I have never been too big into going to the events that the St. Louis area has to offer, no offense St. Louis. But every year, there is one event in St. Louis that I will never miss for the world. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in St. Louis is one of the biggest breast cancer runs/walks in the country. Thousands of participants go to this event and millions of dollars are raised for breast cancer research and awareness, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Experiencing this event first hand is an experience of a lifetime. The best way to explain it is by looking at this picture:
The first time I went to the Komen Race was back in my sophomore year of high school. One of my friends from gym class talked me and two other girls into joining Team Breadhead with Cornbread from the 92.3 WIL radio station. I was somewhat excited. We all signed up for the walk and showed up on time for the walk to begin. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that before the walk some of the sponsors of the race gave away free gifts. We didn’t end up getting any free gifts, but I always kept that possibility in the back of my mind.
Once the race began and we got to start walking, I started to think about how enjoyable it was hanging out with my friends, getting some light exercise, and being able to people watch, of course. Then we got up to the top of the first hill. I looked down at all the people walking ahead of me, and saw something I have never seen before. It looks a lot like what the above picture resembles; thousands of people dressed up in pink and white all joined together to fight for one cause. It was mind boggling for me at sixteen years old to see so many people walking, all in one place, for one reason. This union of people, all from the greater St. Louis area, spoke volumes to me. After seeing this, an embodiment of people changing the world, I was hooked.
The following year, I went to the Komen Race with another friend and we woke up at the crack of dawn to ensure we received every giveaway the race had to offer and then some. We walked that race proudly and excitedly to rip open all our free gifts once it was over. The next year I went with my boyfriend at the time and his family. The year after that I went with my sister, and so on and so forth. I have received so many free gifts from the race, starting with bandanas, band aids, shaving razors, and a year supply of five hour energy drinks. The list is endless.
Last year at the 2013 Komen Race, my sister and I decided to actually run in the race instead of walking it. It was our first time ever running in a race and it was even more exciting than we imagined. As my sister and I were about halfway through our run, the guy who finished in first place lapped back around the opposite way, running around and holding up the United States flag proudly. It was a sight to be seen. Since then, my sister and I have been running regularly in races every month or two. The 2014 Komen Race this Saturday will be mine and my sister’s one year anniversary of stepping out of our comfort zone and running for a cause. I cannot be more excited for this event.
I invite you and all of your family and friends to experience what I have experienced over the years, if you haven’t done so already. This is an opportunity to feel the power of the people of St. Louis and to see the difference a city like ours can make at the 16th Annual Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure this Saturday, June 14th at 6:30am. You can either run the 5K, walk the 5K, or even walk 1-mile. Don’t forget to get there early for all the giveaway items from the sponsors and to spend time just soaking it all in. This event only happens once a year, but it is one day a year you will never forget.