Women to walk 60 miles to fight breast cancer

Locals trekking from Fort Collins to Boulder as part of nationwide fund-raiser

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— When Suzy Lord heads out the front door every evening to go for a walk, she has a goal in mind 60 miles.

Lord doesn't walk 60 miles every night after dinner, but she and a friend, Lianne Pyle, intend to cover that distance Aug. 3-5 during the the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day.

They'll walk from Fort Collins to Boulder as part of a nationwide effort to raise funds that will be used to advance breast cancer research and improve access to quality breast care for medically under-served women.

Lord is currently walking for two hours a day, long enough to cover seven miles. Soon, she'll up that distance to 10 miles in order to be prepared to walk 20 miles a day for three consecutive days in August.

"A friend who has done it before told me, 'Don't think it's just about being in shape,'" Lord said. "It's about taking care of your feet and coping with the heat."

If there's one major concern Lord has about the Avon Breast Cancer 3 Day, it is her feet. More specifically, her left foot, which has virtually no cartilage any longer.

"I know I'm going to have my foot fused in a year or two. I've had so many ski injuries, and a couple of years ago someone stepped on it and crushed the bone," Lord said. "It's kind of a personal challenge for me."

Lord says the longest she's ever walked was a 22-mile loop beginning on Buffalo Pass, taking in Luna Lake on the way to Seedhouse Road.

"That was many, many, many moons ago," Lord said. In that long-ago era, she was a pioneer of women's freestyle skiing. Known as Suzy Williams then, she and brother Mike Williams were among the first skiers in the area to execute flips on skis.

"I don't really talk much about it, because it was a long time ago," Lord said.

She insists the Avon Breast Cancer 3 Day is less about the challenges she will overcome to walk 60 miles in three days, and more about the cause.

"I had a friend who died from breast cancer a couple of years ago that was just devastating to me. Then last year another friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's in remission now and doing well. But I know of seven women who have had the disease and I've found out about at least 20 others. It's just way too many."

Lord and Pyle will travel to Fort Collins Aug. 2, then begin their march on Aug. 3. Along the way, they'll sleep in a tent city, share the camaraderie of others who are walking to raise money to fight breast cancer, and they'll test their resolve.

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