First I want to thank everyone (Anonymous, Zelda, Scott, Julie, Hans, Dr. D, Christy & Peter, Erika, Jeri, Julianne, Rashida, Courtney, Brett, Denise, Ms. Elliott, Denise, Diana, Eric, Jen, Ann, Kim, Donna M, Michelle, Chris S, Rita, Harriet, Rachael, Sonia) who contributed to my race we raised $925 which was the most a single person raised at my school, so thank you. Second, I’d like to thank all the extra calls, emails, cookies that came to keep me motivated much appreciated. Third, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month… do self breast exams regularly, get a mammogram (You know who you are)… donate money and by all means wear a pink ribbon.
Now for the details of the race:
I didn’t sleep well, thoughts of the race swirled in my head most of the night, and the sound of the coffee pot at 5:25 a.m. came much too soon. I said a few prayers, had a bowl of cereal and paid a sparse amount of attention to the cats before jumping in Randy’s truck and heading off to the beach.
The beach was filled with people in pink t-shirts. Sponsors had booths set up everywhere (Ford, American Airlines, Kellogg’s, Yoplait…) one of the local radio stations broadcasted live in the center of the booths. I find my schools pick up area and get my number, 3029, on the back of my shirt I pin a pink banner that says: In Memory of Susan Zamer.
Waiting for the race to begin is an experience that is hard to describe. There is a man wearing a shirt that says “In honor of my Mom, Sherry 1956 – 2005”, a little kid in a stroller whose shirt says “In Celebration of my Mom”. There are t-shirts scattered about that explain how to do a breast self exam, there are pink wrist bands, pink shoelaces, pink, pink, pink…
The race finally begins and I turn on my MP3 and go. Not even half-way through I want to stop and walk, I see other people walking, I surely could… then I see the guy running ahead of me with the shirt for his Mom “Sherry” and I keep running.
Water, finally there’s some water… where have these people been, hand out more water for God’s sake…
I get tired again, I want to walk… I close my eyes and think of Susan and her struggle, did she quit fighting? Did she give up? I tear up, but I keep running.
I get tired again as we approach a turn, there are people there, I can hear them cheering us on OVER the sound of my music. I tear up, and I keep running.
I can’t do this, what was I thinking, I have to stop… I think of my Ma surviving and the strength she showed during the whole ordeal. I tear up, and I keep running.
I finally have to stop; the pain in my stomach is too much… I walk for a half a block, and then take off running again.
Shouldn’t there be more water, where are you people? Oh, there they are, I can run that far, I need water, I get two small cups of water… I start to slow down, I’m so tired…
A woman, a survivor, grabs my arm and says “come on, we’re almost there, we can do it”… she inspired me to keep going, she kept pace with me wouldn’t let me slow down kept me going to the end.
I ran the 5K in 32.24 minutes, and I raised $925.00 thanks to all of you.