In one word today was... incredible.
Today I participated in the Susan G. Komen Inland Empire Race for the Cure. Whew! What a title! Aka a Breast Cancer Walk. There were over 10, 000 walkers today. I believe that was the total just for the Team event, not the kids and runners. Either way it was a great turn out.
Becki, a friend of mine through Cal Fire, is the captain of Team Peas. The team is in memory of her Aunt Julie. She asked me if I would like to be part of the team and if I wanted to recruit others from the command center. I asked around and my night shift partner, Ali, decided to join me in the walk. There were no fundraising requirements but I sent out an email just to see what would happen. Much to my amazement, people donated $625 for my walk! My goal was $500. YAY! Team Peas raised close to $3500!! We had 73 people sign up to be on the team.
I left Ramona about 6:45 this morning and met Ali at the Temecula Promenade. The walk started at 9am. It was hard to see the number of people involved until we were about 3/4 of the way done. It was an easy 3 mile walk with a couple small hills. Despite the sea of people charging towards us, Ali and I stopped to take in the moment. We were mid-slope on a small hill and about halfway back in the crowd. All you could see was thousands of people in front and behind us. What a moment! We tried to walk backwards so we could keep looking at things but that ended when we nearly knocked each other over. :) People had signs pinned to them with " in memory of" or " in honor of " or " in celebration of". Some even had as many as 6 signs on them. It is amazing how many people are effected by breast cancer.
Again, the walk was only 3 miles so Ali and I finished in under an hour. We walked at a leisurely pace and had great conversation the whole time... Not only with eachother but random people we met along the way. It is nearly impossible to keep the team together so we met up back at the team table and had lunch after the race. It was a nice time to meet people and just hang out.
Next year my goal is to get my whole family and a bunch of my friends involved. I was even thinking about doing some fundraising throughout the year like selling blankets i've made, etc. We will see what happens. In the end I am so glad I did the walk. It was definitely a life changing experience! Here's a few pictures from today.. more to come later!
Ali & I Ali, Me, Becki, Baby Jacob, Jackie Me & jackie
Team Shirt Our Yummy Cake
I'm not sure how many teams were signed up but there were definitely some creative names. My personal favorite was "Dancers for Healthy Hooters". Others were things along the lines of "Team Ta-Ta's", "Breast Friends" "Tata Sisterhood". Every team had their own creative t-shirt. I think I particularly liked the dancers 1) because it made me giggle, 2) it was all high school students. Honestly, how many of us were aware of such things like breast cancer in high school? Ali and I ended up walking next to "Dancers for Healthy Hooters" for atleast half of the walk. They were so fun and full of energy. They had cheers and did little "sound off" things. Good times! I think it energized everyone around them even more. Along the walk route there were people cheering us on. They had a group of people on the sideline just to give us high-fives and keep us going. One lady towards the end was saying " come on! you can do it! only 1/2 a mile to go". The walk went by fast! When I heard her yell that I assumed we were only half way but we were so close to the end. The announcer at the end was announcing team names, in memory of names, in celebration of names etc as we passed the finish line. "Team Peas everyone! You made it.." Wow.. I am getting goosebumps all over again. Ali and I both have to work tonight so we will be sporting our Team Peas Cal Fire shirts all night. I can't wait for next year!