Guest Writer: Sarah Reed, Komen Missouri Communications and Marketing Intern
This year’s Susan G. Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure® was the first Race for the Cure that I have ever attended. I had heard of some of my friends participating in honor of their family members who have battled breast cancer, but I had never physically gone to the Race. From pictures and videos of previous years, the Race had seemed like an incredible experience and event. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to take part in planning the event this year.
As a new member of the team, I had been anticipating the Race for the weeks I had been in the office. At Komen Missouri, there is so much preparation before the Race between new registrations, T-shirts, sponsors and beyond. Also, there were many people working endless hours to ensure that the Race was going to be a successful event. I was amazed by the dedication and commitment that the committee members and volunteers put into the Race.
The Friday before the Race was a preparation day. It consisted of long hours in the heat, heavy lifting, and a lot of teamwork. I focused on helping our sponsors get settled at their tent sites on Sponsors’ Row. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but we knew that our hard work would pay off in the morning. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see it all come together Saturday morning.
I arrived at the Race site around five am on Saturday morning. Even though I am not the biggest morning person, I could hardly wait to get to the site on Race Day. There were a large number of volunteers setting up the site such as the Survivor Pavilion and the Main Stage. I got see behind the stage, which was a really exciting experience. I also had to the opportunity to meet with the Pink Tie Guys and many of our top sponsors before they went on stage.
I think the most memorable moment of the Race was the Survivor Procession. It was very inspirational to see all of the pink shirts representing the battle and defeat of breast cancer. I loved seeing our executive director, Helen Chesnut, leading the procession. She has been a survivor for 10 years now. Watching and cheering on the survivors was a very emotional moment for me. I was able to see so much strength from our community all dressed in pink.
I also had the opportunity to stand at the finish line with last spring’s intern, Claire. Our role was to get the names of the timed participants who finished first in different categories. It was amazing to see the intense effort that the runners put into the race. It was clear to see that they put every ounce of energy into finishing the race. Their hard work represented the ongoing fight to end breast cancer for good.
Now that the Greater St. Louis Race is over, I am extremely excited to help plan our next events, including the Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure in Columbia, where I will be in the fall, finishing my last year at Mizzou. I cannot wait to get my collegiate friends and peers involved with the upcoming events in Columbia.