This morning, the streets near the Sullivan Arena were flooded with pink as thousands of people came out to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
More than seven thousand runners, joggers, walkers and strollers bibbed-up for the 20th Annual Alaska Women’s Run and raised more than $160,000. When the race began in 1993 it had just a mere 700 participants. In the last two decades, that number has skyrocketed ten-fold and the event has raised more than $3 million in the process.
There were over three hundred teams with as few as five people to as many as two hundred. They dressed in decorated t-shirt, tutus, and costumes, putting a fun spin on a very serious subject.
“We’ve really come to talk about this disease and really rally behind it,” said Race Director Kristin Wilkinson. “Whether they’re walking in memory of someone they lost, walking with someone who survived, or just walking for the cause with a group of friends, it’s just fantastic.”
Many who joined today’s ranks are breast cancer survivors. Several are still fighting the disease. The race brings them together to lean on each other in a time when being alone could be just as dangerous as the cancer itself.
Bonnie Jones and Lori Bradford, a nurse and a dance teacher at West High School, are members of “Bonnie’s Posse.” Recently diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer Jones appreciates the support of her team.
“It’s a rocky road and you don’t want to do it alone,” she said. “You need friends and you need that support and people don’t hide away and become depressed.”
“That’s the point of it really,” said Bradford, who survived breast cancer. “To get out and to not be all alone. The survivors all know what the people who are going through treatment are going through. It’s a sisterhood!”