North Florida Race for the Cure

Before the sun peeked over the horizon this morning, Sadie and I were driving through the Ocala National Forest on our way to the North Florida Race for the Cure. My sister created a team through her work and I signed up to participate a month or so ago.

The Race for the Cure is always an emotional and inspirational race for me. Whenever I run the race, I am transported back to the year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and I ran the race with my sister. I remember looking around the sea of pink and seeing survivors. Women and men wearing deep pink t-shirts with the word SURVIVOR on them gave me hope that my mom would wear the same shirt the following year.

Komen Race for the Cure Florida

Five years after my mom’s double mastectomy, I am still emotional when I walk toward the starting line of a Race for the Cure event and witness, first hand, just how many people are affected by breast cancer. It touches so many lives and I am so incredibly grateful for my mother’s health.

North Florida Race for the Cure Komen

Unfortunately my mom could not be at today’s race because she is still attending to my grandmother and will not return from Pennsylvania until early next week, but my family and I participated in the race in my mom’s honor. (Ryan left on a business training trip today and couldn’t make it either.)

The race began at 9 a.m. which was both great and not-so-great. I appreciated the late start time since it meant I could hang out with Ryan in Ocala last night and still drive to Jacksonville this morning without waking up at a ridiculously early time, but the late start also meant that the race was H-O-T! The course was almost entirely in the sun and temperatures were in the 80s, so I finished red faced and super sweaty! It didn’t feel like my strongest run, but I still had fun!

Race for the Cure Florida

My sister is nursing an injury and could not run, so she and her fiancé, Ross, offered to watch Sadie and her fiancé’s chocolate lab, Kona, so they could come along and enjoy the energetic race day atmosphere.


The dogs loved it! I actually saw quite a few people running with their dogs which made me wish I would’ve brought Sadie along to run with me, but I think running with your dog might be discouraged by race organizers, so perhaps it was for the best. I know she would’ve loved it!

As I was running, I knew to look for Leslie, Ross and the dogs around mile 1.5, and when I saw them, Sadie went berserk and started barking and jumping around which I interpreted as her version of cheering. Ross snapped a picture of Sadie watching me run into the distance after I passed them which I thought was adorable.


You can tell she just wants to run!

Unfortunately my Garmin ran out of battery within the first two minutes of my run, so I couldn’t check out my pace while I ran, but I ended up crossing the finish line in 28:11 (9:04 minute mile). Considering the heat and lack of shade on the course, I’ll take it!

Once I was done running, I took off my chip timer and backtracked to find my dad who was walking the race due to an injury. (He ruptured his bicep tendon and had surgery on his rotator cuff a month and a half ago.)

father daughter race for the cure

We crossed the finish line together and I could see tears in my dad’s eyes as he told me that he felt emotional just thinking about my mom as he finished the race. I wish she could’ve been there, but we sent lots of love and picture texts her way!

With the race complete, we met back up with Leslie, Ross and the dogs and made our way to the post-race party.



race for the cure

The post race party had food and gear for sale and samples of smoothies and popsicles for participants to enjoy. We grabbed water and I had a lemonade popsicle that tasted fantastic after such a hot run.


It was a wonderful race day and I’m sending lots and lots of love to everyone out there who has been touched by any form of cancer in some way. Big hugs to all of you!

And now I will sign off with this picture that I think perfectly sums up my relationship with Sadie. 


I love that crazy little rascal.

Have a great Saturday, my friends!


  1. says

    Aww. I love how this race means SO much to you and your family. Congrats on the finish and way to go for your dad who ran it with an injury! 😀 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  2. Tricia says

    Conratulations on completing the race, for your Mom’s health and for your wonderful family. Such an inspiration. Love the photo of you and Sadie. We have a gorgous Sheltie, loved by all who know him so I love to see Sadie in your updates!


  3. says

    Aww that sounds like an amazing morning! I think its so sweet that you guys all showed up and that you and your dad participated for your mom, I’m sure she appreciated it from afar too. Hopefully next week she will be walking/running it with you both.


  4. april says

    i’m so glad you were able to participate in the race with your dad! it’s a shame that your mom couldn’t be there today, but i’m sure she felt the love and support from everyone. 🙂 so glad your mom is a SURVIVOR. sending lots of love to your family! <3 (and i can't get over how cute and energetic sadie is! :))


  5. says

    Awww I love this post! You can see how much this means to you! I have not be directly effected by breast cancer, but I did personally find a lump in my left breast almost 2 years ago that ended up being non-cancerous but still had to be removed. I know the fear and the worry and struggle it can bring to a family! I am so glad your mom has made such a great recovery!

    Enjoy your family time!


  6. says

    I love doing Race for the Cure here in Chicago and at home in Kansas City! My aunt had breast cancer, but luckily they caught it very early and she was able to go through chemo, recovery fairly quickly and has been in remission for 7 years!


  7. says

    I nearly cried reading this. You and your family are so awesome for doing this for your Mom, honoring her in this way for what she is going through/has already gone through. And your Dad ran too? even though he is recovering from surgery? You guys are a bunch of troopers 🙂 Loooove seeing Sadie in your arms like that!! I’m such a sucker for puppy love 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your weekend hun!


  8. says

    I’m so glad you were able to go and support the great cause, even though your mom wasn’t able to be there! I’m positive she appreciates the gesture of support. Congrats on the race and LOVE the pink outfit!


