This Sunday, I woke up bright and early for the second day in a row to head out to a breast cancer related event. This time, I was off to take part in the Breast Cancer Network of Strength’s National Walk to Empower in Chastain Park!
The Team Village area at the Walk to Empower
After the loud, organized chaos of the Atlanta Race for the Cure on Saturday, this event was a welcome change. While the Network of Strength has been hosting Walk to Empower events for years, this is only the second or third year that the event was held here in Atlanta. Because of that, the event was still on the small side with only a few thousand people taking part. While the crowd was on the small side, it was the biggest group they’ve had to date for a Walk to Empower event in Atlanta, suggesting that the event is starting to gain some public recognition.
In a lot of ways, this event was like a lot of other cancer awareness events. There were the standard registration tables where everyone checked in before the race, turned in their donations and received their event t-shirt if they raised enough money. (I didn’t, but I knew that going in.) There were also vendor and sponsor areas all along the area. One sort of unique aspect was the Team Village area that featured tables and tents assigned to the larger teams where they could meet up, share snacks and water and display photos of those they were honoring. It was similar to the tent areas around the Relay for Life, although on a smaller scale. Even though I wasn’t on a team, I took some time to wander through the tables and get a feel for the teams involved.
One of the larger teams prior to the walk.
The event itself kicked off with a short Opening Ceremonies hosted by a pair of radio DJs from 94.9 The Bull here in Atlanta. The Ceremony featured some short remarks by the organizers and a beautiful performance of Mariah Carey’s song “Hero” as a tribute to the survivors. After a really lame gag by Ronald McDonald of all people (McDonald’s was a sponsor), we were on our way! We walked just over 3 miles through the gorgeous Chastain Park area of Atlanta, mostly on a paved greenway that is part of the Path Foundation. I had never walked up in this neck of the woods, but I will definitely be coming back. The walk we did was so peaceful and beautiful – a great way to spend the morning. In fact, I liked it so much that I stayed after and did another loop around the route as part of my 3 Day training for the day.
Heading out on the Path in Chastain Park.
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I headed out to this walk. While I very much support the wonderful work of the Breast Cancer Network of Strength, this was the first time I had participated in any of their events. I was pleasantly surprised by the calm, easy nature of the whole thing. It strongly reminded me of the start of Day 3 on both of my Atlanta 3 Day walks. A little sleepy and a little chilly, not much chit chat. Just a contemplative walk through a beautiful neighborhood to get the day started. I’m thrilled that this event is getting more recognition in the Atlanta area and I can’t wait to come back next year. Since I couldn’t be with my mom this year, it was the perfect way for me to spend the morning of Mother’s Day.
A mother and daughter team at the Walk to Empower
If you would like to see more pictures from the Walk to Empower, please visit this album on my Picasa page. I have also included a slide show of my pictures at the bottom of this post. Please pardon the quality of the second half of the pictures. I had to switch to my cell phone after the batteries died in my camera. Otherwise, there would have been a lot more pictures of this very pretty walk!