Rocky Mountain Avon Walk 2011 Pre-Event Recap

Opening Ceremony

This past weekend I participated in my first ever Rocky Mountain Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  I don’t know if I have the words to describe it. It was amazing.

I took tons of pictures, seriously, over 300. I wont’ drown you in pictures. Instead, I thought I would break the even down into thirds, the Event-eve, Day 1 and Day 2.

I finished my fundraising the night before and so I had to check in at Event-Eve to get my wrist band and a tent assignment if I wanted to camp out in the pink tents. (I opted for a hotel instead.) I’m glad that I went to the Event-Eve. I needed another pair of proper walking socks and an appropriate hat to wear during the walk.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed. The place was very crowded with lots of walkers and crew members.  On the drive to Dillon from Colorado Springs, I had begun to doubt whether I could do it. Truth be told, I had been experiencing doubt for a couple of weeks. A friend had expressed concern over whether I would be able to do it since none of my training walks had even been half the first day’s distance.  The radiation treatments had really played havoc with my training schedule, but up until just before the event I had convinced myself that attitude was a big part of the training and that I could do it.

I was also feeling very grateful.  As I said, I had finished my fundraising just in time.  I saw several people standing around with signs asking for donations or manning tables of merchandise to raise the funds need to complete their goal.  My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who supported my efforts. I couldn’t have done it without you. I was also grateful to the woman who checked me in – she gave me a big hug when she found out that it had been less than six months since my surgery and just about two months since I had completed radiation.

I didn’t put together a team for this walk. I was uncomfortable asking others to make a commitment to not only walk almost 40 miles, but to raise $1,800 as well.  I wasn’t too worried about walking alone. I had planned to listen to a book on Play-a-way to help pass the time. When I checked in, I found out that I wasn’t supposed to wear headphones during the walk (they wanted walkers to be able to hear the bicyclists that would be not so graciously sharing the path with us over the weekend.)  So that had me a little concerned.

I knew I wasn’t really alone. In addition to a lot of love and support from friends and family, my wonderful husband Tony, my youngest son, Patrick and our good friends Jim and Laurel Byrnes accompanied me to the Rocky Mountains. Tony was part of the Motorcycle Crew. Patrick had wanted to walk with me, but you have to be 16 to do the walk, so he then applied to be part of the Youth Crew, but was not selected. He then asked if he could come along and cheer.  Jim & Laurel agreed to drive Patrick to all the cheering spots.  I think Jim had such a good time that he might be on the Motorcycle Crew for next year.

Motorcycle Crew

I opted for staying at a hotel rather than camping in the pink tents at the Wellness Village for a couple of reasons.  One, I don’t sleep well as it is. I sleep even worse when I’m not at home. I figured a hotel would hard enough to get a good night’s sleep in and didn’t want to even bother with trying to get a good night’s sleep in a cold tent. The second reason was that the hotel had a hot tub. I figured I would need it after the first day for sure. (Too bad I didn’t get to use it on the second day – but that’s a story for the next post.)

After a nice dinner at the Red Mountain Grill, the Archer gang went back to hotel for a pre-event soak in the hot tub for me and a pre-event cigar for Tony, Jim & Laurel. (Oh and Patrick got to act like a fish in the hotel pool.)  I thought I was hiding my doubts rather well. I was very calm, but Jim noticed and told me not to worry, I’d be fine. I just smiled, not certain he was right (he was), but I appreciated his faith in me.

View from the hotel.

Pre-walk Soak.

Check back tomorrow for a recount of day two.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce Kelly
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 20:38:47

    Can’t wait till tomorrow for the next installment!


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