Somehow this even always flies under my radar. It makes no sense. I’m sure they have a great publicity machine, but I didn’t include it in my weekend possibility list last Thursday simply because I hadn’t realized it happened on Saturday. By Saturday I’d figured it out and I walked to the World’s Fair Park to document an event that is very important to so many people. The prediction indicated ten thousand participants would likely don the pink and hit the pavement.
When I arrived to a bit of a chill and a touch of fog, I saw a few dozen people near the starting line and began to have doubts. I eventually figured out that the crowd hangs out actually in the park before the race and the thousands indeed awaited the race there. A group led warm-up exercises which would’ve done me in without the race. I did realize afterward that while some people do, in fact, race to the cure, quite a few others stroll to the cure. It’s not exactly a competitive venture for most participants.
One of the uplifting features of the crowd was its diversity. People of various ages and races mingled about. A large number of men joined in. Teens and college-age students dressed to the nines to participate. It underscored the fact that this disease unifies so many people who have lost mothers, wives and daughters.
Of course, many people have faced the disease and won and that’s what this day is really about. Many survivors and whole families joined together to both commemorate the fact that they have survived as well as to give hope to those who are currently facing the battle of a lifetime. Surely some sadness mingled into the crowd and as the bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” into the foggy morning, I suspect some tears were shed in the midst of the celebration.
The runners and walkers and amblers eventually took off heading into the center city via Clinch Avenue which is where the only negative moment of the race happened: Anti-abortion protesters thought this would be a good moment to hold up their massive photographs of aborted fetuses for all the women to enjoy and for all the children present to ponder as they ran. I’ve said it before when they display their images on Market Square: Why is this legal? Is there no law preventing obscene images from public display? If not, is there not an anti-abortionist affiliated with this group who understands how much this damages their cause? Do they really think this exposure is appropriate for children?
The race organizers vented their frustration by having volunteers stand in front of the signs and wave the pompoms that had been handed out to cheer on the walkers and runners. I wondered if it obscured the signs or drew attention to them. The Facebook page for the event received a number of comment criticizing the group.
Ah well, on balance the event lifted up those who needed uplifting and it raised money to fight breast cancer. That’s about as pro-life as one might ever hope to be. If you’d like to make a donation to this group, you may do so here.