On Sunday October 5th I was one of the 125,000 people who participated in the 23rd Annual CIBC Run for the Cure. This is an annual 5k fundraising run which raises money for breast cancer research, education and advocacy initiatives. The first run was held in 1992 in Toronto raising $85,000 and has evolved into a nationwide event with over 65 races being held this year and raising over 25 million dollars.
This run and cause is near and dear to my heart because my grandmother Jean Allain was taken from us way too early in 1999 at the young age of 58 from of this horrible disease. She was an amazing lady with a kind heart and wonderful laugh. I miss her so much especially during this run. The stats are pretty scary since 1 in 9 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 19 will die of the disease. Having this run to raise money in hopes of finding a cure so that other families don’t need to lose someone they love from breast cancer makes me happy.
For many years now the Allain’s have been fundraising and participating in the Run for the Cure. We have created our own yellow shirts in memorial to my grandmother, and are known as “Jean’s Dream Team.” Unfortunately for me I was always in Halifax at university when the run was happening in October so while my family all ran the event in Charlottetown I would run or volunteer for the event in Halifax. This year the family is spread out all over Canada from Newfoundland to Fort McMurray so we all had to do the run on our own.
On the morning of the run I got ready by putting on all my Pink because the pink ribbon is the international symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness. This year the t-shirt is positive words written in pink making the shape of the pink ribbon. A great thing about the run is that you get to write on your run bib who you are running for and of course I put my Grandmother.
So Marissa and I made our way downtown to the events. There were over 10000 people who came out to support the cause. It was really great to look around and see all the people in pink. It is especially nice to see all the runners in the pink t-shirts since they are survivors of the disease. On days like this I always wish that my Meme was here to see this event and wear one of those t-shirts. I know she would be so proud of us running for her though.
We walked around the square and looked at all the booths and were listening to the people who were singing and entertaining the crowd. I was able to meet up with a couple of co-workers who were also doing the run this year, but before we knew it, it was time to start making our way to the starting line.
It was a great day for the run. Though it was a little chilly if you were just standing around when you were actually running it was perfect. The run had a very nice route which takes you from the Gates of China Town past the beautiful view of the River Valley and loops around back to the downtown square. Marissa and I started out running together and made it to the loop before she had to stop for a bit. It was actually quite an emotional run for me. There were volunteers on the path cheering everyone on. They were high fiving everyone and some were holding up signs. One of the first signs I saw said “Your High School Gym Teacher Would Be Proud” I had to choke back tears because I was thinking of my grandmother who was a teacher. There were often times on the race that I just wanted to stop and cry which made it hard to breathe properly because I couldn’t swallow my breaths. When I got to the half way mark though I knew I could push through. It was nice running back because you could see all the people walking/running in the opposite direction. As I was approaching the end of the run I had to dodge around people who were walking the 1km loop, but soon I could see the finish line up ahead. I knew I had to sprint to the end. I think I might have started a little early because I was dying when I finished, but I was really pleased with my finish time of 28:30. According to my Nike plus trainer I finished my fastest recorded mile which was nice.
It wasn’t long before Marissa finished and we walked around the square a little more. Writing on the Wall of Hope and taking some pictures at the photo booth. Before we knew it was time to head home. It was another great year at the Run for the Cure. I can’t wait to participate again next year. We are now one step closer to a cure, and I really hope that I live to see a cure found!!