Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Steamboat Springs Suzy Lord walked 20 miles in 130-degree heat with 14 blisters on her feet during the final day of the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day last year.
She said it wasn't fun, but it was worth the pain.
"It is such an amazing experience," Lord said.
Lord knows 22 people that either have or have had breast cancer, so walking 60 miles in three days is the least she can do to help raise funds to fight the disease.
This year, however, the three-day Avon event will be from Boulder to Denver instead of Fort Collins to Boulder.
Participants still have three days to walk 60 miles, but Lord said organizers are hoping alterations to the course this year will provide some shade from heat levels that forced hundreds of walkers to pull out of last year's event early.
"Nothing prepares you for that kind of heat," Lord said.
She is doing her part by training during the hottest portions of the day in Steamboat. Lord said that likely saved her last summer.
Since May, she has walked eight to 10 miles a day four to five times a week.
Sometimes she walks in the morning before her kids wake up.
Other times she heads out in the midafternoon heat.
Sometimes she listens to music. Other times the quiet provides a perfect escape.
"It's good thinking time," Lord said.
Last year, she had the pleasure of meeting some amazing individuals during the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day. Lord walked with a friend from Chicago most of the time but said she had the opportunity to converse with others along the walking route and in the tent towns at night.
"I met a woman, Diane from Seattle, last year," Lord said.
"She ended chemo two weeks earlier and walked the whole race. She was tired, but she made it."
Lord said she encountered numerous people recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy while walking or being pushed in wheelchairs.
"By the time I got to the end I was a sobbing mess," Lord said. "It's such a good cause."
So far Lord has managed to raise about $3,000, which leaves her about $800 short for her next walk the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Los Angeles, which runs from Santa Barbara to Malibu, Calif., in October.
Her expenses are covered for the Aug. 2-4 Colorado event.
"It's been a tough year for people," she said. "Steamboat has been amazing."
So have Lord's experiences with the event.
At 46, she acknowledges that she is approaching a stage in her life where the likelihood of her developing breast cancer increases.
According to the Feminist Majority Foundation's Web site, once a woman reaches 50, her chance for developing breast cancer is 1 in 50 compared to 1 in 217 by the age of 40. When she turns 60, the rate becomes 1 in 24 and continues to increase as she ages.
By walking in the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day and through donations, she hopes to lower the risk.
"I wanted to walk this one even though it's tougher because it leaves the money in Colorado," Lord said.