October 16th, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors
By Roxane Kippen, Team OAM Now Triathlete On September 19th, a dozen Team OAM NOW athletes volunteered their morning to support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure West Michigan. Instead of toeing the line to race, we were there to lead out the runners on the 5k course. Dressed in our blue, white and orange kits, we stood out in the otherwise sea of pink. I accessorized with some hot pink arm warmers and pink Cancer Sucks socks in celebration of my friends and family who are breast cancer survivors.
The Susan G. Komen Michigan website cites the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series as the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, raising significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrating breast cancer survivorship and honoring those who have lost their battle with the disease. It also states, “Since its inception in 1983, the Komen Race for the Cure series has grown from one local Race with 800 participants to a global series of more than 140 Races with more than 1 million people expected to participate in 2015.” Surprisingly, the lead car was not pink and actually matched us!
Statistics given on the website estimate 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. It is difficult to find anyone who has not had a friend, family member, or co-worker impacted by this disease. My friend Jennifer Jurgens is a survivor, as well as the Executive Director of Susan G. Komen West Michigan, and will stop at nothing to save lives from the potentially deadly cancer. That is why I wanted to help support this event by leading out the hundreds of runners Racing for the Cure. After escorting the lead runner to the finish line, I found the best part of our involvement was cheering for the runners and walkers as they crossed the bridge over the Grand River to the finish. I kept thinking some of these men and women have thankfully crossed a bridge and are survivors and some might still be looking for a bridge to cross to get over to the other side. Giving high fives and seeing smiling faces crossing the bridge to the finish made me thankful there is hope for a cure so every 1 in 8 that are estimated to get breast cancer will survive.
Team OAM NOW is always on the lookout for ways to partner with local events like Race for the Cure. It is a great way for us to give back when we are not racing. Our team members are committed not only to training and racing, but also to supporting healthy lifestyles. We were happy to have the chance to help raise awareness for breast cancer and be a part of such a wonderful event. It was a nice opportunity to gather members of our women’s cycling, masters men’s cycling, triathlon and club teams together.
The post Racing Not for the Podium, But for the Cure appeared first on Team Athletic Mentors.