Sunday, May 31, 2009

Steps Toward a Cure

It just occurred to me that I completely forgot to post about the May 9th Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure I participated in this year! Too many other things going on, I guess. Anyway, my sil asked me a couple of weeks before the race if I wanted to participate. Since I was planning on being in town, and had no pending cakes to make, I told her I definitely wanted to join in. Unfortunately we did not get signed up until about a week and a half or so prior to the Race. That left little to no time to fund-raise. I admit, though, that I had not intended to fund raise too much anyway. But, when we were signed up, we received a link to our own webpage within the Race's page to allow us to raise funds online. Totally awesome! I decided maybe I'd try a little. I set up my page settings and attached a picture of Mom, dedicating my walk to her:

I sent out the email to everyone in my email address book, to everyone at my work, posted it on my Facebook status, and emailed it to my additional Facebook contacts. I figured that was enough, if anyone wanted to contribute, they would. And if not, no big deal. (Mom also forwarded my email on to the people in her address book, so I did have a little extra help.)

I was more than pleasantly surprised, and at times moved to tears. There were more donations than I ever expected at all, let alone with such short notice. Many of those donating sent messages along with the donations, and it was these that caused me to be so emotional. There were words of encouragement and support, and one special one of pride that meant more than the sender will ever know. When all was said and done, I raised over $600 all by my little lonesome. I fully intend to walk again next year, and will sign up ahead of time so I have a little more time to get the message out. I think with more time, I may have had more money raised by the time the Race rolled around.

I was a little nervous about the Race, most especially because of how terribly and totally out of shape I am, despite any attempts otherwise (yes, I call once an attempt!) But, I realized that while it is called a Race, it's not really a race at all. If I crossed the finish line, it wouldn't really matter in what place I crossed. Plus, I knew it could be walked, running was not a requirement. And lastly, I would be walking with my sils, so I knew I would have not only distraction but encouragement as well. And, as icing on the cake, we were only talking about a 5k walk (3.1 miles). Not so bad, even for the woefully flabby.

The Race was schedule to start at 8:30 a.m., and was being held downtown. Any of you who know what parking is like downtown know that it's 10 times as bad with an event happening. I decided it would be better to take the train and arrived at the platform an hour and a half before the start of the Race. Unfortunately, I was wrong in this regard. Many, many, MANY of the other racers thought the same thing. By the time we actually reached downtown, the train was so packed full that if someone breathed too hard it would have had disastrous results. In addition, so many people trying to take the train made the train late. I arrived somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes after the start of the Race. So, I learn for next year - take the train REALLY early, or drive. The end.

I was pleased to find that one sil had arrived just as the Race began, and the other sil somehow managed to be on the same train with me somewhere (without us knowing it). So I was not the last to arrive. And it did make me feel better to know there were others starting the Race behind us. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that my fil and nephews were joining us for the Race as well:
Next year we make it a family event. Anyway, we finally started the Race and went on our way. It wasn't too grueling, but not all that easy for me, and I was a little sore the next day. Here are a few more pics:

Me, Nancey and the nephews at the start.

My nephew at the Mile 1 marker.

An attempt at capturing the sheer number of people participating in the Race. These were those in front of us that had not yet finished.

Attempt #2.
Good pic of my nephew, but really, was a pic of me from the back absolutely necessary? Geez!

Hoofin' our way along.

The crew at the Mile 3 marker. Almost done!

Over the finish line! Oh, you mean you were taking the pic now?? Wait, we weren't ready!

Ok, now we're ready! Oh, maybe not...

The crowd amassed at the Gateway after the conclusion of the Race...and these were just the ones that stuck around! Anyway, I do need to give credit: all but the first and last pics were taken by my sil, Tracy - used with her permission, of course! And also need to say thank you to all who donated on my behalf this year. The Race shattered its goal of $250,000. I believe the final number was around $274,000, with over 19,000 participants. Thank you for helping us take steps toward a cure for breast cancer!!

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