Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Recap

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, I joined my company to run in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. I signed up maybe a month ago when Amy sent me an email asking if I was going to participate (she was already signed up) and I said, "Why not." This is a 5K run to raise money for breast cancer research, which is something near to my heart since I have family members and friends that have dealt with this tragic disease and my own Lady LooLoo is dying from it, as well (although, they call it mammary cancer for dogs and why she has a pink collar). This run has 3 different groups:  Competitive Runners, Non-Competitive Runners, and Walkers (this is important later, I swear). Last year, I was signed up for this event with a Skydive Houston team; however, I got asked to participate on a Women's Texas State Record to raise money for a breast cancer clinic called The Rose. Not only was that for a good cause, but I was going to be on a record...I couldn't say no and my team did the run without me. On a side note, I am participating again this year in the Jump for the Rose on October 8-9, 2011, at Skydive Spaceland. If you can come out to see us or donate to this great organization, please do so; they helped save my friend's life.

Back to the run. Amy and I got up really early so that we can get downtown with enough time to park and find our group at the Sabine Bridge. I'm so glad Amy and I parked farther away (due out of laziness to even search for a parking spot), because there were lots of people. At this point, I didn't realize how many people. The lines to pay for parking were long, but it wasn't until we got in to the main Sam Houston Park area that I realized how many people were here. This is great for the run, but horrible when trying to get to a pre-determined location...or even the start line.

We went searching for the Sabine Bridge. It was surprisingly cold that morning, with a little breeze making it worse. I only had on shorts and a t-shirt and was badly looking for a long-sleeved shirt. Amy mentioned that it would get warmer once we started the race, but boy, was it chilly. I'm glad we didn't wear tank tops like normal. 

Amy said they were going to have pink port-o-potties, but I didn't believe her.

Just getting through to the main park area was crazy. Getting out of it towards the start was even worse. It was so packed.

This is heading to the main start area; it took about 15 minutes to get through.

We ran in to some other employees who also didn't know where they were going and then ran in to some more who told us exactly where to find everyone. We met up for some early snacks and hellos.

Waiting on the Sabine Bridge with our cool pink shirts, although, I think they could have had a catchy breast cancer slogan.

Then, we heard them announce that the competitive runners are about to start. Amy was going to just run with me in that section, but we decided that I would run in her group to be with the company team. However, when it got to be about 5 minutes and no one was going near the start, Amy and I decided to head over there. We were following the signs and people's shouts about running on this side for competitive runners, but then they said to go over on the other side of the fence for non-competitive runners. So, we followed to the other side, which was a huge mistake. It was packed...like insanely packed. And when they started the countdown (they didn't say what the countdown was for), the walkers just massively herded like cattle to the front. I use the analogy cattle, because they were slow masses just barely taking a step forward. I mean, most of the time, we were stopped. This is when we got goofy, because we didn't have anything else to do.

Our standard before shot, which I didn't realize that we would have ample opportunities to take more. We thought we were late.

Where we were told to go...BIG MISTAKE!

Memorial Hermann's inflatable breast.

At this point, we were still good.

And then it starts...this is towards the back where it was still so so.

Countdown was announced and the wall of people just increased.

Now, we aren't even moving, but the start is up ahead.

Look at us so angry, so UGH! We are never going to run.
After standing there for a minute or 2, we accepted our fates and just had fun.

Trying to take a good shot that showed us not fat, no sun, and Amy's head out of the way of my head. But we forgot something.

Did you see that shiny ring on Amy's finger? Yup, that's right, she's engaged, off the market, se la ve!
Oh and I'm not sure why this picture comes out vertical when I upload it. It was taken correctly and is a horizontal picture.

They were already announcing the non-competitive runners to go, but we weren't close to the start line. Finally, a line of people pushing their way to the front full of competitive runners and non-competitive runners shouting that they were here to run. Amy and I attached ourselves to this line and pushed our way to the start line. And we finally made it there. I'm so thankful for them, because we just shaved off probably 45 minutes of wait time so that we could actually start running.

I never thought we would see it.

