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 events held in multiple US cities each year. the choice of walking a marathon or half-marathon the first day, then all walking a half-marathon the second day, camping overnight at Basecamp 39. All meals, snacks, and trail support are provided. Each walker must raise a minimum of $1800 in donations to participate.

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

AVON 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer will take place in:

  • Houston, TX April 22-23, 2017
  • Washington, DC May 6-7, 2017
  • Chicago, IL June 3-4, 2017
  • Boston, MA June 24-25, 2017
  • San Francisco July 8-9, 2017
  • Santa Barbara September 9-10, 2017
  • New York  Oct. 14-15, 2017

Registration

Registration fee is $50. Register online or by mail. Once registered you will receive your training T-shirt, 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 18 and above.
AVON 39 Walk Registration

Fundraising and Donations

Each walker must collect $1800 in donations 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-marathon 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.

As a marathon walking coach, I developed training schedules for these events.

Walking the Event

You can make your choice of walking a half-marathon or marathon the first day  even while walking. Full support is provided: marked trail, stops every 1.5-3 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 2-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.

My Experience

In 2003 I was the trail marking crew chief for the Portland Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and I walked the NYC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The series was re-branded as the AVON 39 in 2015, with most details remaining the same.

Incredible Good

For the final walk into the finish, cheered by our friends and relatives, we each felt we had really DONE SOMETHING. And unlike the other marathons I've done - I did it not for myself, but for every woman and man who is touched by breast cancer. At each closing ceremony, a huge check was presented to a medical research center or community outreach group for the fight against breast cancer. Can we change the world by walking? Yes.

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