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Close the book on NY 2010 walk…FAN-DAM-TASTIC weekend

October 18, 2010

Another exciting Avon Walk weekend is in the books.  I completed the 39.3 mile walk with a few blisters on my feet.  But as a button I purchased on the route says “Blisters don’t need chemo”. The Avon Walk NY had 3,900+ walkers and raised $9.4 million for research, treatment and early detection of breast cancer in the NY Metro area.  Complete results of beneficiaries can be found on the Avon Walk website.   I am thrilled to report that my generous sponsors contributed $5,285 toward the total raised!

Sheryl, Jill, and Marty: Team Nyack for Knockers

The walk weekend dawned sunny, but very windy and cold.  I walked with the Nyack for Knockers team comprised of Sheryl, Jill and Marty.  A very wonderful group of people who made the stroll around Manhattan and Brooklyn very enjoyable.

The 3,900 walkers left Pier 84 just as the sun was starting to come up.  The clouds were tinged in shades of pink; Definitely a very promising omen.   We began the day walking up the Hudson River Greenway towards Riverbank State Park.   We wound our way down through Hamilton Heights and Morningside Heights.  New York is definitely not a flat land mass!

We passed Lincoln Center, walked through Chinatown and the Village as we wend our way to the Brooklyn Bridge.  I can’t help humming New York, New York, when I look at the view from the bridge.

In the Village, along Broadway, there was a fascinating spectacle… packs of skateboarders careening down the street.  They navigated between the slow moving traffic, occasionally crashing into buses.  Some of them had video cameras taped to their helmets.  It appears we were being treated to the Broadway Bomb, an illegal longboard race of 450+ participants along Broadway from 116th St to the Wall Street charging bull statue.

After crossing into Brooklyn and stopping at one of the rest stops to pick up some fruit, we continued our trek across the Manhattan Bridge.  It’s amazing how many subway cars traverse the bridge, and boy are they loud when they go by.  We started to head north along the East side of Manhattan.  We passed the United Nations and then by NY Presbyterian Hospital, one of the beneficiaries of the walk.  They always have a great turn out for their cheering station, enthusiastically cheering every walker who goes by.

Finally, the end was near. The last couple of miles always seem the longest.  You can see the green bridge leading to Randall’s Island from where we enter the East River esplanade, but it is still over 2 miles until the finish line.

After a good night’s sleep and some aspirin, it was time to step out for Day 2.  The walk doubles back on it’s route from the previous day, off Randall’s Island and down the East River esplanade.  It makes it’s way across town and up into Harlem, then turns south through the Upper West Side.  We opted to take our lunch to go because the playground where the rest stop was located was packed.  Instead we sat on benches along Central Park and watched the walkers go by as we ate.

Past Radio City Music Hall, into the Garment District and past the Flat Iron building we walked.  Across 23rd Street to the Hudson River and we were almost done with a trek around the big apple.  Just another mile up the Hudson River Greenway and to our final destination of Pier 84.  There was a large crowd on hand to greet the walkers as they arrived.

I created a flag with the names of survivors and those who lost their fight against breast cancer.  On Saturday, I had to put away the flag for part of the walk because the winds were too gusty.  It was out all day Sunday.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend.  It was great spending time with friends I have made during the previous walks.  I can’t express how it feels to look out at the crowd of walkers.  Everyone is there for the same reason, but  for completely different reasons.  I am there to honor my grandmothers who died of breast cancer and celebrate my mom who is a survivor.  I’m there to try, in my small way, to end this horrible disease.

A special shout out to Pinky for walking and keeping me motivated for the last 8 miles on Day 1.   I could not have done it without your help.

A great big thank you to all who sponsored me this year – you are my heros.  And hugs to those who sent me messages during the weekend.  They really helped motivate me to “keep on trucking”.  You are ★·.·´¯`·.·★ AWESOME ★·.·´¯`·.·★!!!!!  And hey, it’s only 363 days until the Avon Walk NY 2011, time to start fund-raising and training  😉

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