I didn't end up staying for the entire time - it began at a quarter to 2 in the afternoon, and it went until 10am today. I left about 8 am, which was still pretty good going. A lot of people packed up and left when the sun went down, which wasn't surprising, as it got quite fresh then. It got down to 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit).
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
If you haven't been to a Relay for Life before, it starts off with a lap of honour by those who are at the relay who have either survived or cared for someone who had had cancer. It was really moving to watch. We then started doing laps around the lake. While there was the walking happening, they also had Dragon Boat racing, singers along the course, and a beach volley ball competition as well. Every group of people also had raffles, and $100.00 clubs, guess the amount of lollies in the jar, and all sorts of ways to raise more money. I also did a stint in the canteen. We somehow managed to get a good time; we only had about 10 people all up in the hour that we were on the roster to work there, so we didn't feel too overwhelmed by everyone.
When dusk came upon us they moved everyone from lapping the lake to going around the oval so no one could fall in. We had tea - some people were serving chicken curry with rice which just hit the spot like you wouldn't believe - walked some more, then walked a bit more after that. The guys in our team somehow made it to the grand final of the volley ball competition, so I stopped doing laps for a while to watch them; it was a gruelling battle between them (all gentlemen in their mid to late 20's) and the other team (5 teenage girls. But all the girls were top netball players, which really made a difference.), but in the end the guys managed to just keep the girls at bay and won the beach volley ball! It was very exciting. :-)
Celia Pavey (she is a local girl and she came third in the second season of the Australian version of The Voice) and her sister Emily provided the walkers* with some live entertainment to keep them moving, which was really nice. Her style of music is fairly laid back (her audition song for The Voice was Scarbrough Fair. It was beautiful.)
We rolled out our swags, and set ourselves up to have a wee bit of a kip at midnight. The place was still pretty rocking, but as I am a person who knows that they are used to sleeping alone, I came prepared. I had an eye mask to put on so the lights that had been turned on at the oval wouldn't keep me awake, and a fully charge iPod so that I could listen to the soothing sounds of Ed Sheeran, to block out all the noise of everyone who was carousing until the wee hours. Ed Sheeran is my go-to guy to when I need to something to listen to when I'm trying to sleep, but at the last minute I changed my mind and turned on City and Colour. (Considering I'm going to see him in concert next month, I really need to learn some of the songs. Surely listening to them while I sleep will help them stick in my mind better.) I woke up at half past two to go to the toilet, and since I had to put my runners back on to get to the toilet, I figured a lazy 10 laps couldn't hurt. I did ... I have no idea how many, but I moseyed back to our tents at ten past 3. I managed to get a couple of more hours, and woke for good at ten past 6 in the morning.
Another half dozen or so laps, and by then the rest of my team who slept overnight were awake as well. We got bacon and egg rolls, walked some more, clean up and pulled down our tents. Since I live an hour away, I finished up at 8 am. I got petrol for my car, did a quick grocery shop and headed home.
Can I just say after camping outside all night the shower I had when I got home could only be described as truly magnificent. I really drives home for me my complete distaste for the outdoor life. I am a woman who needs her indoor plumbing. I can handle the sleeping on the ground, but I need indoor plumbing. Hot water is the bee's pyjamas' and the cat's knees.
I'm sitting here now in a fresh set of pyjamas, watching TV. The last I heard the Relay For Life had raised over $50 thousand dollars, but that isn't the final tally. But it's a pretty kick arse amount so far!
* There is a part of me that does enjoy that technically all of us were classed as 'Walkers' on this occasion. But that would be the only sort of occasion that I would want to be called such a thing. I watch way too many Zombie related things to want to be a 'walker' all the time.
ETA: Sweet Mother of Pearl I am sore! I think I'm sorer now than I was after doing the 7 km fun run last week. And I didn't even push my body this time around!! I just walked around and around in circles. There wasn't even any running involved. I really wish I had some Radox for the bath tonight; warm water will have to suffice.
... I think this soreness all comes down to the fact I was sleeping on the ground. I am not bred for outdoor living. Or, as I like to call it Reason # 452 why I will go down in the first wave of victims in a Zombie Apocalypse.