Three Relay for Life walkers finish 100 laps
As they were completing 100 laps around the inner lane of traffic on the Washington Square as part of the annual Relay for Life on Saturday, Aug. 23, friends Ashlee Shalla and Anita Moore began playing word games.
Using the time to talk about the purpose of Relay for Life and how grateful they were to be healthy enough to do the 100 laps they had decided to do each year, the two friends began saying words that were meaningful to the event. Some of the words included “strength,” “health,” and “cry.”
“We didn’t see as many people walking as we have in the past, but there were still a lot of people out there taking turns walking,” Moore said.
Moore said that she is unsure of the amount of distance that is covered when walking the 100 laps. Some people say it is 25 miles, while others say it is 20. She believes 100 laps around the outside of the square, on the sidewalks near the buildings, are 25 miles.
The tradition of walking 100 laps for Relay began three years ago when Shalla and Moore were working out together at Curves of Washington. Shalla said that she hadn’t been able to make 100 laps. Moore agreed to walk the laps with her.
This year, the team began walking shortly after noon and ended at about 8:45 p.m.
“We don’t stay for the closing,” Moore said. “We are tired and ready to go home.”
As Relay for Life finished this year, Shalla and Moore, as well as walker Erin Smith, were recognized for the 100 laps they did. Organizer Ruchel Hiller said that this year, Relay raised $74,895.55 for cancer research.
Smith, a media center coordinator at Washington High School, said that she has walked 100 laps for two years. She began because her friend Sue Spencer, a former Washington Middle School teacher, had battled cancer.
“Seeing how she is battling everything and how she continues on with what she needs to do – she has triplet grandsons – seeing her going made me think I needed to do something for her, so I walked the laps.”
Smith began walking at about 1 p.m. She began her day with the marching band. After the band performance, she began walking. She said that she took breaks, but said that she was at the park for a total of about seven hours.
“The last 40 laps took two hours,” she said.
An avid hiker and jogger, Smith said her conditioning helped out, but the 100 laps is still “tiring.” She said that her feet hurt and her toenails are bruised from the pounding. As she walks, she is inspired by the quote on the back of the WE Team’s T-shirts: “I can do anything through he who gives me strength.”
“You just keep going,” she said. “Considering the people with cancer and the pain they are in, walking is not going to hurt me.”