  9. kc says

    My father has been fighting cancer for the last 4 years so reading this was emotional for me. Thank you Julie for your dedication and hugs to your mama. You are all very lucky to have one another.


  10. says

    Please tell me Sadie has a pink ball in her mouth?! Love it! Great race& amazing for your family to go out& be so supportive when your mom couldn’t make it to the event!


  11. says

    Love all the pink!! My mom battled breast cancer 7 years ago and has been in remission for 6 years. I always try and do something special in October to bring light to research and her struggle.


  12. Heather Murphy says

    Looks like a fun race! It’s great to see how close your family is and I have no doubt that helped your mom kick cancers tail. I ran a pink ribbon race today as well and it was so amazing to see so many survivors, and how many people came out to support the cause. Have a great weekend!


  13. Sara says

    I have a hard time feelin emotions while running bc I can’t breathe! I ran a 5k with my dad today too for a good cause. It was his first (and maybe last haha)


  14. says

    My mom is a 1.5 year survivor of breast cancer as well! We ran the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure a few months after she was first diagnosed and it was so emotional to see all the survivors! Did your race release pink balloons into the air before the race started? When I ran mine, they released 1 pink balloon for each survivor participating and gave them sashes that said “Survivor” on them at the finish line. Too, TOO cool.


  15. Jordan says

    Sadie is so cute. She was totally wishing she was running with you.
    I actually Just landed in Jacksonville. Holy humidity. I live in Nebraska and it’s sweatshirt weather there. Looking forward to a couple days of warmth, even if I am sitting in a conference. Happy weekend!


  16. says

    Looks like it was a fantastic time. Great to be able to have such a great time and do so much good for a great charity.

    I love to see all the pics with the dog too 🙂


  17. says

    Ahh this post brought tears to my eyes! My stepmom was diagnosed with breast cancer twice within the past 12 years. She just got through her chemo last fall. It was by far the hardest thing – especially just this last time since I was older and understood everything better. So yeah, I totally get how special this race is to you and your family! We try to do it every year too. And strong work to your dad who completed it despite his injuries – that is so awesome. 🙂


  18. says

    Love these races they are so fun! I did one in March in LA and had such a great time hanging out, running and trying out all the samples. Supporting a great cause and having fun is my idea of a good time! You should email the organizers and have them have a special dog run where owners can rave with there pets so Sadie can join :-). Lots of love C


  19. kaitlan says

    You’re such a positive person and I tell all of my girlfriends, mom, and sisters about you! I especially love it when you mention how you should stay close with your friends from high school because I am 22 and soon graduating from U of I but I still talk to my girlfriends from high school all the time and it is the best. Anyways, just want to let you know how great your blog has affected young girls, like me, and will soon be read all across the nation!


  20. says

    I love your pictures and your outfit is so cute! My mom didn’t have breast cancer, but she did have another type of cancer, and I still get emotional when I think about it or go to cancer awareness events.


  21. Janeen Hale says

    This is great, I love your blog! I stumbled upon it while I was searching for “Training for a half marathon on a treadmill.” I live in AZ out in the country and there are so many wild animals and dogs that my husband doesn’t like me running by myself or until he gets home from work. Sometimes I hop on the treadmill and hope that it doesn’t mess up my endurance. Thank you for the eating tips too. My half marathon is coming up Nov 3rd, the Women’s Half Marathon. I did it last year and loved the run. Thanks again and keep on blogging! 🙂



  22. says

    Congrats!!!! I love the pic of Sadie watching you run away. And that pic of you and Sadie at the end is pretty much the story of maisy and I. Gotta love our furry children!!!! What a great race and cause. I love all the pink.


  23. E says

    Hey girl, not sure if the cause or the tradition is more important to you when it comes to Komen (not judging either way!), but if it’s the cause, I’d suggest considering participating in your local Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event – the percentage of money that goes to research and patient programs is much higher than Komen’s. Just a heads up! 🙂


  24. says

    I get so emotional at races anyway, but Race for the Cure is so inspiring and inspirational. I lost my aunt when I was in high school to cancer; she was diagnosed with breast cancer and it spread to her lymphnodes quickly. So, I always think of her when I run the race for the cure.


  25. dalia says

    congrats on the race, and to your mom for being a survivor! she’s a strong woman and lucky to have you as a daughter. and i have to ask…is that picture of you and sadie at the end posed for or candid? either way, it’s awesome 🙂 she’s such a cutie pie


  26. says

    I’ve participated in my city’s Race for the Cure for the past 6 years and it is absolutely my favorite race event of the year. It is SO inspiring to see the survivors cross the finish line and all of the people who come out to support the cause. Your mom is lucky to have such a strong support system around her!


  27. Kari Broer says

    Sadie reminds me of our Weimaraner. Her name is Luna and she could run all day if we’d let her! We love finding dog friendly races that we can do with her 🙂


  28. says

    It’s so awesome that you support your mom in this way, and that it’s something you can all enjoy together! Also, I lol’d at the picture of your kissing Sadie. Her face, gah!


  29. says

    this post may be one of my favorites of yours! the pink is spectacular, the love of your pup and family are abundant and its heartfelt all the way through. so happy for your mom’s milestone! much luv xo


  30. says

    I am so happy that your mom continues to be in good health. I will keep her in my thoughts. Being an ER nurse, you see that cancer spans everything – age, finances, gender, and it’s always so nice to see survivors, especially your mom since your family seems so incredibly wonderful. LOVE the pink and that you made this such a family day even when she couldn’t be there! Sending hugs to all of you!



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