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News 2007

Omaha Race for the Cure

It is snowing outside now, so it's a good time to think back on the race in Omaha on a nice warm day in October. David and I recently ran in the 5K Race for the Cure (to support breast cancer research), in Omaha, Nebraska. Besides our daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren, we ran with about 13,500 other participants, including 800 breast cancer survivors. I have to admit that less than 2000 of the runners were chip-timed racers. About 2 weeks before the event, I read in the brochure that the fastest survivor over 55 years would win a free ticket on American Airlines, I commented to David and our daughter that if I had known there was such a good prize, I would have trained harder. David replied that at age 66, I would never be able to beat 55 year old women. He knows that I don't call what I do "running." It is really just jogging.
It was a cloudy, warm Sunday morning when the race began at 8 am. (This was the same day that the Chicago Marathon was called off after a runner collapsed and died at mile 21.) The police close all the streets used for the race, and there were high school cheering squads as well as enthusiastic observers on most corners. They make a big deal out of the survivors, who get to race for free, wear pink T-shirts, and get a pink rose at the end. Racers can wear paper signs on their backs that say "Running in Memory Of..." or "Running in celebration of...", and most do. It is an awe-inspiring event, with so many people running for the same cause and even women obviously still undergoing chemo treatment doing the 1K walk.
There are the regular age categories for awards, but only four trophies - Overall male winner, Overall female, Master Survivor (over 40) and Senior Survivor (over 55.) There is one Grand Prize, and that is for the Senior Survivor. And to my utter astonishment, and also to that of my family, I won the Senior Survivor Division. It was the most exciting and most surprising result of any competition I have ever been in. Later I was standing somewhere with the trophy and a woman came up to me and asked how many years I had as a survivor. I told her "21", and she said quietly, "My daughter is having her second mastectomy tomorrow. She has 9 children under the age of 19. I can't wait to tell her that I met a runner who has survived 21 years." That alone made the day worthwhile, even if I had not won anything.
My ticket arrived today. Irony of ironies - it can be used for travel to the Caribbean as well as in the US. I could fly to Nevis for free - except we have already bought our tickets. My grandson says I have to stay in good shape so I can win again next year and earn a free ticket for David too.

St.Kitts & Nevis Triathlon Federation
St.Kitts & Nevis Triathlon Federation


Kathryn Bertine's book
Kathryn Bertine's book
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