A group of my teammates and I drove to DC on Thursday. We arrived in time to enjoy some great pizza and a walk to Georgetown for a cupcake. We split one that night, and bought others to enjoy the next morning for our pre-walk breakfast.
After a somewhat restless night for everyone, we got up early to catch our 5am shuttle that took us to the opening ceremony location. As soon as we checked in, I knew it would be emotional. The signs on people's backs in honor or memory, the opening ceremony itself, the survivors circling a flag of remembrance. I truly felt lucky that I had the ability to walk 60 miles. Throughout the next 3 days, I would often think that this was way easier than chemo. Or losing a breast. Or losing a loved one.
Our team at the opening ceremony.
(The guy with the pink beard behind us is actually not a part of our group!)
Then we walked. And walked. And walked some more. On Friday, we did 20.5 miles throughout D.C., even stopping for a moment as the Prime Minister of Jordan passed by us and his Secret Service made us stop. We headed into Georgetown, and made it to Maryland. All along the way, they have pit stops where you can grab a snack, refill your water bottle, stretch, use the porta-pottie, etc. The event logistics are amazing to me, and must take a dedicated staff and incredible volunteers. After we had walked on Friday, we were bussed to our campsite for the weekend ... a huge farm in Maryland.
There we could pick up our luggage, set up our tent, enjoy a hot shower via mobile shower tractor trailer units, and eat dinner. One important note ... plastic utensils make steak very hard to eat, but I enjoyed every bite. The campsite has a 9pm lights out policy, but I think everyone is so tired by the point, it is an easy rule to enforce.
Saturday, our schedule was 24 miles and this time we actually started the walk to camp and no buses were involved. This day we stayed in Maryland and had great support from cheering sections, and also just people set up in parking lots. I almost cried at every large cheering station as the people are thanking you for walking for their Mom, Wife, Sister, etc.
This was one of our favorite cheerleaders and he was out on the course all weekend, cheering on his wife. She is a survivor and had done many Komen walks and was walking in 3 walks this year! Plus, he had chocolate and a cool wig.
On Saturday night, Nancy Brinker (Susan G. Komen's sister) who started the foundation in honor of her sister spoke and it was such an inspiration to hear her story. Again, lights out at 9pm and I found that chicken was easier to cut with plastic.
We were up at 5am on Sunday so we could take down our tents, put our bags in a truck, eat breakfast and hit the road. We were bussed to another area of Maryland and we walked to DC. The Dupont Circle cheering section was great and we got to see some of the sights ... complete with a walk past the White House.