Participating in Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure

I have to say, sleeping in a bed the night after walking for Susan G. Komen never felt so warm and comfy and GOOD.

For those of you who do not know, I was a Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure participant for Seattle 2011. This was my first walk for breast cancer. I also participated in Arlington Relay for Life 2011, but that wasn’t nearly as physically demanding.

It started at Qwest field in Seattle. We were all pumped up with motivational speaking and upbeat music. I’m sure you could have heard us from miles away. There was no missing this event, especially once we started, creating a long trail of pink among the streets of Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue, and back to Seattle.

Susan G. Komen 3 day is a huge non-profit organization to raise money to fight breast cancer. It was started on a promise to a sister to do everything possible to get rid of breast cancer. So many people are affected by breast cancer. My mom was diagnosed in 2009 and she’s a survivor. So is my aunt. Each participant raised at least $2,300 and then proceeded to walk 60 miles in 3 days.

Walking for Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure was an amazing and interesting experience.

First of all, the speaker for the event was extremely inspirational and she was an AMAZING speaker.

The walk itself wasn’t too bad. The first 20 miles near the end of Day 1 were hard to complete. I got to camp around 5:30pm, ate, took a shower, and went to sleep on my inch thick mattress pad in my shared, pink, one man tent. There were “Sweep Vans” to pick up whoever couldn’t walk the entire distance.

The next morning I woke up feeling miserable. “Whose idea was this!” Those are the words I woke up saying. My limbs hurt and I hadn’t slept well at all. I was cold and outside, the grass was wet. I ate 2 plates of breakfast. I was thinking I would for sure use one of the Sweep Vans for Days 2 and 3. I surprised myself by going the entire way that day. By the end, I felt better than I had on Day 1. I can do this!

The morning of Day 3 wasn’t as bad as Day 2. Except for the rude wake-up call. Get this. It’s 3:45am. I had just gotten up to take a visit to the porta potties at 3am and my team is angrily discussing something. Something was going on and I wanted to ignore it, because I was so comfy that night with my Mylar blanket and sleeping bag!

My tent mate told me we had to move the tent and I asked why. She said the sprinklers were going off. I was really confused at this point and in a daze. It was cold and wet and EARLY. Tents were racing across the field to the pavement like giant snails in the dark. It was kind of hilarious.

So, apparently, the sprinkler system wasn’t turned off and sprinklers were going off on peoples’ tents!

It was a GREAT start to a morning. 2,000 people having to relocate with their tents at 3:45am. By the time we moved our tent, we were already up, so we took down the tent and packed our bags. It was the last day. Only 15 miles more to walk.

I got up to the last 5 miles that day and decided to stop there. My feet were throbbing and my shins and knees hurt. I was worried about damaging myself. Plus, I had runway shows that Thursday and Friday! I knew I could have gone those last miles, but instead I stayed with my mom and tent mate to be bused to the finish line.

At the finish line in Seattle Center, there were hundreds of people cheering us all on. I don’t know if it was the emotion or the pain, or both, but I began to cry. We did it. We raised the $2,300 and walked and walked and walked… and walked. Together, everyone participating had raised more than 5 million dollars to fight breast cancer.

And that is powerful.

Be Fierce!

Briauna Mariah (:

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