Every spring Hope Scarves has a team in the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon & Marathon. This year we partnered with Twisted Pink to raise even more money and engage runners supporting both organizations! 136 brave souls took to the streets on Saturday in sloppy wet conditions, but that didn’t stop us! We raised $67,279 to support people facing cancer and stage iv breast cancer research! A quick recap of some of my favorite memories.
- Dan Bayer’s team was neck and neck with my college friends on the “Go Hope” team for top fundraiser. A highly anticipated bet from last year was renegotiated to bragging rights (thank goodness!) as the two teams agreed- one team. one goal. We announced at the Pasta Dinner that Dan’s team clenched the prize with a grand total of $15,900. However, the Go Hope! team pushed hard to raise money throughout the run ending up with a grand total of $17,036 as they crossed the finish line. We love this competitive spirit and dedication to supporting Hope Scarves. The support from these friends to raise so much money blows me away.
- My parents surprised me at the Pasta Dinner by presenting 600 handmade scarves from volunteers in my hometown and the potential of a $12,000 grant to Hope Scarves! Plus, their team, made up of my mom & dad, Eric, Kristin and Anne Sanders aka “Leggin’ it for Lara” raised $11,150!
- Race day started with clouds, but soon progressed to a steady downpour. Yet, runner after runner crossed the finish line with a huge smile. Despite our soaked clothes, and chattering teeth… our spirits could not be dampened!
- Our green shirts were everywhere! Big thanks to Trak Shak and Brooks running for our awesome bright green shirts – we stood out and could spot each other to cheer encouragement! I heard spectators yell, “Go outrunning cancer!” It was great!
- Our scream team cheered on the runners with great enthusiasm – rain schmain! They were just the boost I needed at mile 11!
I completed the 13.1 mile course in just over 2 hours. I always shot to finish “under 2.” But, 2+ was my new goal to allow myself to relax, slow down and enjoy the race… achieved all of the above! We started the race with about 10 outrunning cancer team mates- which was amazing. Click here to watch a short video of the start. Running this race and feeling the strength in my legs and the determination in my heart is a feeling I can’t quite explain. I guess when you’ve had health stripped away – you realize how amazing it is to be healthy. When you teeter precariously between wellness and sickness, you treasure health. Each breath. Each step. Each mile… I am fully aware that many people with stage iv breast cancer are not able to take on a challenge like this. As mu
ch as they try they can’t live as full of a life as they wish. The joy in my heart is always tempered by this reality. I wasn’t just running for just me on Sat. I was running for all of us.
As I neared the final turn of the course “Ain’t no mountain high enough” started playing on the loud speaker. The rain was a total downpour – pelting our faces as we ran. I slowed down – not out of fatigue, but just to take it all in. Just to mak
e this moment last. To feel the strength in my body and joy in my heart. The moment when I turned the final corner lined with cheering
fans and saw the finish line I wished so badly I could run up and down that stretch over and over again (but my knees were glad to stop). If those spectators knew how much those final steps meant for me and all women facing metastatic breast cancer. If they knew how badly I just wanted to be a healthy cancer free survivor who beat cancer… not someone who was due back for an injection the following week and had just had a PET scan days before.
I did it. I outran cancer. It didn’t win. I won. Today – I outran cancer. WE outran cancer.
I ran for those who can’t. For my friends I have lost to this awful disease. I ran so that one day someone with metastatic breast cancer will have better odds at survival. 137 team mates completed this race for sisters, moms, wives, friends, strangers. We ran to raise money for metastatic breast cancer research and support those facing cancer. 607 people donated to support our efforts! If you’d like to support outrunning cancer you still can by clicking HERE.
Miles to go… but closer with each step.
We ARE outrunning cancer!