On Saturday 9th Sept 2017 16 members of staff (and some partners) from #TeamMRG joined approximately 3,000 other participants for the ‘Thames Bridges Trek’, walking 25km across 16 fantastic bridges in London all in aid of raising some well-deserved funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
It started with a reasonably early registration (for a Saturday) in Bishops Park, Fulham where we collected our ‘goodie bags’ of race numbers, maps, and so on before taking part in the warm up run by comedian Mark Dolan just before 9:30am when we were scheduled to start.
Just after 9:30 it was off East from Putney Bridge, towards the City with the sun up and shining already, it was a pleasant (and surprising) change from the weather the last week had brought.
The first half of the walk took us from Putney over Fulham Railway bridge (designed by Brunel's former assistant William Jacomb), through Wandsworth, Battersea (the narrowest road bridge in London) then continuing east to Albert Bridge a.k.a The Trembling Lady (famed for being in the titles of Made in Chelsea). Once in Chelsea we only had 1 bridge left before the half way point break in Vauxhall (which film buffs will recognise in many James Bond movies as it’s next to MI6).
After a 20 minute break at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens with refreshments aplenty, including some of the world’s biggest pastries, we started up again for the second half in high spirits after already taking in some incredible views of London from some great vantage points.
The first bridge on ‘the back 9’ was Lambeth (whose paintwork matches the House of Lords) on our way to Westminster, from there we zig-zagged over the Golden Jubilee bridge (opened to commemorate 50 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign), to Waterloo, dodging tourists on the Southbank on our way to Blackfriars and then past the National Portrait Gallery and over the Millennium bridge or ‘the wobbly bridge’ as it is also known.
With the Millennium bridge covered the countdown was on with just 3 bridges to go and about 5km left to walk. Southwark bridge was the first to be covered which then gave us the torture of walking through borough market and trying to resist stopping for all the amazing smelling and looking food which was on offer. Having successfully resisted temptation we were then onto London bridge as we walked toward the Tower of London.
As we passed the Tower we had one final bridge left on the list, arguably the most attractive and majestic Tower bridge - Built in 1886 as a solution to the demand for river crossings east of London bridge, the innovative design is able to open for the tall ships which used to be unloaded in central London. The bridge was opened in 1894 and was considered the most sophisticated of its type in the world. In 1952 while the bridge was opening the number 78 double decker bus was still on it so had to accelerate and it managed to jump the gap.
It was then just the case of a 2km walk to Southwark park, where the finish line awaited.
All 16 of us made it fairly comfortably to the finish line (with a few additions in the form of some blisters and some sore muscles) where we were gratefully greeted with our medals, t-shirts and a well-earned glass of bubbly as comedian Alistair Williams cheered us over the line!
Huge congratulations to everyone for taking part in the event and for raising an amazing £5,540.88 (so far!) we hope you had a brilliant time and are justifiably proud of your achievements.
Here’s to our next event!