Giving Back: Rider student races for a cure

By Erin Wallace

I could not have been more nervous the morning of Oct. 6, when Six Flags Great Adventure hosted the 20th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I had never run a 5K race.

Standing at the starting line was so exhilarating; it was something I had never felt before. I tried to tune out everyone around me and focus on the path ahead. We ran along the road, behind Six Flags Great Adventure and through Hurricane Harbor. I remember how awesome it was to run right behind Kingda Ka. Because it was foggy, the roller coaster seemed to disappear in the sky, making the record-breaking drop seem even higher. I also enjoyed running through Hurricane Harbor because I have never been to that park before.

With more than 20,000 participants and spectators, this event is a great way to give back to those who survived, lost their battle and are currently fighting breast cancer. To see the number of people that run, walk, volunteer and donate to this truly special event is absolutely amazing.

I have wanted to run a 5K for several years, and the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure was always at the top of my list. As one of my favorite philanthropies, this breast cancer foundation does everything it can to raise money for research. Once I knew the day of the event, I immediately signed up with my parents. In addition to running in the 5K, I signed up to volunteer. I could not wait to finally run and work for such an amazing cause.

The run was harder than I expected. I exercise daily and believed myself to be prepared, but I was not. With a time of 29.29.2, I was glad that I was able to finish.

After running, I volunteered by handing out bibs to children and walkers. It was a great experience to meet the other volunteers and participants. I could not have been happier to be there; it was such a fun and rewarding experience. Later, my parents and I were able to join in the 4K walk. The number of participants took my breath away; the support was endless.

Students should consider volunteering or walking in the Race For The Cure next year because it is only a short drive from Rider. It is a great way to spend a fun morning with friends while giving back to an organization in need. Funding for breast cancer research is significant because many women are affected each year. Some may say that the event is too early in the morning, but I can say that it is definitely worth it in the end and that I will be signing up again next year. There is nothing more rewarding than giving your time to a philanthropy that does all it can to better the lives of others.

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