On a fine day in July, the sun finally decided to show us it was still there. I was having a gentle amble around the Serpentine, when we were suddenly inundated with strange-looking women.
Women in pink bras with - and without - tassels, women in T-shirts with bras on them, women with bog-standard M&S bras. Some were quite puffed out, and others were obviously very fit, but they were all in great humour as they ran around the park being cheered on by spectators. There were men in bras, too (not a pretty sight), but fun all the same. And the sense of good-natured fun was everywhere.
They were running for the breastcancer charity Walk the Walk, which has raised more than £60m in the last five years, an amazing achievement. The funds get distributed to very special projects, all trying to make life easier for the women afflicted.
I knew about the Moonwalks (no, not Michael Jackson’s), where thousands of women walked 10 miles through London at night - sans traffic. Many of them trained for this for months, just like any marathon, but mostly in small groups, encouraging each other to keep going, with no one really aiming for anything else but doing the walk. Competition isn’t an issue here, completion is what matters.
But this was different: lots and lots of women taking on the traffic in the middle of the day and having a ball. Many of the runners raised more than £1000 to help women with this dreadful disease that afflicts more and more of us these days. It’s great to see people come together like this, and whatever cynics might say, it shows to me that we are still capable of compassion, warmth, and fun in adversity.