From Cross Country to Across the Country: Week 1
Chronicling the journey of graduating senior Lauren Bates
Lauren Bates is completing an internship this summer that will complete her degree in exercise science from SUNY Brockport. The two-sport student athlete (cross country and track and field) is serving as the trainer for a program, 4K for Cancer, that is running from San Francisco to Boston to support cancer research. Below are excerpts from the journal she's keeping to chronicle her journey. Bates agreed to share them with The Port.
Day 1 (San Francisco, CA to Davis, CA)
"Today was our very emotional send-off day...My parents and I cried as we realized what I was truly doing. I also felt my grandpa and Courtney (Wagner, a high school friend who was a cancer victim) with me on the beach. My running partner was Mary Alice today, but she wasn't feeling well. We ran/walked really slow over the Golden Gate. The whole team kept waiting for us, and it was a great reminder that this isn't a race. This really isn't about running fast. It is about inspiring, learning from each other, and challenging ourselves."
Team miles: 128
Lauren's miles: 10.5
Day 2 (Davis, CA to Nevada City, CA)
"Nevada City is the best little town. We stayed in this cute little church with the best people! They made us a potluck dinner and we ate with them. George and Lyn are both survivors (prostate and breast). They loved what we are doing. It was awesome to hear about how we are inspiring them. The team is bonding so well. I can't believe we have so many incredible young people in one place."
Team miles: 93
Lauren's miles: 9.4
Day 3 (Nevada City, CA to Sparks, NV)
"I was in van two so we drove the first 65 miles of our 110-mile day. We ended up in the middle of a forest with the biggest pinecones I have ever seen! We had the most breath taking views by far today. We also saw some big cows and crazy mountains. We ran above 5,000 feet of elevation, which was way harder than I was thinking it was going to be. My heart was pumping harder than normal and my breathing was heavy. It got very hot towards the end of the day and extra hilly!"
Team miles: 110
Lauren's miles: 8.3
Day 4 (Sparks, NV)
"Today was our first rest day. We went to a Ronald McDonald House in Reno, NV. We did lots of chores there for them like picking up trash from the neighborhood, cleaning the toy room, organizing the kitchen, and stuffing welcome bags for new families at the house. Then we drove to Lake Tahoe to relax on the beach. It was so incredibly beautiful there I did not want to leave!"
Day 5 (Sparks, NV to Austin, NV)
"Running through the desert at 6,500+ feet of elevation was not easy. We ran into snakes, lizards, and even some very nice construction workers fixing the road. (Austin) is the smallest little town that just looks like time forgot about it, but it had the nicest people. We walked down the only street to find a really cool band playing country songs and listened, sang, and danced with them. We caused quite a scene in our matching T-shirts and crazy dance moves and some construction worker came over and said he recognized us from running past them this morning. They wished us well and donated $20. It warms my heart to see how generous and welcoming these people are that don't have much."
Team miles: 180
Lauren's miles: 10.6
Day 6 (Austin, NV to Ely, NV)
"It was another day on the loneliest highway in the US (50) but the host city was much bigger than Austin. We stayed at a church with the nicest community. They made us a pasta dinner and had so many members of the community (even their mayor) there. At dinner, a little five-year-old girl named Even bonded with me. We brought flowers to her grandma's grave. I'm not sure what her grandma died from but it was touching seeing a little girl so honored to bring her grandma's gravesite flowers."
Team miles: 159
Lauren's miles: 10.4
Day 7 (Ely, NV to Delta, UT)
"Today I was in the host van. We stopped at the NV/UT border to take pictures and then we went through our first time zone change as we got into Utah. We went to the high school that was our host and unloaded all of our team's stuff. Then we went into town to get food donated for dinner/lunch tomorrow...I missed running today and being with a host that interacts with us but we will have lots more time for that. Today I had to be a good teammate in the host van."
Team miles: 154
Lauren's miles: 0
Day 8 (Delta, UT to Salt Lake City, UT)
"I ran with Alana today because her knee has been bothering her so she needed some extra training help. I really enjoyed sharing some mental training tricks with her and it felt so rewarding to see how much it meant to her to have my help...We ran right up to the host, which is an NBA arena (Utah Jazz). We are staying in their locker room! Looking forward to sleeping in for the service day tomorrow."