
This year’s Moonwalk was no exception with thousands streaming out of Hyde Park to walk through the night in their bras, braving the cold and fatigue to continue a movement started in New York all those years ago.
The driving force behind the event is Nina Barough, one of the 13 women who braved the New York cold all those years ago. She discovered she had breast cancer herself just weeks after completing that marathon and hasn’t stopped raising money for the cause since. The charity she founded, Walk the Walk, has now raised over £100m and has now spread its wings well beyond the confines of the capital.
The event continues to attract women all of ages in their thousands on an annual basis. It remains of the UK’s largest and best loved all-female participation events.
It may have been based on the most simple premise imaginable – but Parkrun is now busily transforming the lives of people who wouldn’t have dreamed of donning a pair of running shoes and hitting the streets, or the grass, without it.
Every Saturday morning, thousands of runners of all ages and abilities do just that, running 5km courses across the country in front of intrigued onlookers and growing hordes of volunteers who, like the runners themselves, are simply there as a result of their love for the sport.
There are now over 70,000 Parkrun events taking place in the UK on an annual basis, making it one of the biggest regular sports participation events in the country. And it’s doing more than simply keeping fit, it’s also offering kids and adults a priceless opportunity to embrace the power of sport.
One woman recently explained what Parkrun means to her son, who has learning difficulties.
“Both Parkrun and running by himself have helped him to develop the social skills to be able to talk to people and not be afraid to ask for help, and he has just started a course to prepare him to enter the world of work,” she said. “His health and fitness are fantastic, and I am certain that’s because he wants to run.”
They may not have attracted as many headlines as the Olympics and Paralympics but the Westfield Health British Transplant Games meant just as much to those competing and for those watching their loved ones from the sidelines.
Now approaching its 40th year, the now annual event gives an opportunity for those who have had an organ transplant to compete and show just how critical a lifeline organ-donation is.
This year’s event took place in Liverpool and involved competitors of all ages coming together to celebrate the gift of life and sporting excellence.
The brainchild of transplant surgeon Maurice Slapak, back in 1978, the Games offer ordinary people the opportunity to do extraordinary things. Take Nick Condon as an example. He was given just six months to live back in 2008 after suffering from Cystic Fibrosis all his life.
Now, after a double lung transplant he’s one of the stars of the Games, and a man capable of running 200m in just 27 seconds.
With this kind of inspirational tale retold on an annual basis, it’s little wonder that this is an event which continues to capture the imagination whenever and wherever it’s held.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 7th December.