Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pre marathon margaritas and other stories from Baltimore Running Fest...

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults had approximately 50 runners in the Baltimore Running Festival this past Saturday, actively fighting our battle against cancer. We are so proud to have had TEAM FIGHTERS compete in ALL events: 5K, half marathon, relay, full marathon. Also, we had the children of TEAM FIGHTERS in the kid’s fun run!

Shelby Orndoff, UCF’s Scholarship Program Manager participated by completing her first marathon. Here is an excerpt of her experience…

“Basically this was my first marathon. I figured I had done a 5K and Survivor Harbor 7, so I lost the floaties and decided to dive head first into the shallow water. Running a marathon was a "bucket list" item for me and it helped that I was running for a good cause! I've met people both through UCF and my work as a nurse who would love to be out there running and can't. I was running for them. Each step and each mile was for anyone who ever fought cancer, has cancer, or has lost someone to cancer. I wasn't running to the finish line looking for a cure. Running those 26.2 miles and crossing the finish line was my way of never losing hope. From someone who couldn't run 5 miles a year ago, to running 26.2 miles – I’m sure that anyone can beat any obstacle.

The night before the race I attended the Team Fight pasta dinner at Frank and Nic’s. I had a margarita (as Kelly teased me about yesterday in the UCF office) to take the edge off... I should have had 5 more! I didn't sleep much the night before the festival and despite knowing better my nerves got the best of me. I got sick 5 minutes before the starting whistle! Aches and pains kicked in fast - I never lost or became short of breath, but from waist down my body was numb. Mile 17 I had my moment of breakdown. But, I kept chugging and when I saw Camden Yards I couldn’t have been happier. Post race I ate like a teenage boy and could barely move! But it was worth it. Now that it is a few days later, I can't wait to run it again next year! Kick cancer's butt all around Baltimore!”

Heather Gannoe, sister of Cancer to 5k program founder, also completed the marathon!

Click here for Heather’s Baltimore Running Festival story

The Cancer to 5k program, is an idea that developed out of the personal experiences of Holly Gannoe-Shoemaker while she underwent treatment for cancer. Holly is a 3-year Nodular Melanoma Survivor. The encouragement to move forward with this idea came through Holly's participation in the Inaugural LiveSTRONG™ Summit held on October 28-29, 2006 in Austin, TX by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Many cancer Survivors finish treatment, are given the "all clear" from their treatment team and then find themselves asking, "what next?" The feelings of uncertainty and anxiety and stress that often follow the end of treatment along with the physical changes that can result from some forms of treatment (weight gain/loss, fatigue) are not uncommon. Exercise is a known way to reduce stress and feel less tense. Regular exercise increases your sense of well-being after cancer treatment and can speed your recovery.

For more information on Cancer to 5k

UCF is so proud of its Baltimore Running Festival participants and thanks them for sharing their stories. KEEP FIGHTING!

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