On Saturday, I walked in the Dallas Komen Race for the Cure. I started walking in the Northeast Ohio Susan G. Komen Race back in 2002 when my boss Ellin was diagnosed with breast cancer. I walked with my friends from Sylvan for 6 years and loved every minute of it. Each year I was so inspired by all the survivors, Ellin included--she is still doing great 7 years later. Although it broke my heart to see so many people who had lost loved ones, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, best friends, dads, brothers, it was so wonderful to see those people CELEBRATING their lost loved ones. I loved seeing the teams that were there to surround and support the people who were currently in the throws of fighting breast cancer. I loved seeing the amazing power that was inherent in the battle cries yelled out on t-shirts, signs and banners. I loved just seeing the general craziness of people bedecked from head to toe in pink complete with wigs and tutus and scarves. Every year I was touched all over again by the power of both the disease and the people whose lives were forever changed by it.
I walk in memory of those I know who have lost their fight with cancer including Corrine, Laura Justis, Sarah Moore's mom and Brian Frickert's mom. I also walk in celebration of those who are winning their battle: Ellin, Coe, Rondys and Amy.
So when we moved to Texas, I decided that I wanted to walk in the Dallas Komen Race for the Cure. I didn't know at the time that Dallas is actually where it all began. Where Susan Komen's sister first organized the Race for the Cure after she lost her sister to breast cancer. This year is actually the 25th anniversary of the Race for the Cure. I put a message out to the other members of my neighborhood moms group to see if anyone wanted to walk with me and I was overwhelmed by the response. I ended up organizing a team and 7 of us walked on Saturday. We had an eighth team member, Cyndi, but she had to miss the race because her husband was battling a case of extreme food poisoning.
The seven of us, Erin, Christy, Lori, Kim, Stacey, Rosalie and I, had a great time. The race was actually the first time I had met Lori and the second time I had met Rosalie so it was really great to get to know them better. I hadn't gotten to talk with Stacey since earlier this summer because she's back at work full-time-- so it was great to get reacquainted with her. I know Christy and Erin pretty well since I see them regularly at playdates during the week. Kim is probably my closest friend here in Texas.
We carpooled down to the race (left home around 5:45AM in order to have time to stop at Starbucks and get down to the race around 6:30AM). We then had plenty of time to walk around and check everything out before the race started at 8:00AM. We were just walking but Erin, Christy and Lori were determined that we get some exercise, so we booked it. Although Stacey, Kim, Rosalie and I did not quite keep up with our speedy teammates, we still managed to finish the 5K (3.1 mile) race in around 51 minutes. Definitely, my best time yet. I have to admit that I was a tiny bit sore today. Note to self: Get in better shape before walking with these ladies again next year. Yes, I definitely think we will do this again next year.
The race in Dallas was definitely different from the one in Cleveland. I had wonderful company and I'm really glad I got to walk and talk with my friends in the neighborhood. They are truly a wonderful group of women. However, I was a little disappointed in the other racers. They just didn't seem as spirited as I was used to from past races. Maybe it was because we were booking it, but I didn't see as many teams or people really decked out for the occasion. I also missed the high school marching band and the steel drum group that used to cheer us on as we wove our way through downtown Cleveland. Here we walked through residential neighborhoods. We were cheered on by "Democrats for the Cure" complete with an array of campaign signs--I was kind of hoping to escape that for a few hours. Oh well. There were some nice families who cheered us on from their front yards and the enthusiasm of the middle school volunteers at the water station was amazing. It was still a great experience--just not quite so in your face as I was used to with the enthusiasm.
On an exciting note, our team raised over $1500 in donations that go directly to helping people fight breast cancer and breast cancer research here in the Dallas area. I've been asking for pledges for the last 3 years and every year I am amazed by the generosity of my friends and family. Thank you all for helping me support this cause. And thank you, my friends, for walking with me and helping me start a new tradition of walking here in Texas.