Though relatively new in the Florida Keys, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks are gaining steam. There’s one schedule for Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 11 and the other is in Key West on Saturday, Oct. 18. And every year organizers push the goal lines a little further — recruiting more walkers and more donations.

The Marathon group already has 25 teams signed up and raised about half of its total goal.

“I think we’ll have plenty of people sign up on the day of the walk,” said Suzy Curry, laughing, “that’s Marathon!”

Last year, about 300 walkers decked out in pink costumes. (Wings are encouraged, and pink brassieres worn on the outside of a T-shirt are practically required.)

“We are going to have prizes for different costume categories,” Curry said, who co-chairs the event with Charlotte Quinn.

Walkers start in the middle of the airport and walk to both ends before returning to the center near Kirk of the Keys between 88th and 89th streets. Early, online registration is encouraged (, but day-of registration is also available. In Marathon, registration begins at 7 a.m., opening ceremonies (including costume prizes) are at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.

The Key West walk is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18. Although it’s hosted by the Lower Keys, it’s heavily attended by the Making Strides group from the Upper Keys.

“They come down the night before and make a little vacation out of it,” said Carrie Helliesen of the American Cancer Society office in Key West.

That group meets at White Street Pier, and registration is at 7 a.m. with warm up activities and vendor booths selling trinkets. The walk begins at 9 a.m. with entertainment to follow.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of the Florida Keys has set a goal of raising $96,000 this year, a little more than last year.

“This is not as big as Relay for Life, but it’s growing,” said Helliesen.

Editor Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes small and weird children (she has two); prefers target practice with a zombie rat poster; and looks best with saltwater dreads. Occasionally she tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister. 

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