Sunday, October 19, 2008

Maryland Race For The Cure 2008 Wrapup

This year's Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure in Maryland featured 30,000 runners. The temperature didn't clear 60 degrees, but that wasn't about to chill the spirit of the runners and walkers.

I proudly used my New York Giants handwarmer. It held my cell phone and keys, but it was not a fanny pack!

I ran in the second race without a timing chip and unofficial time. And well, unofficially I finished the 5k in 29-30 minutes, starting the run at 8:15 and finishing at 8:44. Unlike my run last year, I wasn't winded, but my knees were throbbing. I'm telling myself that my knees hurt because it was cold and not because my 29-year-old body has the knees of this blog's oldest demographic.

Like every Race For The Cure, this one had plenty of runners who didn't run much in the days before the race and were wholly unprepared. I started slowly and increased the pace as I realized I had enough energy to make the finish line without stopping. Many folks who ran hard in the first mile to get ahead of the pack were sucking wind and walking at the second mile marker. Also, if you're going to walk, that's fine, but walk toward the side of the road.

Bright blue skies oversaw wave after wave of runners and walkers.

25 years after the first Race For The Cure, walkers make their way down the home stretch.

As with every Race For The Cure, it was impossible not to be swept up by the goodwill among everyone. Pinks signs with the names of breast cancer survivors on the backs of runners and walkers gave hope for anyone stuck with this awful disease. Yet, just as those survivor signs gave hope, there were pink signs with the names of those who had lost their battle. It made it clear that my $30 donation was for more than a nice, XL long-sleeved shirt.

Hugs, tears, and smiles abound at the finish line.

While waiting at the finish line I saw many hugs between survivors, their friends, and family. Nobody in my family has fought breast cancer and I want to keep it that way. If a measly 5k run would guarantee that for everyone, I'd say the battle is being won.

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