Friday, November 27, 2009

Breast Cancer 3-Day

Last weekend, my mom and I traveled to San Diego to participate in The Breast Cancer 3-Day, benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The 3-Day is a 60-mile walk, approximately 20 miles per day.

I had heard great things about the walk from Amber (who participated last year), and the cause is near and dear to my heart (no pun intended), so I talked my mom into signing up with me. My mom and both my grandmas have battled breast cancer. My mom was diagnosed right before my senior year of high school, went through aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, and, thank God, has been cancer-free ever since.

So, it was a pretty powerful weekend. Here's us right before the opening ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.


We look so happy and energetic. The energy did not last. :)

They passed out pink bunny ears at the entrance. You will see them in lots of pictures to come...


The Opening Ceremony was very inspirational and powerful. My mom and I got a little emotional when they honored the survivors and those who had lost their lives to breast cancer.


Survivors' Circle.


And, we were off! (How cute is my mom?)


I have to say that one of the very best things about the walk is the people on the side of the road that come out to cheer the walkers on. Sometimes referred to as "Walker Stalkers," they show up in crazy outfits, with funny and inspirational signs, and blast music and cheer as you go. It is very motivating and makes the walk even more fun! I took a lot of pictures of the walker stalkers that I plan to post below. Sure enough, there were some awesome people waiting to cheer us on as we left the Opening Ceremony and started the walk.


My mom and Billy. :)


Also, there were a lot of boobs and boob puns on the walk.

Boob hats!


Another awesome part of the walk are the bikers and San Jose police officers who volunteer to direct traffic. Nothing like seeing a biker in leather ... and a pink tutu! :)


More cheering...


...and tutus!




Mom on the trail.


The route was absolutely stunning.


Some funny cars and sweep vans. Prepare yourself for boob puns.




Pirate-themed van.








There were also some crazy spirited outfits by some of the walkers. I took pictures of a few of my favorites...










Every few miles, there is a "pit stop," with food, drinks, and port-a-potties.


After some refueling, it's back on the road.




There are a ton of dogs on the route, too. These were my favorites.


Again, it was a gorgeous, gorgeous walk.






Bikers/cheerers outside of Pit Stop 2.


Walking into Pit Stop 2.


Walk on!


After that pit stop, we hiked up a long, long hill. It was tough. I took no pictures. Looking back through the pictures, I noticed our energy start to drop...


Ahh, lunch.


My feet were already hurting and blistering, despite the right socks, shoes, and blister shield. A little icing, and then we pressed on.


Walking through La Jolla, my mom recognized my Grandma's former neighbor and dear friend, Phyllis, sitting on the side of the road cheering the walkers on! It was a very cool coincidence.


We arrived at camp, and set up our tent and sleeping bags.




There aren't very many pictures from Day 2. We were both pretty tired and focused on powering through the day. However, I resolved to take more pictures on Day 3, and so there are a ton from our last day.

Here we are, about to leave camp. Next stop ... the finish line! (By way of lunch, of course.)




More amazing people cheering the walkers on.






Sort of wrong, but made me laugh.










I love this picture so much.












Boob helmet!


We picked up some buttons along the route.




As I said before, the San Jose Police were so amazing. And funny. There is apparently a waiting list for them to use their vacation time to come down to San Diego to volunteer for the walk. Pretty awesome.


Some had speakers hooked up to the back of their bikes that blasted lots of fun, girly music.


As we neared the end of the third day, we really pushed ourselves. I had a ton of blisters on both feet, but we were determined to finish.

I passed this dog about a mile from finishing, and I believe he felt what I was feeling...


So many people, cheering us on to finish.


And...we made it!!


Walkers got white victory shirts, and survivors were given pink ones. They then had the survivors gather on a hill so they could make a special entrance into the Closing Ceremony. There's my mom, front and center!


When the survivors paraded in, everyone took off one walking shoe and held it up as a tribute to the survivors. It made me tear up. It was very powerful.




I love this picture of my mom walking in with the other survivors.


The Closing Ceremony was awesome. They announced that our event raised $9.5 million for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Pretty awesome.


Overall, the Walk was an incredible experience. After the first day, my mom and I were exhausted and wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. But, by Day 3, we agreed that it was an amazing weekend and have been seriously considering signing up for 2010. (Maybe once those blisters heal!)

Many thanks to all of you who sponsored me, wished me luck, and supported me.

18 comments:

weezermonkey said...

The boys as boobs are my fave.

Congratulations!

danica said...

whoo-hoo! congrats on the walk! what a fantastic accomplishment for a fabulous cause. i'm very proud of you and your mom for doing the event.

love all of the pics -- felt like i was a part of it! : )

alyssa said...

Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you! Wasn't it the best weekend?! I really missed doing it this year, but I can't wait for next year! Love the pics!!! Congrats again!

Nanette said...

That's awesome, Jen! Loved the recap!

Violet said...

Congrats! That is truly awesome!

jmawrey said...

Team Pinky rocks!! You guys are amazing!

Winnie said...

Congratulations!

ochoald said...

I did the Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day this year. It is the most amazing experience EVER!! Loved your pics. Took me back to when I did it in September. I walked for my Grandmother, who is a survivor. I never cried so much until that weekend! Tears of joy, hope, and sadness! Breast Cancer 3 Day 2010 HERE....I....COME!!

bryslove said...

i stood right behind you and your mom during opening ceremonies. i remember seeing you two and tears pouring at the sheer emotion you both were displaying. you held each other tight as you looked on to the circle of flags. congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment! what an incredible experience to share that with your mom.

AnthoZ said...

Awesome photos!!! SD 3-Day was an AMAZING event! Can't wait for next year =)

Corey, Ashley and Ben said...

LOVED this post!!! That must have been such an amazing experience for you and your mom, Jen! Congrats!! And your pics were great...especially the ones of your mom with the various cheer-ers. :)

Diana said...

Congratulations on a HUGE accomplishment!! I love the San Diego 3 day and have walked there 3 times!! Thanks for sharing all the photos, they brought back a lot of memories! How'd you like that Torrey Pines hill on Day 1? Did you walk the old town hill too??

You are AWESOME for being part of this event!! Congratulations! You deserve it!!

amber said...

Eeeee! So happy for you guys! I love seeing so many of the same awesome walker stalkers from our walk last year. They seriously make those 60 miles so much more fun. I'm so glad you both had a wonderful experience and made it through intact!! :)

I'm considering doing it again next year, as well. Keep me posted on your plans. ;)

H said...

Good job, Roomie!

"Stop the war in my rack," got an LOL from me.

Still need to have our phone date...

Carole said...

Congrats to 'U' and Tina...FAB, FAB, Fabulous. You did great !!!!

Count me in next year !

Carole, Kasilif, AK

wan said...

what a wonderful post. i'm totally crying.

you and your mom rock. and, i may be interested in joining you next year, too. such a great cause.

Suzanne said...

I am TOTALLY PROUD of you guys!! Suzanne Little

dapotato said...

congrats!

so a local one's route came right by my house and teeny-tiny street his year. the bear was totally alarmed by all the pink parading by our house until i looked outside and said, "oh, must be the breast cancer walk." congrats again. :)