So I am finally getting around to updating this blog and writing the much sought after report on my 3-Day walk. Quite honestly, I think maybe I was supposed to write it now as it will bring back great memories and pleasant feelings for humanity of which I am desperately in need of this week. Enough negativity aside....on with the greatness!
Here is Mission Pink 2009 as we get ready to set out on our adventure...bright (well, not so bright as the sun had not risen yet) and early in the morning. Energizer is one of the key sponsors of the event so they had handed out bunny ears (Keeps on going!). Yes, we did keep them on all day, but only for day one:) Shortly after this picture everyone did some group stretching, there was a wonderful opening ceremony and we were off! 20 miles here we come!
The energy was high and we were all set to go but had no idea what to expect along the way. It was proven, once again, what a small world we live in. Not 5 minutes into the walk I met the mother of one the boys I grew up with (okay, he would be a man now!) and I had never met her before! Who would have 'thunk' it?!
As we are coming out of the opening area, we were greeted by a biker cheering us on. Turns out he was a part of the group "Bikers for Boobs" who takes care of the safety issues for the course. Harley men from all over the country come together to support each of the events and provide high energy and traffic patrol as the participants are on the streets. Wonderful men all. And they are not afraid to wear pink!! Or put bras on their bikes!
There are so many wonderful stories that I could share but will keep it to just a couple...well, maybe more than a couple! The first is the people who lived along the course. They would set up little tables with drinks, treats and popsicles for the walkers who were passing by. Totally unnecessary but done out of the goodness of their heart. They would cheer us on, tell us thank you for walking and generally just encourage us because of what they were doing. Cars would honk while they were passing us by and cheer. The energy was amazing every step of the way. Literally.
The official pit stops were run beautifully by equally beautiful people. There to ensure that we were drinking, eating and getting medical care, they always had a smile on their face. Each stop was theme related and it was fun each day to see what little things would change. The photo booth at the Dr. Seuss stop was very fun!
The sweep vans ran along the route always prepared to pick up a walker in need. Each one had a theme and it was always great to see them. Each and every person who served the walkers had a smile on their face the entire time. Not once did I hear a complaint from anyone and I was amazed. As someone who has run large crowd events, it is impossible to make everyone happy. I believe this organization has it down!
There was the Air Force guy (and yes, we had Go Army shout-outs each time we saw him) who came down to support his wife who was walking with the "Rams for Racks" group. (Yes, for you CSU fans, another hometown group!) On the first day he was dressed in his flight suit and his little boys were dressed in camo gear. They cheered EVERYONE along with "Win the war in UR-aq"...pretty clever! The second day they were all dressed in baseball uniforms. "Save Second Base". Loved it!
At the end of each day, the last walker was cheered in by everyone. It was so amazing to see the people who were out there walking through pain. Some pain was from their blisters, some of the pain was from issues they had before the walk. But they did it. It didn't matter how long it took them, they walked it. 60 miles is a long way to travel!
Blisters were the main source of discomfort but there was also the Funky Denver Rash that, while I had never heard of it, became very prevalent by the end of the 2nd day. Apparently, the high altitude and the walking causes the capillaries in the leg to burst causing a red "rash" to appear. Thankfully, I didn't get it....but I did get a MONSTER blister!
So the memories are so wonderful and dear to each team members heart. By the end of the second day we had pretty much decided that we were going to do this again and looked into the 2010 schedule. It was decided that November in San Diego was the one we were going to shoot for and, after approval from the hubbies, we are a go for next year. Mission Pink II! We would love to have anyone and everyone join us. K and I will be traveling from our far-away land once again (perhaps we will book the same flight this time!) and look forward to expanding the team.