Monday, October 10, 2011

Finishing the Komen 3-Day

I'd taken to walking the last few miles of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure with three woman, all about my pace, all wearing shirts with pictures of their collective little girls, with "I'm Walking so They Won't Have To" written on their shirts. One of them ran the San Diego Marathon in 2007, the year after I was in that race for Team in Training, so we chatted about that. We passed some of the places pictured in my last post - Cafe Mozart and the White House - and then finally caught sight of the Washington Monument, which was near our final destination. Soon enough, we'd passed down along the Mall and made the final turn to see the finish gate:
I asked the three friends if they wanted a photo of them at the finish, which of course they did. After that, I passed through the finish gate and, and was overwhelmed by the noise of the people lined up on both sides cheering. It was very moving. The doctor who was the master of ceremonies was there - she is a breast cancer survivor and one of the most dynamic people I'd ever met. She cheered me and gave me a hug. Being there by myself, it felt good to have someone to celebrate with, if only for a second. Then, I got my 3-Day shirt and walked through a narrow area where I stopped for a few seconds. I looked down at the photo of Ann on my shirt and touched her face. "I did it, Ann. I did it, just the way I told you would." I was fighting back tears, and so badly wished I could call my sister and give her the news. But since I could not, I lined up to have a photo taken in front of the Day Three poster instead:
I went back around to the finish to look for someone who was supposed to be there to cheer for me - more about that later - and cheered for some of the finishers for a while.
Then I asked a man to take a picture of me with my new 3-Day shirt and the finish in the background.
After that, I wandered back around to the Mall to wait for the closing ceremony.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your determination, good humor and effort to both honor my mom (your sister) and assist in the cure for cancer.
~Art Lindemanis

Racn4acure said...

Thanks Art. It is a day I will not forget. As much as I wish Ann were here, I know she would have been proud if she had been.