Copyright 2004

[ May 20th 2004 ]

Five women from Handsworth Avenue Health Centre in Highams Park expect to raise in excess of 1,500 for breast cancer research after taking part in the 2004 Playtex Moonwalk. Leslie Mainwaring, Jenny Fribbance, Sue Sandell, Josie Camplin and Michelle Ayriss pounded the streets of London early on Sunday along with 15,000 other power walkers. The Playtex Moonwalk is the world's only power walking marathon and this year began at Hyde Park at Midnight on Saturday and continued throughout the early hours of Sunday, taking in sights including Knightsbridge, Fulham and Tower Bridge before finishing back in Hyde Park.

Walkers wore nothing on their upper bodies but self designed bras. The 2003 marathon raised 4 million and brought the figure raised by organisers since 1998 to nearly 12 million. Ms Mainwaring said: "We all feel really tired now but it was definitely worth it. "Working at a health centre makes you think about things like this and we felt we really wanted to take part. "We are confident of raising around 1,000 for charity and it is an extremely worthy cause. It got a little bit chilly in the early hours but we all managed to finish the walk in our bras."

Ms Ayriss was the first of the five women to cross the finish line in a time of around six hours. Joining the crowds on the day were former Olympic hurdles champion Sally Gunnell, model Nell McAndrew and comedienne Victoria Wood. Nina Barouh, founder of the health charity Walk the Walk, which organises the event, said: "Power walking is fast becoming a growing sport and it is fantastic to see more and more women and men joining Walk the Walk and getting fitter." A spokeswoman for KTB Public Relations, working on behalf of Walk the Walk confirmed that it is expected around 5 million will be raised by the event.

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