Sixty Mile Walk in Comfy Shoes

sgkomen walk banner

In the fall of 2004 a small group of ladies from my work, and my sister, decided to take a sixty mile journey around San Diego. We had all been affected, in one way or another by cancer, not all of us breast cancer, but we knew someone, who had cancer, who had survived or not, from the disease.

San Diego - Susan G. Komen Walk

San Diego – Susan G. Komen Walk

Due to the weather in San Diego, it’s usually one of the later walks that the  foundation runs, usually in October or November. We started to “train” mid summer, doing our best to be prepared for walking sixty miles, in three days. Each day is a 15-22 mile walking day. It’s a lot!! We started out slow, walking five miles after work and then more on the weekends. We would change-up the course, try to enjoy the training, with breakfast after or the occasional nose piercing during one eighteen mile Saturday adventure (long story :P). We had a blast, you have a lot of time to talk when you are spending so much time together walking around your city. It turned into a strong bonding experience for us all.

Tent City for 3-day Walk

Tent City for 3-day Walk

The first day requires a pretty early wake up call, the excitement boils over – mixed with a little nerves. We had a hearty pancake breakfast, prepared by lovely supporters and then with backpacks on us we headed to the start.

It was a pretty amazing experience, there were survivors all around us, family and friends with photos of people they had lost. Which on some occasions made the walk a very emotional experience. It might not have helped that by mid-day, on day two, everyone starts to get pretty tired. My group, while we had walked 18-20 miles at a time – we had not walked a full sixty in a row. It’s tough on the feet, the back, the knees, okay every thing starts to hurt! As lovely as the tents they set up for us, at the night were, it’s still grass and earth under your body all night. By day three some of the group had blisters, one of us had a sprained ankle, but we were all happy to be a part of the experience nonetheless.

The last day, when you wake up there is a sense or relief that you are almost done, a sense of pride that you are about to complete a pretty cool challenge, and just enough motivation to get you up the last hill and to the finish line and celebration.

Finish Line/Celebration

Finish Line/Celebration

Once you make it to the end of the last day, and see the sea of pink and white there is such a feeling of accomplishment. There were so many moving speeches that last day, people who were thankful for the support of the foundation, for the walkers and a general sense of hope that every year we would lose less women (and men), from breast cancer.

From an early age I started to lose very important people in my life to cancer, various versions of the same deadly disease. This walk felt like a nice way to celebrate their lives, their importance to me, and to be a part of an experience that was meaningful with 10,000 or so strangers. 🙂

This month there will be a lot of PINK things around, supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. We should all make sure that the women in our lives are taking steps to check for all cancers, the same for the men in our lives and the cancers that are higher in their life. We don’t all have to walk sixty miles or send in money to a cause, sometimes the simple act of reminding someone close to you to make that mammogram appointment, or even just not to skip their check-up this year could be the difference between detecting and beating cancer or not.

Thanks for stopping by today, if you have a cancer foundation that you support or a story you want to share, please feel free to do so. Maybe someone will see the cause you care about and think, I care about that too and send in a donation.

Wishing all the best in life and fiction,

Kelly Rae

In loving memory of my beautiful grandmother Kentucky Potter


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13 Responses to Sixty Mile Walk in Comfy Shoes

  1. Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:
    One fall weekend I took a sixty mile walk around San Diego, for a great cause. I met some wonderful people, shared a major experience with close friends and managed to leave without a single blister!

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it’s a good time to think about health in general. Make sure you and your loved ones all get your checkups – for everything! Healthy is a habit!

    p.s. the key to no blisters is petroleum jelly on your feet, every morning before you walk – oh and don’t forget between your toes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol says:

    Kelly, what a wonderful walk to participate in. It’s such an important cause for all. I commend you and everyone who was brave enough to walk sixty miles!

    September was CURE Childhood Cancer month. And…one extremely close to our hearts. We participate fully in this endeavor. My son and daughter-in-law are involved through-out the year in some event or other. Finally, Cure Childhood Cancer has gained more recognition over the years. As well it should also.

    Thanks for a warm post. Great tip on the petroleum jelly. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. susanrhughes says:

    My mom had breast cancer over a decade ago and she recovered and is still going strong. Unfortunately, cancer has taken other family members. My grandmother died at age 42, and my husband’s brother died at age 9, so I never met either of them.


  4. As a breast cancer survivor I thank you…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. leighmorgan1 says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Kelly, and quite an accomplishment. Way to Go, Woman!


  6. Joan Reeves says:

    The sad truth is that it’s probably impossible to find anyone who hasn’t known someone who had cancer. Thank you for shining a light on this, Kelly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. monarisk says:

    Beautiful post, Kelly. My Mom had breast cancer and had mastectomy. Later she had a cancer in the mouth. They removed her lymph nodes and lower teeth. For fifteen years she lived on grinded food. They couldn’t implant for lack of bone in her lower jaw. Yet she never lost her cheerful mood, always dressed up to the hilt, and was a great motivation to me to the day she died four years ago and three days.
    Years ago I did a thirty miles walk for muscular dystrophy with GE company. We never practiced anything and I was out of shape. I finished the walk but was barely able to stand. I arrived at the finishing line, red and sweaty. The TV bracketed on me and the kids couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw me in the 6 o’clock news hardly recognizable in my undershirt, pants rolled up to above the knees, jacket and t-shirt wrapped around my waist, and unable to talk from dehydration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh goodness, 30 miles in one day with no prep would be horrendous. I would have been a mess, myself!

      The human spirit can be amazing, even in the worst of times. My grandma had brain tumors, along with liver cancer and when they first diagnosed her she started to swear, something she never did before. Then she would laugh and say she it was the brain tumors fault, so it was okay. She would laugh and we would all join in, because it was so odd to hear her say anything off color. Her humor kept us all sane!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. E. Ayers says:

    You are brave! They do it here and I believe they stay in a hotel! Still more than I want to attempt! Your grandmother is a lovely woman. I am so lucky as there is no breast cancer anyplace in the family but I still get my mammograms. BTW, the new 3D ones are so much nicer! But my dear friend lost her mom to BCa, my friend has had it, and her children are carrying the gene!


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