Tuesday, November 01, 2005

2005 San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk

DAY 0:
After months of preparation, fundraising, and training I finally complete the 3-Day walk on October 14-16 with my team: The Brentwood Babes and Beaus for the Preservation of Boobies. We all met in downtown LA the Thursday before to take the train down to Solana Beach where the walk was to begin at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. After an uneventful trip in our private car we checked into our hotel and later headed for the local drug store to stock up on some pink flair. Megan, Erin and I (the three "N's") got some sparkly pink nail polish, fake flower tattoos, and pink curly ribbons for our hair. Not the usual Fergie attire, but sometimes it's fun to be a girl! We had dinner that night with the team at CPK where they presented us with awesome shirts to wear for the last day.

DAY 1:
We got up bright and early, ready to walk 20 miles. No sweat. After a minor fiasco when I realized I forgot to bring my registration card, I was set up with a temporary and we headed over to opening ceremonies. Here are the three of us ready to hit the road.

Megan, Karen, and Erin ready to get started!
It was amazing the number of walkers present, everyone in some shade of pink. There were 4,200 people gathered at the largest 3-Day ever, and together we raised over $10.3M!! Absolutely outstanding.

4,200 walkers at the Opening Ceremonies
After a brief and inspirational ceremony we were off on the trail. Day 1 was the hottest day, but not too bad. There were some amazing views like this one as we slowly meandered from Solana Beach down past Torrey Pines and La Jolla, on our way to Mission Beach for camp.

The endless river of walkers
We entered camp late and everyone was exhausted from the long day and the heat. We peeled our shoes off our sore feet and met up in the mess tent for spaghetti dinner and hot chocolate. One of the Motrin sponsors led everyone in a group stretch that felt great. No one in our group stuck around for karaoke though, and we all headed off to sleep in our little blue tents.

DAY 2:
Even after all the training we were all a bit creaky, blistered, and sore. I think this was because even though the mileage was not so much greater than we had practiced, we were on our feet for much longer than expected. I awoke with a painfully sore hip which the medics diagnosed as "snapping hip syndrome". Luckily I learned some key stretches that helped keep everything limber for the next 20 miles. Lori (pictured) found out she has tears in her hamstring, and poor Megan was nearly derailed by painful shin splints. What a bunch!

One of many trips to the Med Tent
Everyone remained in good spirits as the weather cooled off and we walked through some beautiful areas next to the beach. At one of the pit stops I caught this group of ladies taking silly pictures with the San Jose Bike Cops, our heroes on two wheels. They rode up and down our route making sure everything was safe and enjoyed the catcalls from the walkers!

Photo-op with the cops
All in all, Day 2 was much easier than Day 1 and I think this was mostly due to the weather. We had a welcome surprise of fellow walkers who had finished earlier cheering us on to the two big blue inflatables marking the entrance to the camp.

Fellow walkers cheered us on to the end of Day 2
In the afternoon light Tent City was truly a sight to behold. From end to end it was about a 1/2 mile long, with thousands of tents, hundreds of porta-potties, and 18-wheelers converted into showers and kitchens. And all of this right on ocean front property!

Tent City
Erin's husband Joel and Megan's boyfriend Zach came to have dinner with us and hear about the walk. Later they headed off as it was time for us to go to bed. The wind picked up and it rained all night, but luckily in the morning it was only slightly breezy and overcast. The boys came by after breakfast to help us tear down the campsite and take our stuff back to the cars. We girls bandaged ourselves up and headed out for the last day of our walk.

DAY 3:

Joel and Zach help us pack up the tent
Day 3 was very much like before, with frequent cheering stations and pit stops. They encourage you to hydrate constantly, so you can imagine the lines at the porta-potties at every stop. You can see Erin in the back, waving. The crew was really thoughtful and put trivia questions on the doors with the answers on the inside. Just a nice touch while you're waiting in line.

Waiting in line(s) for the porta-potties
On Day 3 all the bike cops put on their pink shirts and "BREAST MAN" pins. Anxious not to be forgotten, we all signed their shirts with the nicknames we'd acquired. I was Boot: don't ask.

Signing the San Jose bike cops' shirts
Toward the end of the walk some people really felt the miles and had to take the sweeper vans to the final holding area. Luckily the sweeper crews had great senses of humor and every van was decorated with a different theme. There was the Itty Bitty Titty Taxi, the Pimp-mobile, the Martini Lounge, and the Dolly Parton to name a few.

Sweeper vans with style
The gathered all the walkers to a final holding area and gave us matching t-shirts. We then walked as one big unified group the last mile to the finish line where our friends and families were cheering us on. It was an amazing sight to see the thousands of walkers taking over the city.

The last mile
Everyone was so joyous and overwhelmed that I don't think anyone felt the last mile. We all walked in to the Closing Ceremonies and the Survivors followed us in pink shirts to the very center of the circle. Everyone else knelt down and raised their shoes in the air to honor the survivors and those who weren't as lucky. It was very emotional and we were all crying.

We Made It!
We made it, and I'm so proud of my friends and the people I met. It was a great experience and I would love to do it again...but maybe I'll wait a year or two :)

I've posted many more pictures on my online photo album. Just go to picturetrail.com and type "ladotyk" as the member name. Enjoy!


At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Joanne said...

Ooh, I was feeling the blisters and shin-splints reading the blog. But I bet those war wounds felt pretty good during the closing ceremonies. Congrats on your finish and I am truly inspired.

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