Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The 221st good thing about Lagos: The 2nd Annual Run for the Cure brings more access to mammograms for Nigerian women

Last year I participated in the first annual Lagos breast cancer charity race and this year I got a second chance at it. The weather here has in general been hotter than usual this time of year, in keeping with the "more extreme than ever" theme that seems to be the state of the planet this year. On Friday, the day before the race, it was so hot and humid I was wondering if I'd survive it, but that night there was a torrential rain storm that cooled the ground and washed away some dust and got the garbage along the road good and soaked so Saturday morning the world was a bit cooler. There was a hazy overcast to weaken the sun and a bit of a breeze, so, in short, the weather was perfect for a nice little alternating jog/stroll/powerwalk/stroll/jog combo. I've done the Race for the Care in Houston many, many times and it was always 5K, so I had assumed that this one was also 5K. Imagine my surprise when I learned that here the race is 6.2 K. I shouldn't be surprised -- everything is harder in Lagos.

Here are some pictures of the race with sights that I never saw along the race route in Houston.

The Houston race is huge, but there's a smaller crowd here, so there's room to breathe when we were waiting for the opening ceremony to start.

I guess there were probably some serious runners at the beginning of the crowd, but most people were just there for a good time and to support a good cause.
The cheering section along the route was almost non-existent, I wonder if many people even knew what was going on with all these people out walking the streets. But these girls were having fun dancing to the music from the wagon that was blasting music during the race.

Some people along the street were going about their regular business.

A line of uniformed police kept the traffic from one lane of this busy road.

I was not in the front of the crowd and not at the tail end, so I was fine with that. We had a good time chatting along the route.

The traffic that was held up at intersections by the police was not having such a good time.

I heard afterward that one okada (motorcycle) driver who broke through the police barricade was caught, pulled off his bike, and beaten up by the police. No ticket writing here.

A line of police led the way when they decided they would let traffic start moving along this road.

Part of the proceeds from last year went to the Susan G. Komen foundation in the United States and it also funded a mammography machine for a hospital in Calabar. This year, Lagos women will have access to a new mammography machine. That's a very good thing.

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