Well, all I can say different about getting to the start line and the actual running was that it was less packed, still packed, but less packed. They were able to stop the Walkers so the runners could go, but there were a great deal of people in the running group that should have been in the walking group. I'm not Flo Jo, but if you have to walk within 50ft of crossing the start line, then you should be in another group. People were walking everywhere, taking up long horizontal lines across the street. It took more energy just weaving in and out of the walking traffic. People didn't know the cardinal rule (which is the same for driving) of MOVE TO THE RIGHT (or side) when walking during an event or at the park where it's crowded. Don't just lollygag in the middle talking about your day, swinging your arms. That was another thing, if you are walking, then pay attention to your arms. Since Amy and I were weaving in and out in these tiny holes that were sometimes created for us, we got very close to the walkers; however, none of them paid attention to where their arms were going. I know that the trend is to move those arms big and round to add more burn, but not in a packed event where people are trying to get around you. I swear everytime I passed by someone, I got hit in the arm, the thigh, the chest, the stomach, and a couple of times, I got hit with a water bottle. I just want people to pay attention when it's an event that is this packed.

I'm just saying, it's not easy to get around.

I thought this was such a cool picture. I couldn't get all of them up there due to fumbling my camera phone out of my running belt in time, but there were lots of people just cheering us on. That was cool.

As you can see...lots of people

Okay, rant over, back to run. Amy and I ran 2 miles without stopping and we were able to add more of a caloric burn by all the weaving around traffic. There were cheerleaders doing cheers for us and high school bands playing on the side. It was really pleasant to hear.

Our first stop was at the drink station and then we walked some more. We picked up the run again, then I stopped for a quick stop, and then we ran all the way to the finish line. Towards the end, I looked over and there were still a massive amount of people walking on the other side, not even close to the finish line. A girl was encouraging her friend to keep it up, keep running, we are almost to the finish line. She stayed with us the entire time. It did help keep me going, but after awhile, her loud voice was just...well loud. I turned to Amy to tell her that I was glad she wasn't doing that to me or I might slap her and she agreed.

When we crossed the finish line, it said 52 minutes, but that is from the countdown of the Non-Competitive Runners...I think. Well, I just checked my time and it was 35:15, which is great considering. I did want to beat my 5K run time from the Sand Crab event (38 minutes), but I was hoping for 30 minutes. Hey, I'm lucky that I got 35 with the extra slowing down and weaving in and out around walkers/slower runners. So, I'm proud that I'm improving my run time at each event.

Our after shot by the inflatable breast girl. Memorial Hermann created this so that you can walk inside to see the insides of your breasts:  one with cancer and one without cancer. We didn't go in, but there was a long line and such a great idea to educate people.

More of our group after the race.

Afterwards, we hung out at the bridge with the others and then went back to the main park to look around for free swag and knee high socks. Amy and I got this beautiful scarf (for free) and I did find my socks. Plus, I got some other goodies. We left fairly quickly after that and went to the Farmer's Market for some shopping and oh so delicious breakfast tacos.

I saw The Rose booth and I went to say hello since I'm jumping for them next weekend. This was their dog that liked to be in the box.

It's like she is Cousin It's baby, but oh so cute.

All in all, I'm proud to be a part of something so awesome. I will continue to participate in this race as much as I can, but I probably will only do a packed event like this once a year. I will also never EVER complain about the Toughest 10K being packed. 

I want to take the time out to personally thank everyone that donated to me and the team, especially since I sent out a last minute request for help. I really really appreciate it, more than you will ever know. Our team was able to reach our goal of $5,000 (actually, it was close to $6,000 by the end of the day), which Oxy then matched.
It's a blurry picture, but Houston was lit up with pink. And the Houston Texans were donned in pink for Sunday's game, as well.


  1. Super cool! Glad you didn't get whacked in the face with someone's water bottle! Ha! :)

  2. Sounds like a run for a good cause, and I'm glad a lot of people go out.
    Yeah, those packed events are tough - I've learnt to just take my time getting to the start, join the heard after the gun goes off, walk to the start line, and just avoid people until they thin out :)


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