Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#RunDONNA 5k + Festivities Recap

Fun, fun, fun!
That about sums up my entire weekend. But let's start at the beginning.
With Linzie, Krissy, Shannon, and Marcia pre-5k (Photo credit: Linzie Starr)
26.2 with Donna Marathon weekend started off on Friday with the VIP cocktail party. The Ambassadors were lucky enough to get an invite and it was a very cool experience. The party included the incredibly lovely Donna Deegan (yes, that Donna), the who's-who of Jacksonville, the happy-to-be-there Ambassador team, and some pretty big names in the running world, including Joan Benoit Samuelson who has run 26.2 with Donna every single year.
Meeting Joan was a pretty big highlight for me.  Growing up one town over from her in Maine, I knew who she was and what she meant to the world of women's running from a pretty early age. She has been an inspiration to me my entire athletic career, so I tried my hardest to play it cool. I think I did ok because she didn't run away and hide. Joan and I chatted about how winter was going this year in Maine, her race schedule (next she has some race in Boston in April, but I forget the name of it), her upcoming travel with NIKE for the Japan Nike Women's Marathon, and life in general (her kids, our jobs). Joan is extremely down to earth and a Mainer through and through.
The 5k group post race (Photo credit: A. Mummau)
 Sweaty in Pink! Wearing the taffeta in honor of reaching my fundraising goal!
The next morning the Ambassadors were up and at 'em for the 5k and Family fun run.  Krissy, MarciaLinzie and I decided to fun run the 5k together as we all had a marathon to save our legs for the following day.  The 5k started and ended at the convention center, home of the expo, and wove it's way through downtown Jacksonville and along the river.  Marcia, who lives in Jacksonville, gave us a great little tour of the city. The 5k was a fun way to kick off running 30 miles in one weekend. At the finish, we met up with Reist, another ambassador, who was running with his niece, nephew, and brother. Their family makes 26.2 with Donna an annual event and had over 14 family members participating in at least one race this year!  So impressive!
New this year, the 5k has a finishers medal and it's super cute!
Visiting the Expo. Yes, I now realize that it looks like the ribbon is punching me in the head.
On Saturday night we were off to dinner at the Mayo Clinic honoring some of the top fundraising teams.
Dr. Perez (in blue coat), Donna (in purple dress), Joan (black top) with some of the Ambassadors. (Credit: Ashley)
The dinner was very inspiring.  It was amazing to hear from all sides of the process. The Donna Foundation Team detailed where every penny goes and shared the stories and experiences of those who have been helped by donations. It was very evident the incredible care the foundation has for what they do. We also heard from some of the top fundraising teams and the stories behind why they raise money, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once.  Of course as a research scientist, I loved hearing from the research team of Dr. Edith Perez (Donna's Doctor) on how they have used fundraising dollars to make huge advancements in understanding breast cancer and designing individual treatment plans for their patients.  It is very powerful to see how so many people from different areas are pulling together for the common goal of finishing breast cancer.
With Donna Deegan. I should know better than to wear heels when I'm this tall.
The night was the perfect inspiration heading into Sunday's marathon.  It provided perspective and reminded me that the whole weekend meant a lot more than just getting one foot in front of the other.

Up next...Marathon recap!


  1. lol.. I don't know why but the picture of you getting punched by the ribbon almost made me spit my coffee on my computer.

    1. Isn't it funny? I totally didn't realize it until I uploaded it!

  2. Looks like you were busy, but lots of fun was had!

    Now, get up this race recap snappy, I'm excited to read it. :)

  3. The ribbon is funny! What a great way to experience a race :) Congrats again on being a great ambassador for a cause that needs a cure!

    1. Thanks Karen for all your support!

  4. The ribbon knocking you out is hilarious, love the pink dress.

  5. Awesome!!! I am just thrilled you reached your fundraising goal!! The taffeta looks great on you :)
    Joan Benoit is a wonderful representative for the cause, and so are you. Looks like it was a perfect day for running!

  6. THis sounds like quite a weekend. What town did you grow up in? I would love to meet JBS. I have been in a race with her! (What other sport can you do with heros?) Can't wait to read the recap.

    1. I grew up in Yarmouth, right next to Freeport.


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