About the Avon Ring 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Since 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer has been a way for women to promote awareness of breast cancer, raise funds to research for a cure and build their own fitness and well-being. These walks regularly take place on weekends in cities around the United States. As of 2008, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer has raised over $265 million that is dedicated to cure research and support for people with breast cancer. In 2008, more than 24,000 walkers participated in these events.
  • Training

    Although the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is less strenuous than running a marathon, it's vital to prepare properly. The full walk route is 39 miles walked over two consecutive days. Walkers must train ahead of time for at least two months, walking for progressively longer distances until they reach a goal of 15 miles in one day. This gets their bodies used to the daily walking pace of this event.
  • Distance

    There are two distance options for walkers. They can either commit to a marathon length, walked on Day 1 of the walk, or an additional 13.1 miles that makes up the complete length of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Walkers who decide to walk the marathon length will walk 13.1 miles the first day. At the 13.1 mile mark of the route, they will be picked up and taken by shuttle bus to the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center is the encampment where walkers will sleep for the night at the end of Saturday's walk. Those walking the full 39 miles will walk 19.5 miles the first day, also ending at the Wellness Center. The route each day has several rest stops spaced about 2 or 3 miles apart along the route--giving walkers the chance to sit down, stretch and receive light refreshment in the form of water, juice or small snacks.

  • Fundraising

    When men and women commit to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, they're also committing to a fundraiser minimum amount of $1,800 per walker. This amount can either be raised through individual pledges, group or corporate pledges, or be paid by the walker on completion of the walk.
  • Age for Walkers

    Walkers must be at least 16 years old. People under this age are disqualified from the walk because of the insurance requirements the Avon Walk has in place. However, those under the age of 16 who want to be involved in the Avon Walk can serve as short-term volunteers. There are opportunities for this along the route of the walk, as well as at the beginning and end of each day's events.
  • Walk Support

    The Avon walk is made possible through the help of hundreds of volunteers for each walk. Meal assistance, coordinators, massage therapists, injury specialists, and many others are required at each rest location throughout the walk. Volunteer shifts usually last a couple of hours, although time can vary depending on the task the volunteer commits to. There is also no age requirement for volunteers. Teenagers are encouraged to join in volunteer activities. Crew members must be at least 18 years old and willing to commit an entire weekend to supporting the walk and its walkers. From organizing campsites and food setup to waking up walkers in the morning and fielding hundreds of logistical issues each day, crew members are the gears that keep the walk running.
  • Cheering the Effort On

    Friends and family can train with the walker to make sure she is going through with her training. They can also be a source of encouragement, both in the months of training and on the days of the walk. Being present at a point along the route to cheer walkers is an easy and fun way to be a source of support. Another essential way to support walkers is to act as a fundraising contact. Given the walker's fundraising commitment of a minimum of $1,800.00, the larger the amount of fundraising contacts she has, the easier that fundraising will be. In addition, being there when a walker crosses the finish line, helping her to recovery stations and aiding in the journey home is a source of assistance the walker will never forget. These walks usually involve tens of thousands of people, so supporters should be sure to work out a system of identification to pick each other out in the crowd. Examples are an eye-catching hat or shirt, a balloon held by the supporter, or a meeting place that's easy to spot after the race.
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