This race probably means more to me than most of my other races put together. Since 1977, thousands of mothers and daughters, sisters and friends have come together at this all-women’s 5k to celebrate women’s health and fundraise to provide early diagnosis for those in need. The beneficiary of this race, Florida Hospital Breast Cancer Care Fund, was created to help save the lives of women who cannot afford clinical breast cancer exams and annual mammograms-the most effective tool in the fight against breast cancer.
The Lady Track Shack 5k is always a fun race – great course, Raw Threads shirts, beautiful medals, and lots of local ladies filling the streets. But this year was super special because I was doing this one with my amazing friend Niki who is currently fighting breast cancer. I’ve known Niki for over 20 years now and the last few months have been insane for her. No one should have to go through the hell that she is going through, and if participating in this event can help even one woman not have to do the same then I’m all for it.
A group of us walked this 5k with Niki and even had some super awesome #ProjectNiki shirts made in her honor. We had so much fun SLOWLY making our way through the beautiful streets of Winter Park. We took lots of photos, laughed, danced (that was even caught on video), told stories, and just enjoyed spending the time together.
She always talks about her “tribe” and how important it is to her. I’m lucky to be considered a member of that tribe and it was so great to have everyone together to support Niki on Saturday. Some days are good for her and some are bad, so it was wonderful to just have a fun morning together. I feel like everyone needs their own tribe, regardless of how big or small, that will be there through all of life’s ups and downs.
Saturday was amazing. There just isn’t any other way to describe it. I’m so glad I have Niki in my life. I’m so glad that on Saturday friends from all her different groups were able to get together to support her. I’m SO glad that we had a happy morning together where for at least an hour or 2 we could just enjoy each other and life. Running means so much to me, but the community aspect of it is one of the best things about running. Saturday was a perfect example of just how amazing that community is.