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Record-breaking Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer

Saturday's 10th anniversary Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer in Mill Valley drew 450 enthused supporters and broke fundraising records for the San Rafael-based community champion.

It was a glorious day in Mill Valley Saturday, perfect for sweating up the Dipsea steps and enjoying the sweeping views on Mount Tam -- and it was also a near perfect day for Zero Breast Cancer, a hard-working lean and local Breast Cancer prevention organization based in San Rafael.

Executive Director Janice Barlow was delighted by the generous public response to the 10th anniversary of the event, "We are so grateful for the outpouring of support for Zero Breast Cancer - from our dedicated and passionate teams, our generous sponsors and all the caring runners and hikers that participated," she said. This year's event generated a record-breaking response of over $50,000 for Zero Breast Cancer.

Together the Dipsea Hike teams raised over $35,000 of the total amount raised, making a huge contribution to the effort. Top fundraising teams included Team Storybooks, Pink Panthers, Chicks on the Run, Foxtrot Charlie, Team Schultz, I Heart Boobies and The Rescuers (Connor's Team). Since it's inception and including this year, the event has raised over $250,000 in support of ZBC’s research and educational programs focused on breast cancer prevention and over 2,950 people have participated in the 6 mile trail loop.

"We are excited to put the funds raised from the Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer to work moving the research agenda forward and assuring effective education on the issues that matter to Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area," said Barlow. "Zero Breast Cancer is here to keep the focus on increased rates of breast cancer in Marin and the whole bay area. We are dedicated to promoting the research and doing the education that will help us, as individuals and as a community, to prevent breast cancer. We invite the public to join us and be part of this vital public health movement," she said.

The Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer drew 450 participants who experienced a great workout going up the legendary 688 Dipsea Steps, following a six mile loop on top of Mount Tam, and heading back down the steps to Mill Valley's Old Mill Park. Event founder Annie Fox believed - and extensive research has demonstrated - that physical activity is one of the most important ways we can reduce breast cancer risk. Zero Breast Cancer’s Dipsea Hike is held annually in her honor.

The “Dipsea Hike/Run Lite” was founded by in 2002 by Fox, a former ZBC Board member, Marin County employee, avid trail runner and breast cancer advocate who died of breast cancer at the age of 35. In her last days, she focused her energy on bringing the first event to fruition with her fiance Chris Stewart, who continues in a leadership role each year.   After Annie’s death, Jerry Leith, also an avid runner carried on her inspiration and assumed a leadership role in coordinating the Dipsea Hike/Run Lite until his death from cancer last year.

Event speakers included Zero Breast Cancer's Janice Barlow, Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer co-founder Chris Stewart, Long-time event committee member Kim Juarez of Mill Valley's LOLA (Living our Lives Actively), and Hannah Doress of Earth Day Marin. Prizes were awarded to the top fundraising teams and individuals. The event was sponsored by the Marin Independent Journal, Whole Foods Market Miller Avenue, Preventive Medical Center of Marin, Good Earth Natural Foods, The Sport Loop, Clover Stornetta, Hannah Doress Events, Sports Basement, Bradley Real Estate, Speak to Me, Nothing Bundt Cakes, All California Mortgage, The Safeway Foundation, Zaaz Studios, United Markets, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Mechanics Bank, YogaWorks, Mighty Leaf Tea, Elan Fitness Center, US Pure Water and KWMR. The event is conducted in partnership with Tamalpa Runners and with the participation of Marin Amateur Radio Society and Marin Medical Reserve Corp (MRC).

For more information, including extensive resources, research summaries and links to studies, visit the Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer's website. Also check out the Facebook page and upload your Dipsea Hike photos on Patch.

My past blogs about the event:

  • Part 1 and Part 2 interview with Janice Barlow on causes, prevention and more
  • "The Lovely Lady Lumps" profile of 36-year old Survivor Eileen doing the Dipsea Hike with her team

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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