Sunday, September 14th was the 17th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Cincinnati. And I was back with my camera gear, my booth, my pink hair, and a team of talented photographers. This year saw a few changes: the date was moved to a Sunday; the 10K competitive run and the kids’ run were both canceled; and the event was relocated to Coney Island. Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing that pink sea of people covering Freedom Way, but this location added a bit of whimsy to it.
This event was also a little more challenging for me. Along with the venue change and the usual last minute alterations, this was my first big gig after maternity leave, and it followed my sister in-law’s wedding the night before. Late night of party fun! (Congratulations, Annye and Zeke!)
I was lucky enough to have a team of 9 photographers this year!Let me repeat that… 9 wonderfully busy humans donated their Sunday morning to capturing this awesome event! Not only were there 9 of us photographing this event; Jill, my favorite henna artist and friend (see my Henna for Heroines post) offered up free henna at my booth. AND, my Grandma also came out to hold down the fort and man the EfyP booth. Basically, I was surrounded by amazingly generous individuals. The 5:30am wake-up call was not so bad.So, if you’ve never attended one of these events (or read my previous Komen posts,) the morning starts with registration and the opening of the Expo. The ‘Expo’ encompasses sponsor and vendor booths, kids activities, food at the Komen Kafe, etc. This is where people can personalize back signs “In Celebration of…” and “In Memory of…” And most all booths have fun takeaways (knick-knacks to takeaway and keep,) so of course I like to join in on the fun. I had my safety pin ribbons, made lovingly by hand while watching Game of Thrones; and new this year (and a very last minute addition,) a photo booth, sans the back drop! I made the props myself (I’m kinda proud of my glue gunning skills -no burns!)After you worm your way through the Expo area, you make your way to the Main Stage, which was next door to the Start Line this year. The Main Stage holds Jeff and Jenn from the Jeff and Jenn Morning Show on Q102, general event announcements, check presentations, work-out/warm-up instructors, and performances. As the morning progresses, the area is gradually filled in with breast cancer survivors, friends, family, runners, walkers, and media types. At 8:45am, the first gun shot is fired, triggering the 5K competitive run.Following the competitive runners, the 5K run/walkers line up at the Start Line, and my short self is finally hoisted above the crowd in a baby scissor lift. At 9:20am the shot gun pops and the 5K run/walk begins.As people start their journeys, Jeff and Jenn announce the teams and team signs as they pass by. “Bailey’s Brigade,” “Team Carol,” “Team Grandma,” “Kellie’s Believers,” “Peace Out Cancer,” “Team CANcervive,” “Connie’s Crusaders,” “Walking with Double D,” “Team Diana,” “Burke Team of Hope,” “Jan’s Rack Pack,” “Patti’s Posse,” etc….
After people make their way through the balloon-marked start line, I make my way to the Finish Line, which is already receiving the competitive runners. (This is my favorite part of the day.)
At the final stretch of the 5K, the Finish Line forks. “Survivors on the left,” The New 94.9’s Jay Kruz is joined by a whole bunch of energetic cheerleaders to welcome the survivors as they finish their race. After the people in pink (this is a man’s disease as well) make their way through the paparazzi (teehee,) Kruz with his microphone, and the cheering cheerleaders, they are handed pink carnations and rejoined by their family and friends.Following the run/walk, event participants are invited to attend the Celebration of Hope ceremony to honor survivors at the Main Stage. Q102’s Brian and Laura host the event and invite select survivors to the stage. This is followed by the annual Survivor Group Photo and a performance of “Amazing Grace.” And if the performance doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, the dove release just might do it. From there, some people filter home; while others stay behind to ride some Coney Island rides.
And then the rest of us went home…
THANK YOU AGAIN! to the wonderful photographers that made themselves available to help capture this event. And to Jill with Jaiswal Design, for her amazing henna artistry. They are all kind, local, and incredibly talented individuals!Please check them out!
All race images can be found at: www.eclecticallyforyou.com/komen/race2014