Monday, September 15, 2008

wanna go for a walk?

How about 60 miles? :)

Friday Morning Ben dropped us off at Bellevue Community College. The sun was just beginning to rise and we were gearing up to walk 23 miles. This is the scene that greeted us upon our arrival.

The crowd...a sea of pink!

These flags were everywhere. Throughout the day, people would carry one as they walked and then pass it off to someone else. Hillary and I carried quite a few on our first day.

Our first shot of the day. Can you tell that we took it? So tired...yet so excited!

Here we are at a pit-stop. They had stops about every 3 miles. This is where you would grab some food, refill your water supply, and use the porta-potty. We lived for any sort of stop! It felt like a small goal to reach each one of these stations. This was the Double-D Ranch. :)

Hillary and I pose with a flag. We were still full of energy and feeling great at this point on day one.

This is the pig motorcycle. You wouldn't believe how many rough-and-tough biker men invade the Breast Cancer 3-Day course. They volunteer their time to ensure our safety along the routes. Dressed in pink, they stop traffic and help us cross the street. They greet us with smiles at several stops along the way. We became big fans of the pig guy. :)

Here's what we saw as we started day 2...22 miles!

Ben showed up at lunch with a pink bra on...over his white t-shirt! He fit right in! :)

Here's the fam. They were all there at lunch on the 2nd day. This is when my mom helped out by lancing my blister. My dad took countless pictures of the ordeal.

The blister returned several times...I just couldn't get it to go away. This is the smaller version too.

Kara was nice enough to come see me during the lunch break as well. What a good friend! Thanks for your support K-Ham!

Proof that we were still out on the course!

Hillary's mom (Leslie) and her step-dad (Lonnie), were huge supporters! They live near Marymoor Park and showed up at countless cheering stations, visited us at camp each night and even brought us coffee on Sunday morning. Riley stayed with them for a couple of nights since Steve had to work, so he came to cheer us on as well. It was so much fun to see him light up each time Hillary came into view.

Riley wanted to walk with his mama at one point. So, he grabbed his blanket and showed his support. How sweet, huh?

These signs were posted before every pit stop. During the morning hours, we were happy to see these. As the day wore on, we hated these signs...a mile can seem like forever when you're walking 60! We're also pretty sure that the signs were posted 2 miles before the pit stops. Someone needs to check for accuracy.

Here we are at a pit stop. These themes, the friendly people, and endless supply of food and drink were a welcomed break in our day. We were so happy to reach each pit stop...smaller goals within the 60 miles.

The last day...I wanted a picture in front of the fountain (not turned on) at u-dub. I figured Ben would appreciate this. On the far right, is Kasey. Hillary and I know her through Maywood. She has helped with our school musicals in the past. Right now she's gearing up to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at Seattle Children's Theatre.

Here were are in the "holding-tank." We completed the walk and this is where we were waiting for the rest of the walkers. SO EXCITED TO BE DONE! At this point, the pain didn't really matter.

Here is a look at everyone lining up for our entry into Memorial Stadium.

I looked for my family as I came out. They were the ones holding the "Anne Simmons Rocks" poster. It's just to the left of the large pink blow-up. You can't really see it here...but it meant the world to me at this point!

Everyone out on the thankful to be done!

We held up a shoe in support of all of the survivors who walked. Those of us who simply walked wore white shirts. Those who walked as survivors wore pink shirts. This is when the survivors were introduced. I wish I could have seen the sea of pink shirts a bit better. Regardless, it was extremely emotional.

Here are a few survivors who carried in the flags. At this point, everyone is crying. The strength displayed is beyond description.

This is a picture of the women raising the final flag...the one that says something about a world free of breast cancer. Hey, with the 8.6 million dollars raised from this walk alone, that's a huge possibility!

So happy to be a part of something so meaningful!

I don't know that there are many things in life I have truly been proud of. I mean, there are a few things that come to mind, but something about this challenge has brought so much joy to my life. I kept telling Hillary that I was so proud of her. I know it wasn't easy and I couldn't have done it without her support. At this point, I wonder how long it will take me to sign up for next year. :)


So many of you have supported me in this walk and I can't even begin to thank you! Your prayers, financial support, emails, encouraging words, and willingness to come out to the event made a huge difference. I continue to hope and pray that the cure for breast cancer is something we'll see in my lifetime. Thank you for doing your part to help make that a reality!


Robin said...

Wow Anne- what an amazing experience! I did the breast cancer walk in June ad that was only 3 miles; I can't imagine how emotional 60 would be! Good for you for doing something like this to support such a great cause! And what a powerful message for your students to see!

Doreen T. said...

Thank you... thank you... thank you! I am so proud of you for doing this for all women. May there be a CURE for breast cancer in my lifetime. And may there be a way to PREVENT breast cancer in yours! God bless you, Anne.

Kara said...

Way to go Anne!

Robica said...

Wow Anne! I'm so proud of YOU! That is amazing. I hope your blisters heal quickly

Christie C. said...

Aww Anne, I got seriously teary eyed reading this. I know I don't really know you, but I am SO proud of you! What an awesome thing you did for so many women. Bravo!

Lisa said...

Congrats on finishing the walk, Anne! I'm walking in the Portland race for the cure but that will only be a 5K. I don't know if I would be able to do what you accomplished! You're awesome!!

J Yo said...

On behalf of our grandma Pauline, thank you Anne! This is a cause near and dear to my heart and I'm so impressed with what it took to finish this walk!

You'll have to tell me all about it...maybe I'll be able to do it with you next year...if you ever want those awesome blisters again, that is... :)

e said...

Anne it was so fun to see you and cheer you on that last Sunday! I remember the pig guy sweet. Great job, I'm so glad you got to experience this!