Avon Walk Charlotte 2013 Recap
A couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity to participate in another amazing Avon Walk weekend. This time I was in Charlotte, NC and this walk was very unique for many reasons.
First, it was Hubby’s first time walking with me. He usually crews while I’m out pounding the pavement, but this time he decided to see what all the fuss was about. He was a trooper throughout the walk and we were able to compliment each other’s moods. On Saturday, I got a blister between two of my toes, and he was able to keep my spirits up by dancing along the route and just being his silly self. Similarly, on Sunday, Hubby was starting to hit a wall. I was able to kick up the energy level to keep him going through those last few miles.
Speaking of Hubby… he agreed to do whatever it took to get to his fundraising minimum of $1800. The day before the walk, he was still $200 shy of his minimum. I posted on Facebook that if he got that last $200, he would sport hot pink hair during the walk. Within a few minutes, he had the last $200 raised. A few hours later, he saw my Facebook post and was a great sport about it.
For those of you who know him, Hubby’s hair is very salt and peppery. He’s been that way since we met 12 years ago. It’s a good thing he has so much white hair, because the pink really stuck to those white hairs and it looked awesome all weekend. There are very few men who walk Avon Walks, so I knew he’d get a bunch of attention out on the route already, but add the fact that his hair was hot pink, and he was a celebrity of the walk.
Another difference about this walk was the size. Charlotte is one of the smaller Avon Walks. I think there were ~700 walkers on the route that weekend, who raised $1.65 million for the Avon Foundation. The smaller size had pros and cons. We did run in to a lot of the same people over and over at rest stops. As always, meeting other walkers is one of my favorite things about these walks. We actually met our first walkers at the airport. Two women from California were waiting for a taxi behind us in line. I noticed their Avon Walk luggage tags and struck up a conversation.
Another difference with this walk was the route. I think it was the most enjoyable route I’ve completed. It was scenic and beautiful. There were lots of rolling hills that got old after a while, but the best thing about this route was that the mileage was spot on. I think my GPS said we walked a total of 39.7 miles instead of the 39.3 – but that’s the closest it’s ever shown.
We had good luck again with the weather. It was dry which is what I’m always hoping for… But it was downright COLD. Luckily we had planned ahead and wore plenty of layers. I’m not sure how cold it was when we started, but at around mile 6 on Saturday, it was 29. By mile 9, it had warmed up to 33. It’s amazing how big of a difference those 4 degrees made. It did warm up to about 52 that day and in the sun, when there was no wind, it was nice. But I was definitely glad I had gloves, a hat, and multiple layers on that day.
Since Hubby was walking with me, he carried the backpack the majority of the route. So I decided to pin my alumni buttons on my back. When you walk the Avon Walk, people put all sorts of things on their backs since that’s the majority of what you see on the walk. At the DC walk, I had met some women who were also trying to walk all the Avon Walk cities. They had custom buttons on their hat with a picture of them crossing the finish line and the city/year that they did that walk.
So in DC, I took a sharpie and wrote the city/year combo on my alumni pins and put them on my backpack. For Charlotte, I decided to pin them all (I changed the orientation to horizontal from the picture below) to a thick piece of pink ribbon, then I attached that ribbon to my back. I got a lot of comments from fellow walkers about the pins. And it started quite a few conversations. I met someone who had crewed SF in 2010, someone who walked Boston in 2012, and someone who is doing Chicago 2014 next year too. So I’ll definitely be doing that again for my future walks.
Charlotte was my 5th Avon Walk city. Up next, I’ve got Chicago in 2014. That’s going to be a special walk since I’m doing it with my two sisters and my mom. 2014 is my mom’s 10th anniversary of being a survivor. After that, I just have Santa Barbara and Houston to walk. If you missed any of my previous Avon Walk recaps, you can check them out here:
Boston 2009 (crew)
San Francisco 2010
While Hubby and I were in Charlotte, we extended our trip until Monday night. Since we were staying downtown, we hit up a few restaurants and did a Segway tour on Monday. A segway was the perfect option after walking 40 miles and it was a great way to learn more about Charlotte and it’s history. We both really enjoyed Charlotte and wished we didn’t have to come home after 3 short days there.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Reebok makes a “boob guy” shirt that is only sold at the event the night before Avon Walks. Every time we go to check in, they’re sold out. So when we got to the hotel on Friday night, I went straight to the Reebok booth. Before we checked in to our hotel or the walk. Luckily, they had a few shirts left and I was able to get one for Hubby. He wore is Sunday during the walk.
Thanks for all the love and support through my effort to walk all the Avon Walk cities. I really appreciate it. If anyone is thinking about joining in the Avon Walk as a walker or crew, feel free to email me any questions or check out my 5 Tips for Walking an Avon Walk