From Cross Country to Across the Country: Week 3
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 16 (Bozeman, MT to Billings, MT)
"I dedicated today to Coach Dedrick, and running for him brought me back to when my indoor track team won sectionals, and drove the block up to his house to show him what he inspired us to do. I know that Coach Dedrick was looking down on me today reassuring me that what I am doing is good and matters."
Team miles: 152
My miles: 13
Day 17 (Billings, MT to Broadus, MT)
"Wow, 16 miles today and they felt so good! I couldn't believe how strong I felt even though this is the most miles I have ever run in one day. Broadus has less than 400 people, but so much heart. They welcomed us to their church for snacks and let us use their homes for showers. Then they put on a community potluck for dinner. I love when our hosts want to get to know us. I love hearing stories and talking about my dreams to develop new cancer treatments."
Team miles: 178
My miles: 16.2
Day 18 (Broadus, MT to Rapid City, SD)
"Last day of running during our first five-day stretch was not easy! I ran 62 miles in five days, which is the most I have ever done in that amount of time. My body was feeling it, but the always-changing landscapes and easy conversation with teammates make days like these much more doable. Since today was the Fourth of July, I wanted to run for my cousin Jackson (Navy) and all the other service members who protect our country. We got to go to Mount Rushmore today, which was super patriotic! The heads were smaller than I thought they would be, but it was still breathtaking."
Team miles: 161
My miles: 12
Day 19 (Rapid City, SD)
"It was almost weird not to wake up and run at 4:30 am today, but I needed the rest day! We explored the city, had brunch at a local place, and caught up on writing post cards. Then at night, we went to a free outdoor concert and food truck rodeo. The BBQ and old-time country music was just what I needed in the cute town and perfect weather."
Team miles: 0
My miles: 0
Day 20 (Rapid City, SD to Philip, SD)
"Today, I got to run through the Bad Lands; saw a buffalo, rams, and prairie dogs; and then officially finished my internship! Never would have guessed I would become a college graduate in a wheat field in the middle of nowhere South Dakota! The local ambulance corp hosted us, so I got to sleep in a recliner and not on the floor!"
Team miles: 115
My miles: 10.5
Day 24 (Philip, SD to Pierre, SD)
"Today, we embraced freedom. I ran and jumped onto a hay bail way bigger than me. I drew a sidewalk chalk flower in the middle of nowhere. My teammates and I cheered like crazy for each other as we danced like fools. Here there is no judgment. An indescribable passion for life, a selfless drive pushing me to self reflection. 4K has ignited my passion for cancer research. How beautiful it is to find my place, my calling. At times, you really must get lost to be found."
Team miles: 87
My miles: 8.1
Day 25 (Pierre, SD to Mitchell, SD)
"Today was a challenging but great day. During our first four miles, a deer ran beside us and I had flashbacks to getting hit by that deer at Brockport. During our next four miles, I ran up the hardest hill I have ever ran up. Many of my teammates today also started experiencing some injuries. As the trainer, I decided to have some people go to Urgent Care. Some time off from running is in the future for many runners, and this really put into perspective how lucky I am for my body and my health."
Team miles: 154
My miles: 14
Would you like to support Lauren?
Donate, or you can mail her a letter or a package of snacks to this location:
c/o St. Marks Episcopal Church
6595 E Quaker St.
Orchard Park, NY 14127