AVON 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Jim Rogash/Getty Images Sports

AVON 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer walks are challenging and exciting fundraising events held in multiple U.S. cities each year. They take commitment to physical training and fundraising, but can provide a premier walking experience.

Each AVON 39 walk features the choice of walking a marathon or half marathon (26.2 miles or 13.1 mile) the first day, camping overnight at Basecamp 39, and then all participants walking a half marathon (13.1 miles) the second day.

All meals, snacks, and trail support are provided. Each walker must raise a minimum of $1,800 in donations to participate.

Dates and Locations of the AVON 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer

The calendar of walks is updated each year in the fall. For example, AVON 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer will take place in:

  • Houston, TX April 21–22, 2018
  • Washington, DC May 5–6, 2018
  • Chicago, IL June 9–10, 2018
  • Boston, MA June 23–24, 2018
  • San Francisco July 14–15, 2018
  • Santa Barbara September 8–9, 2018
  • New York  October 20–21, 2018

Registration

Registration fee is $50. Register online or by mail. Once registered you will receive your training t-shirt and training packet and be assigned to a coach. Orientation sessions are held in the walk cities, and walk training groups are held in many locations. The event is open to both men and women, age 16 and above.

Fundraising and Donations

The minimum fundraising required is $1,800 in order to participate.

Donations may be collected by cash, credit card, or check. Each participant can set up a personal web page on the Avon 39 site to make it easy to collect donations online. Walker coaches provide advice on how to host a fundraising party and how to ask for donations. The Avon Foundation disburses the funds to worthy breast cancer charities.

Training

Walking a marathon and a half marathon or two half marathons back-to-back is a very challenging endurance event. Proper training is necessary. The Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer provides training advice, group training walks, and a coach to assist walkers in their training and in selecting the right clothing, shoes, and gear. You can see appropriate training schedules developed by marathon walking coach Wendy Bumgardner for these events:

Walking the Event

You can make your choice of walking a half-marathon or marathon the first day. You can even decide to switch from one to the other on your first day of walking at the event

Full support is provided, including a marked trail and stops every 1.5 to 3 miles for water, sports drink, snacks, lunch, first aid, and blister care. Sweep vans patrol the route looking for walkers who need assistance.

Walkers may end their day's walk at any of the stops along the way and be taken to camp or the finish at no penalty. A bus transports the half-marathoners to camp.

Camping

The first day ends at camp where hot showers and a hot meal are provided.

Walkers are assigned to two-person tents. Each walker provides his/her own sleeping bag and pad. Clothing and gear are transported for the walkers, but there are weight limitations. In the evening there is entertainment. Walkers are encouraged to stay at camp rather than arrange other accommodation, but shuttles to and from the host hotel are provided for a fee.

Crew

The event depends on volunteer crew members to support the walkers in everything from setting up the camp, serving the walkers at the stops on the route, marking the route, serving meals, patrolling the route, etc. Crew members also register for $50 and are provided the same meals and camping accommodations as the walkers.

You can also register as a volunteer to fill in only a shift during the weekend or assist in the organization's office, without a fee.

Charity

The net proceeds from the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer benefit the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which disburses funds for breast cancer research and community outreach programs. Over $550 million was raised by the walks from 2003 to 2016.

The Spirit of the Walk

The AVON 39 was created in 2003 as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It was rebranded as the AVON 39 in 2015. Walkers and crew members report that the events are challenging and fulfilling. There is a tremendous emotional experience in walking into the finish, cheered by friends and relatives. You aren't walking a marathon for your own achievement, but for every woman and man who is touched by breast cancer, which makes it even more meaningful.

Working as part of the crew or as a volunteer is also challenging and satisfying. Great strides have been made in improving survival statistics for breast cancer. The walk often awards a check to a local charity at the end of a walk. Can you change the world by walking? Yes.

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