Fluvanna participates in Charlottesville four-miler

By Madeline Otten, Correspondent

Since 1983 at Foxfield Track in Charlottesville, every Saturday before Labor Day, more than 3,000 women and girls come together to support breast cancer care and research.

This year the organization has raised $85,610 as of the start of the race on Sept. 1. With the help from racers, hundreds of dedicated volunteers and over a dozen community sponsors, the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler has become the largest all-women’s race in Virginia.

Some Fluvanna women also participate. Members of the Lake Monticello community have set up their own running club called the LMPinks that meets during the training program season, June to September, as well as the off season for those wanting to maintain their running abilities.

“Some of my ladies are survivors, some are in treatment during the training. We are all in it to honor a loved one, support a loved, or in need of support from other women. This program supports not only some of the monetary needs of the cancer center, but the physical, mental and emotional needs of patients, survivors, and their families while making athletes out of them,” said LM Pink director Theresa Bullock.

The Women’s Four Miler is one of the Charlottesville Track Club’s signature events and for the past 24 years, runners have raised more than $3.5 million for the U.Va. Breast Care Program. This money has been able to help more than 25,000 patients receive access to screenings, benefits from the latest research, and experience personalized medical care.

“Because of these races and the money raised, every woman in Charlottesville can get a mammogram even if they are not insured,” said Dr.Carrie Rochman, who works in the radiology and medical imaging department at U.Va.
While some women train on their own, the Charlottesville Track Club offers a training program that meets for 11 consecutive Saturdays of group training and talks by experts on topics ranging within women’s health. All levels, walkers and runners, are welcomed.

“It was an exciting year through finding new friendships and getting to see women overcome, not just cancer, but finding a new job and meeting new women throughout the program,” said Whorley.

On race day, racers, families and friends, and volunteers can enter the parking around the track starting at 6 a.m. Garth Road is shut down 30 minutes prior to the race to allow staging to begin. Runners then stage themselves at pace times, fastest in the front with walkers in the back, in order to reduce congestion on the road.

At 8:00 a.m. sharp, the gun is fired to signal the start the race. Times are read at check points during the as well as water stations to keep runners hydrated throughout the entire four miles.

“I was super excited because even though it was a little humid, it was overcast, which is good running weather,” said Pam Whorley, director of the Women’s Four Miler Program. Whorely was also awarded the volunteer of the year award. “I could not think of a more deserving woman,” said Rochman.

Rachel Ward of Charlottesville won the race with a time of 22:09 and Fluvanna’s own Nicole Douma not only won her entire age group, but also placed 19th overall with 26:40.

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