Four years ago, I gathered a few of my college girl friends and drove home to Washington, D.C. to run the first annual Prevent Cancer 5k walk/run. I had never run a race, but I figured 3.1 miles was manageable, especially since it was for such a worthy cause. Little did I know that the nauseous feeling and red face that I experienced upon crossing the finish line would kick start something inside of me: a passion, a drive and a love for running.
I have participated in the annual Prevent Cancer 5k every year since that first run in 2009 and I have run in many other races in the area that benefit various causes. While the occasional 3.1 mile jog was fun and rewarding, I began to crave a larger and more meaningful challenge. I considered half marathons, marathons and triathlons, but none of these seemed to fit me. I ultimately settled on what I believe to be a unique and personally satisfying goal: to run a 5k race in every state in the United States.
I have completed 5ks in eight states since setting this goal. I ran one race in a pink tutu with thousands of girls as the coach of a Girls on the Run team. In a women’s only event in Salem, Massachusetts, I crossed the finish line to be greeted by men in tuxedos handing out chocolates and wine. I ran through the streets of Pound Ridge, New York on the Fourth of July. I completed 3.1 miles with my best friend in Provo, Utah while taking in the gorgeous backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains.
I have run the Prevent Cancer 5k with friends and family every year since 2009, celebrating another year that my dad has been cancer free. As I run these races, I’m doing my best to share my passion for running and increase awareness for the causes that I support. Run or walk with me this year for the Prevent Cancer fifth annual 5k, where you can make your commitment to help Stop Cancer Before It Starts! Maybe you’ll discover a hidden passion somewhere along the 3.1 mile route.