“I don’t want to wait around until research for breast cancer has a special meaning to me, I want to help make that difference now.”
– NMG Digital Audience Analyst Justina Kruser
This week we have heard from several CBC employees who ran or walked the 2016 Triangle Komen Race for the Cure with their family and friends on Team WRAL on Saturday, June 11. Today we conclude our three part series of stories to share the experiences of these CBC’ers who came together to remember, to revel and to help find a cure.
A Mother-Son Team for a Cure
WRAL-TV News Producer Miriam Melvin and her seven-year-old son, Joshua, joined forces for the second year in a row to run the 5K together. She paved the way for their mother-son run with years of dedication to the event.
“I’ve always believed in the mission of Komen, supporting them for nearly 20 years,” she said, “from the time I participated in my first race in Kansas City, Missouri to this point.”
Joshua and his mom ran as part of their church team, Team Breakthrough! from Grace Christian Church Raleigh. Their team included 17 runners and walkers from age 7 through elder adults.
“I thought the new venue provided enough parking, shuttles ran continuously, the route was easy (although I wish there was more shade), and loved the final hill to the finish,” she said of The Frontier.
The pair worked together to fight temperatures in the 90’s.
“JP and I ran with bottled water in hand to prevent dehydration,” Melvin explained. “I have one of those bottles that runners use that can strap to your hand, and I also carried JP’s bottle just in case we needed water between stations. One of the volunteer stations had Icees along the route which was a nice added treat. We were lucky to receive one but they ran out. We also took power-walking breaks so that we didn’t overdo it I the heat.”
Being Proactive Together
NMG Digital Audience Analyst Justina Kruser also made the 2016 Triangle Race for the Cure a family affair. She and her younger sister, Jenna, ran together on Team WRAL.
This was the first time Kruser has run in the event. She enjoyed the venue, which was new for the Triangle event but also new for her.
“In general, I really like it and the layout of things,” she said. “It seemed very organized as well.”
She loves summer temps, but Kruser even had to admit the day was particularly warm.
“IT WAS HOT!” she said. “I do love the heat and always say I will take 90 degree weather over snow and rain any day — but it was HOT that day. I came home with several new tan lines from that walk.”
As for why the Kruser sisters joined Team WRAL, they want to be proactive in the fight against breast cancer.
“I’ve been fortunate to only have one close friend deal with breast cancer but I do know how common it is,” said Kruser. “And having two sisters, a mom, several female best friends, aunts and cousins — I want to help make a difference now so the research is better and everything for when and if I have to experience more than that one friend go through breast cancer. I don’t want to wait around until research for breast cancer has a special meaning to me, I want to help make that difference now.”
Anchoring the Team
Several WRAL-TV personalities served as the face of Team WRAL, including WRAL-TV Anchors/Reporters Lynda Loveland and Ken Smith. Both signed autographs in the WRAL tent and participated in the run themselves.
Loveland beat the heat by running in the first race of the day.
“I ran early in the competitive race and had cool thoughts!” she said. “There were several people from the newsroom who ran but once the race started, we all hit our own pace.”
She agreed with many of her co-workers that her favorite thing about the new venue was “the fact there are fewer hills!!!”
For years Loveland has encouraged WRAL viewers to do preventative care such as mammograms and monthly self-breast exams.
“I ran because I want breast cancer to cease to exist,” she said. “A friend of mine is battling it right now.”
Hope for a Cure and Celebrating New Beginnings
Smith also ran to support the cause and Team WRAL, but he had an extra-special reason to participate this year. While working in the WRAL tent at the 2015 Triangle Race for the Cure a year ago, he met the woman who would soon become his girlfriend and then a few weeks ago became his fiancée.
He proposed to Amanda Bitler on the stage of the DPAC recently, and she said, “Yes!” Several of her best friends made a donation to Komen in honor of the pair’s engagement, further fueling Smith’s desire to run in the 2016 event.
Sadly the future Ms. Smith had to be out of state on race day, but her husband-to-be had a great time visiting with WRAL viewers and team members.
He had an overall positive take on the RTP location.
“Many of us, though, did miss the scenic West Raleigh neighborhood near Meredith,” said Smith. “But I really liked the new venue and race course, especially since it was mainly flat. The expanded space to include a Food Truck Rodeo and play area for children added to the festive atmosphere.”
It’s not too late to donate. Contribute to the Komen Race for the Cure through Team WRAL HERE
And make plans to join us in 2017!
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Lynda Loveland, Ken Smith, Miriam Melvin and NMG’s Justina Kruser for these capcom photos.
Look Back the Rest of the Series