A Cure is Worth a Thousand Miles

Matthew Pickus, founder of the 60-Mile Men, will cross his 1000th mile today on the Michigan 3-Day in support of finding a cure for breast cancer

On Saturday, Day 2 of the 2013 Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day, Matthew Pickus will cross his 1000th mile in an effort to find a cure for breast cancer. Most veterans of the Komen 3-Day have heard of Matthew as the founder of the 60-Mile Men, a dedicated group of men who have raised a serious amount of money from their notorious calendars. They are also fierce participants as crew members and volunteers forming a strong core for the fight to end breast cancer.  I asked Matthew to provide his perspective on a few points of the 3-Day, on the day he crosses the 1000th mile in his personal journey.A thousand miles is a long way, does anything strike you about the journey as a whole?  Realizations?

Matthew on Day 1 of the 2013 Michigan 3-Day, displaying the infamous 60-Mile Men calendar and his "Mr. January" page

Matthew on Day 1 of the 2013 Michigan 3-Day, displaying the infamous 60-Mile Men calendar and his “Mr. January” page

“It’s been an incredible journey.  I have stories that will make one laugh or cry from every event I have been to. Every event, there are two or three people that will stay with me the rest of my life. The people I have met and shared the journey with are incredible. The 90-year old walker that completes all 60 miles like it was nothing; the walkers that battle blisters and heat and fatigue for miles at a time; the 35-year survivor that tells her story for the first time ever; every participant has a story and I’ve been honored to hear quite a few. (And for better or worse, I am sure that there are walkers from around the country that can include me in their 3-Day stories!)  I don’t walk the event as quickly as possible; just the opposite. It’s the people in the middle and back of the pack that I enjoy spending time with, just strolling the event, doing what I can to help others and enjoying the journey.  Sometimes just walking next to someone and listening to their stories it all they need to continue their journey. Conversation and laughter and even tears make the miles pass easier.”

What does the 3-Day® offer you and the community you’ve met along the way? (Besides you offering so much to other people?)

“The ‘bubble’ that is a 3-Day is very much how I wish the rest of the year would be, and how I try to live the rest of the year. Everyone is looking out for everyone else and sharing stories and laughing and even being open and vulnerable with each other. It is a magical time. If there is one take away–the 3-Day is the epitome of “it is the journey, not the destination.” Don’t rush it. Enjoy the time and even the hardships. Look around, meet people and talk and share and laugh and cry. The destination will be there when you get there.”

Hands together for Matthew today as he heads into camp for his dedication and extraordinary efforts in finding a cure for breast cancer!

Real Men Wear Pink (Or Nothing At All)

Carl B of the "60-Mile Men" poses in full regalia

Carl B of the “60-Mile Men” poses in full regalia

Dangerous words from a group of rowdy supporters for finding the cure for breast cancer! I originally met Carl B. in Boston, sporting his classy and eye-catching pink “Batman meets Superman meets Captain Hook” outfit. His sash, however, gave him away as one of the elite men who made up the 60-Mile Men. These are no regular walkers, but men committed to modeling themselves for the cause, and walking and crewing for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®! Each walker or crew member has a photo shoot in either–you guessed it–pink or nothing at all. When I asked Ed this morning at pit stop 1 about the choice between wearing pink or nothing, he just smiled and said, “Well, we give you the choice, but you really can’t wear pink.”

Started by Matthew P. in Michigan in 2008, the group asks that men who would like to be considered for the calendar to submit a portfolio. Tough competition! The 2014 calendar models have already been selected and the calendar has an initial value of $25, but who knows what the real value is? Seven members of the 60-Mile Men joined us here in Cleveland this weekend and received special recognition at last night’s Camp Show. Hats off these to these fine crew members and walkers!

Mr. January and Mr. October of the "60-Mile Men" pose for the cameras at the start of the 2013 Cleveland 3-Day

Mr. January and Mr. October of the “60-Mile Men” pose for the cameras at the start of the 2013 Cleveland 3-Day

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 for breast cancer awareness.

The “60-Mile Men” in sashes at the Cleveland 3-Day campsite

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 for breast cancer awareness.

The Cleveland 3-Day crowd goes wild when the “60-Mile Men” are recognized for their efforts in finding a cure for breast cancer