8 Women Dream Run The Bay To Breakers And Survive

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Streaming the Bay to Breakers Live ….

Here’s beautiful Veronica on the bus to the 99th running of the San Francisco Bay to Breakers.

Her dream, which focuses on body acceptance, included completing this world famous race.

Her posse includes fellow dreamers Remy, Catherine and Heather.

By 8 a.m. the elite runners are off and 8 Women Dreaming are back in the pack.

Word is tortillas (a B2B tradition) are flying.

The running block party is ready to go with live feed and photos from our dreamers.

But first, here’s our proof the the 8 Women Dream Team actually set their alarms, got dressed and made the bus to B2B!

Big cheer for the girls, please.

The race is approaching the Hayes Street Hill and this just in from Remy. Our first naked runner has been sighted.

Yes, we do intend to keep a running tally of untanned fannies this morning.

We know the photo is blurry. Believe us, you want it blurry! A moment after this photo was taken Shreck passed our team.

Try to stay focused when SHRECK passes you!

At the 99th running of B2B, the elite women runners tear through town as our runners are busy panting and giggling at the magical mystery tour feel of the whole thing.

Their pack includes a sprinkling of runners dressed as brides, cavemen and cavewomen and Dolly Partons. Our runners eschewed costumes.

Our runners are dignified dreamers.

This just in – more naked runners.

As the lead woman runner tears toward Ocean Beach our team is taking phone photos of weirdness way back downtown.

And that’s okay, because they are in the moment, experiencing the event they planned for these many months.

Dreamers don’t have to be perfect, they just have to plunge into their own authentic experience.

And if some dreamers have to do it naked, so be it.

8WD/Bay to Breakers naked runner tally: 3

Just over a half hour in, the race is completed for the elite runners. Now the pressure shifts to our 8 Women Dreaming team.

They’ve heard of that thing called the Hayes Street Hill. How hard could it be? Our team is relishing the moment of marking the ONE MILE mark.

Only 6.45 miles to go for our team.

Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui, 22 is the winning woman runner, and fellow countryman 23-year-old Sammy Kitwara, the winning male runner.

On KRON TV coverage right now the elite runners (who have finished the race) are confirming that the hardest part of the race was the Hayes Street Hill.

Our team may be a little poky on a pace, but they’re having fun.

Isn’t that right Gumby?

At 8:59 a.m. Remy reports passing mile two and facing the dreaded Hayes Street Hill.

Some newbies to B2B find walking the hill backwards reduces the odds of becoming demoralized.

Plus you get to see just how far you’ve come.

They say as you approach the Hayes Street hill you’ll hear drummers.

Folks playing congas, bongos,and empty 5-gallon pails gather to produce an encouraging cacophony of thumping. Don’t confuse it with your racing heart pounding in your own ears.

Remy reports that our 8WD team can hear the drums and – – look! — dun-dun-dun – – there’s the hill.

Where’s the shortcut?

At 9:30 a.m. the massive crowd that comprises the B2B walkers have settled into a swift half-hour mile pace.

It’s like salmon swimming upstream. A few can flick ahead but most just go with the flow.

This pod of Elvis impersonators had the 8WD team looking for the donut station.

Too bad the support stations only feature free water.

Atop Hayes Street Hill running Avatars covered in blue body paint jostled spa ladies running in towells, nearly tripping Snow White.

It’s rough out there.

Try not to trip on your tail.

Sometimes in the middle of a difficult effort, out of the corner of your eye, you notice that people are rooting for you.

Look at these elder cheerleaders. They set their alarms, too. They showed up, too. I think they did it to show that they support dreamers like our 8WD team.

Even with the encouragement of strangers, by 10:20 a.m. the sweaty challenge is hitting one of our 8WD team members.

“Losing bat power. Almost mile 4.” Remy e-mails. Her battery is running low.

We’ll be lucky to get a photo finish snap.

Holy guacamole Bat Girl! Look for Elvis impersonators.

Everyone knows they carry peanut butter and bacon sandwiches in the pockets of those gold lame jumpsuits.

All of a sudden, Mile 6!

The Elivs sandwiches obviously helped.

The race blasted off at 8 a.m. and as the noon hour approaches the 8WD team is in the home stretch. And they look pretty fresh, all things considered.

At 3:31:32 the dream was accomplished when Veronica and the 8WD team crossed the finish line.

Last week Veronica said in her blog that she hoped to survive Bay to Breakers. Looks like she not only survived, she soared.

Congratulations to all the dreamers.

Have fun at Footstock.

Many of the dreamers weren’t sure if this was something they could accomplish in their lives.  Age, illness and injuries worried some and right up to the day of the event no one shared their deepest fears that they might not be able to make it to the end.

The Bay To Breakers is one wonderfully fun party … but it is also a 12K (7.46 miles) race that must be completed under a certain amount of time in order to be clocked at the finish line.

We pushed, sweated and hated those last two miles but in the end, it was worth everything we felt along the race path.  In helping Veronica accomplish her big dream, we gained the knowledge that we could do anything we set our minds to — regardless of our age and perceived  limitations.

And that’s what dreaming big is really all about.