Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cancer to 5K

The Cancer to 5K program is the brainchild of fellow DC Tri-er and cancer survivor Holly.

Simply put, they train cancer patients and survivors to complete a 5K to help keep them healthy and happy. The program culminated with the Ulman Cancer Fund 5K at merriwether post pavillion.

I promise, I am wearing a running skirt, which is not evident in these pictures.

I was supposed to be a pace group leader, but the shoulder intervened. Luckily, I got cleared to run the Friday before race day, so I was able to be a race day sherpa for cancer patient Cheryl.

Me, Kris, Cheryl, and Sherpa #3 who's name I can never remember.

Race day conditions were less than ideal. It did warm up a bit for race day, but it was raining almost the whole time, and quite a few people were no-shows. There was supposed to be a bike race accompanying the 5K, but they ended up canceling it both for safety and because they didn't have enough volunteers to support it. A few of the bikers ran in their bike gear, which was really nice of them.

Holly gave me the heads up that Cheryl had never completed more than two miles in training and was really nervous about the possibility of either not finishing, or finishing last. I reassured them that Cheryl would not have to be last, and that there's no shame in it. Especially when you've just finished chemo.

The festivites started with Lance Armstrong giving a speech and leading the runners out. I have to say it was really cool that he showed up even though it was pouring and not a lot of people were there.

Lance crossing the finish line.

It was pretty hilly and Cheryl had something of a tough time. Kris, the other sherpa, and I tried to keep her distracted/ entertained, and on a good intensity interval schedule so she didn't get tired out before the finish. She really was a trooper, and she wasn't last. There is no way I could have done that 3 weeks after finishing chemo.

Cheryl crossing the finish line.

On a sad note, Jess, a Team Z alumnae, didn't make it to the race because she was in the hospital having surgery for breast cancer. There was a booth at the finish line handing out keychains representing the size of tumors. The smallest was the average size when found by a mammogram, the largest was the average size when found by accident. Jess's was the latter. My heart goes out to her and I hope she is with us for the spring class of the Cancer to 5K group.

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