Susan G. Komen for the Cure was founded in Texas in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in memory of her sister, Susan Goodman Komen, who died in 1980 at the age of 36 after a three-year struggle with breast cancer. The first race in the US was in 1983, and this is the ninth year of the Buffalo race. It is a 5K, around 3.1 miles, and not as much a race as it is a walk. For my take on how my day started at 7:30 in the morning with a cancer cure initiative, please see Spit for the Cure.
The race part actually begins at 10:00AM near the Delaware Park Rose Garden, right across from the Albright Knox Art Gallery, on Lincoln Parkway. It proceeds to Soldiers’ Circle, a right veer onto Bidwell Parkway. At Richmond Avenue you turn around and return to Soldiers’ Circle. A right onto Chapin Parkway, and take that to Delaware Avenue, where you turn around, and head back yet again to Soldier’s Circle for one final time.
Breast Cancer Survivors… A Sea of Pink
Then you veer right onto Lincoln Parkway and to the finish line, right where you started. I have yet to see this race course schema used anywhere in the world. If you saw a map of the race, the course would look like the shape of a flux capacitor, just like in the movie Back to the Future.
Over 6000 participants, 300 survivors and 270 teams
An archway was built with pink, red and green balloons. There was a touching moment when at around 9:00 in the morning breast cancer survivors with pink shirts proclaiming “I am a Survivor” and “I believe” walked under the archway and “marched” onto the stage to be greeted by hugs from event emcees in Team WGRZ-TV 2 (co-sponsor with Ford) as well as Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. What an uplifting moment!
Chihuahua for the Cure
Our mayor told us that 75% of the funds raised today stay in Buffalo and Western New York (to fund breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment projects). He also went on to declare this Susan G Komen Race for the Cure day in Buffalo. Congressman Higgins spoke as well. It looks like over $500,000 will be raised today.
Coppers for a Cure
Other interesting team names that I saw were Team Salon Savvi, Lucky’s Limber Legs, Mitch’s Breast Friend’s and Family, Windy’s Warriors, Share-N-Care, Sodexo Wing, and of course my local Checkers AC Running Club. The White Carnations team had over 200 participants.
If you were at the Race, please tell us your story!
I Am The Cure Cheerleaders cheered on the participants!
The cure was everywhere (Yes, I love the band as well)! There were clever little quotes that you see on the I Am The Cure buttons to encourage action and assist in breast cancer awareness. The chants all have a rhythm that make them short and easy to remember. Even the beverage area got into the act with an open cardboard box and message via black magic marker: Tips for the Cure. I even saw a lady’s cast with the famous Cure ribbon drawn by crayon and the message: Support the Cure.
The Releasing of the White Doves
Since the beginning of time, white doves have been a symbol of peace, new beginnings, beauty, innocence, fidelity and love. White doves were first released at the 1896 Olympics when the cauldron was lit. At the Cure, the release of the white doves is a sign of hope for the survivors.
The view from the Buffalo Rising Online blimp
Actually, perhaps we will have room in the budget for a blimp next year. A big thanks to the brave Buffalo Fire Department firefighters Mr. Lotocki and Lieutenant McCarthy for allowing me onto the ladder of the fire truck to capture this spectacular view of Buffalo from very high up above. I guess this could be one reason why we are called Buffalo Rising.
For my take on another recent Buffalo race event please see Buffalo Corporate Challenge a Rush.