Saturday, February 20, 2010 saw something quite remarkable and special happen at Snoqualmie Pass. Nearly 750 snowshoers, many of them first timers, took over the Iron Horse trail for a few hours to help find a cure for breast cancer. It was the first of many Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer event in Washington.Started in 2003, the Romp to Stomp series has grown to feature events in 6 states and an event in Canada.
The day dawned bright and clear at the Snoqualmie Summit and even the cars were decorated to support breast cancer research. Due to a lack of snow in the Snoqualmie Pass area, the course was changed at 6:00 in the morning and the new course would be along the Iron Horse Trail a very popular trail for cross-country skies. All of the skiers on the course this morning deserved a big heartfelt thank-you for being so understanding as all of the snowshoers wrecked havoc on the groomed trail. And while there were a few mumbles and grumbles from passing skiers, the majority were very encouraging. Even the cars got into the spirit of the event.
Tubbs, the national sponser of the Romp to Stomp series, brought hundreds of pairs of snowshoes for participants to demo.
The first event of the day was a 3k run. Snowshoers of all ages and abilities lined up at the start and waited for the air horn to send them on their way. Running in snowshoes is a bit on the awkward side and the runners did great. Less than 20 minutes later, the first of the runners were back crossing the finish line in triumph.
Then it was time for the main event. Walkers had the option of doing a 3k or extending their adventure and completeing a 5k. Rompers of every ability gathered at the start line and were released in waves beneath the sun lit skies. Pink was the color of the day as participants dressed in a variety of fun costumes ranging from pink tutus, pink hair, and pink feather boas to a man in a penguin costume. Some of the youngest participants were in backpack baby carriers while other little ones had the luxury of being pulled on a sled behind mom or dad.
Before long, we reached the 5k turn around point and started to make our way back to the start line passing along the way a trail grooming machine to restore the trail that had been chewed up by snowshoes. As more and more of the snowshoers crossed the finish line, it was time for congratulating one and other. Breast cancer survivors that participated had a big group hug in front of onlookers. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. For me, the reason to participate was very personal. I snowshoed in memory of my Great-Grandmother who died from breast cancer, my Grandmother beat breast cancer twice in her lifetime; and in celebration of my Mom who is one of the strongest people I know and definitely succeed in kicking breast cancer.
For more information about the Romp to Stomp series, please visit: http://tubbsromptostomp.com/
For more information about Komen for the Cure, please visit: http://ww5.komen.org/
In total, 745 snowshoers raised $28,512. to benefit Komen for the Cure.