As I mentioned back in this post, on July 21st, Piedmont Park (the Atlanta equivalent of Central Park for you non-ATLians) played host to not one but TWO separate events promoting breast cancer awareness and women’s health. Even though I opted not to take part in either event (for a number of reasons), I was able to spend some time at both events, getting a nice dose of pink spirit in the middle of the long, hot summer.
The Pink Ribbon Walk
While I spent time with both groups, I focused most of my time on the Pink Ribbon Walk. While this was actually the 9th time that this event was held, I only became vaguely aware of it last summer when I was driving to meet friends for a 3 Day training walk and passed by all the walkers. While I had every intention of looking up more about the Pink Ribbon Walk and the Sisters… By Choice Inc group, in all honesty, I completely forgot about it until a few days before this event when I saw a passing mention of it on Twitter. And man, am I glad I saw that tweet because this event was FANTASTIC!
When I first walked up to the group, I was blown away by the turn out. I consider myself pretty plugged into the breast cancer awareness community here in Atlanta so I assumed that if I hadn’t heard about this until a few days before, well, I wasn’t expecting much. I am happy to say that I was very wrong. Even the Atlanta Falcon cheerleaders and the mayor of Atlanta himself, Kasim Reed, turned out for this event. The energy level before the runners/walkers took of for their 5K was palpable. There were a number of community and business groups taking part that gave the whole thing such spirit. I’m really hopeful that I can convince Hubs’ office to sponsor a team for this next year as part of their community support work.
One of the best parts about this event was the “expo” area. While most of these types of events feature tables from their sponsors and information about the sponsoring organization (in this case, a local group called Sisters By Choice… Inc), this expo was unique in that it featured tables from a number of other cancer organizations as well. As a cancer advocate, I think this is really great because groups like Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the Young Survivor’s Coalition, the Georgia Breast Cancer Alliance, the American Cancer Society, and Komen Atlanta all focus on such different aspects of the larger fight against breast cancer. I get very discouraged when these organizers are positioned as competitors to each other rather than as co-advocates, so to see them all proudly represented at one event was fantastic.
Pictures from the Pink Ribbon Walk Expo
I cannot speak highly enough of the organization and energy around the Pink Ribbon Walk and I’m really looking forward to running in the 10th annual event next summer!
SheMoves Atlanta 5K
When I first got to Piedmont Park on Saturday morning, I almost immediately came upon the women of the SheMoves Atlanta 5K lining up for the start of their event. The group was a bit smaller than I anticipated but the race organizers were energetic and really got everyone going for the race. Unlike the Pink Ribbon Walk (which focused on runners and walkers), the SheMoves 5K was pretty much solely runners. Also, while the Pink Ribbon Walk went out into the streets around the park, the SheMoves course was entirely within the park boundaries. I suppose that reflects the goal of each event. The Pink Ribbon Walk was designed to get people talking about breast cancer awareness while the purpose of the SheMoves 5K was to provide a fitness event to motivate women to make healthy decisions for their families and themselves. As a result, the SheMoves 5K was a more low key, intimate affair.
The one thing that these two events did have in common, though, was that they both had great post-race expos. The SheMoves 5K expo, which was held at Park Tavern, was really focused on celebrating women’s health, with champagne, flowers, and beautiful race shirts. It reminded me quite a bit of the post-race area for the Atlanta Track Club’s Women’s 5K. All in all, it seemed like a great, supportive environment for a race. The SheMoves Atlanta group hosts a number of these types events over the course of the year so I’m going to be keeping my ears to the ground in the hopes of participating in one of their other runs.
All in all, it was a very pink-filled morning in the park and I loved soaking up every minute of it!
To see all of my pictures from both the Pink Ribbon Walk and the SheMoves Atlanta 5K, please click here.