Thursday, June 9, 2011

The LIVESTRONG Chics Annual Swim, Bike & Ride to Kick Cancer

This past Saturday was the third anniversary of the LIVESTRONG Chics racing in our local  TriShark Triathlon as a relay team.

The LIVESTRONG Chics - me, Kelli & Christina

Several years ago, a fellow local LIVESTRONG fundraiser - and multiple Ride for the Roses qualifier - had obtained donated entries by the race director for him to create relay teams with the purpose of raising funds for LIVESTRONG.  A few years ago he mentioned to me that he would like a female team.  "What about me?" I asked.  I am a female after all, I fundraise for LIVESTRONG and have friends that I knew I could coerce into participating with me.

So the LIVESTRONG Chics were hatched.

All I needed to do was convince one of the Chics to complete the swim leg.  Yes, I can swim but I haven't swam laps in years.....and I would prefer to run or ride.  The past two years, my dear friends Christina and Kelli have taken turns swimming.

Our first year, Christina swam, Kelli rode my bike and I ran.  The next year we rotated roles - Kelli was our swimmer, I was the biker and Christina the runner.  This year it was my turn to swim but Kelli and Christina were willing to swim who was I to protest?
Off they go....

Turns out Kelli decided to attempt the entire she was our swimmer.  For the record, the three Chics are all runners.  We have run numerous half marathons and several fulls together.  As a matter of fact, the Chics took LA by storm with me....and were greeted by quite a storm as we ran the LA Marathon this past March (that's a separate blog post itself).  So, although many of you may think big deal, she decided to complete the entire us runners, that is a HUGE deal!  (Kelli completed the full race although she had been sick the weeks preceding the event.....I am so proud of Swimmer Chic!).

Just before Swimmer Chic was to brave the cold lake water

In addition to the Chics, there are a few other LIVESTRONG relay teams.  Over the past few years we tend to see these guys just on race day....but the common bond of swimming, biking & running while fundraising for LIVESTRONG has created a sort of kinship.  We may not see each other often - once in awhile bumping into one another at the store or at the ball fields - but when all the LIVESTRONG teams converge under the our tent and don our LIVESTRONG gear, it's like old friends meeting up.

There is quite a different vibe under that LIVESTRONG tent.  We are ready to race but the intense pre-race nerves running through the blood of the other athletes seems to be missing with us.  However, underneath our calm exteriors and joking with one another is the true reason we are there.....all of us are there to honor someone we know that has unsuccessfully or is currently battling cancer.  It is personal to all of us....we are there to swim, ride and run for those that cannot.

This year my 7 year old cancer hating daughter decided to join us and be our cheerleader.  She wore a Team LIVESTRONG jersey, signed the LIVESTRONG banner, made a "In Memory" card for her father - which she proudly wore on her back, put LIVESTRONG stickers on people, and most importantly, she decided she wants to participate next year.

How completely awesome is that?  My 7-year old was inspired by all of us and wants to be part of a relay herself next year.  She is an example of someone effected terribly by cancer - her dad passed away the day before her first birthday.  Yet this little girl doesn't let anything get in her way.  She is NOT going to let the fact that cancer stole a lifetime with dad slow her down in anyway.  As a matter of fact, I think it has done quite the opposite.  She is more adventurous and never thinks anything is impossible.  Take that cancer!!

With my cheerleader, cancer hater & future triathlete!

But, Rachel certainly got me thinking......maybe I should create a kids triathlon here in town as a fundraiser for LIVESTRONG?  Hmmmmmm.....2012???

I am still reaching for my goal of raising $10,000 and am really close to breaking the $7,000 mark.  Won't you please help me support LIVESTRONG and the community of support and hope it creates for those like my daughter?  If so,click on the link below to go directly to my on-line LIVESTRONG fundraising page.

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