More than 300 people gathered at Three Springs outside Mercy Regional Medical Center on Saturday morning for Journey of Hope, a 5 kilometer/10 kilometer walk-run that raises money for women who can’t afford mammograms in Southwest Colorado.
Joanne Spina said she and her husband started the Journey of Hope in 1995 after her mother died of breast cancer. In the 20 years since, it has raised more than $125,000, she said.
“Thanks to the Journey of Hope, a lot of women in Southwest Colorado don’t have to choose between food for their kids and their own health,” Spina said.
Spina said the Journey of Hope was both a celebration of breast cancer survivors and a family event.
The crowd of people who showed supported her point.
Dozens of tiny children ran around with balloons, teenagers clapped as their moms cleared the finish line, while husbands and grandfathers compared results with stopwatches.
Indeed, athletically, the group was a mixed bag.
Some sprinted the 10K trail; others waddled through the 5K (or a parking lot-based approximation of the 5K) at a leisurely pace.
But aesthetically, it appeared everybody had gotten the same memo about Breast Cancer Awareness Month: wear pink.
Almost half the crowd was bedecked in something pink – including a fuchsia sports bra, a hot pink sweater, a pale pink baseball cap, a bright magenta jacket and rose sunglass frames.
Panting, Derek Wadsworth said he decided to run, even though he hates it.
“But my wife has breast cancer, and I’m helping her to kick its butt,” he said.
Wadsworth said his time for the 10K wasn’t bad: 54:33.
He said his wife was at home with their 5-year-old child. Her journey has already been hard – double masectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, “and reconstruction in February,” he said.
“I was running next to one guy, who was running for his dad and grandfather. I think everyone here has been touched by cancer one way or another. We’re just trying to fight back,” he said.