Workers train for cancer walk

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RANGELEY – After following a 24-week training schedule, town office employees Laura Haley and Tiki White are ready to take on a 60-mile walk over three days. The women will participate in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in Boston this weekend.

“There are so many in my family who have been lost to cancer,” White said. “I’ve seen commercials about it and always wanted to do it.”

Last February, Haley, who completed the walk in 2001, was talking about it at work, White said, but she thought it was a spring event and figured she didn’t have time to train.

Once she found out that it was in August, the pair signed up and started cross training by walking four days a week and pursuing yoga and other aerobic activities for two and allowing one day of rest, she said.

“In the beginning, walking three miles was a feat,” White said as she explained how she wasn’t really a walker before. “Now, we chuckle as we’ve built up to 18- and 16-mile walks.”

Once the walk is completed, they will have logged the same number of miles as it is from Chicago, Ill., to Los Angeles, Calif., according to the town’s Web site.

There are nine of the walks held across the country, she said. They walk 22 to 23 miles on Friday and Saturday, and about 16 on Sunday to allow for the closing ceremony.

In order to walk, they each have to raise a minimum of $2,200. They are still fundraising.

“We’re pretty much ready to go,” she said, “but we’re relying on last-minute donations.”

The women will leave Thursday afternoon and check in Friday morning where they will stay in tents for Friday and Saturday night in Boston, she said.

Haley, who said her grandmother had breast cancer, found the experience was really fun even though last time she did it by herself. She was able to find another group from Maine to walk with during the event, she said.

One of the most memorable moments, she said, came when they had stopped after 10 miles and her feet were tired and she was feeling wimpy but then realized another woman had left to take a chemotherapy treatment and then returned to finish the walk, she said. Many survivors make up the expected thousand or more walkers who participate, she said.

Two flags, to be used as tent markers, were made and are available at the town office if anyone would like to sign them or write words of encouragement or add names for them to walk in honor or in memory of, White said.

Those interested in helping to sponsor their endeavor may reach them at the Rangeley Town Office at 864-3326. More information about the walk may be found at www.the3Day.org.

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