This year’s Teal Diva 5K was like none other, truly!  It was our 10th annual Charlotte 5k and we were all amping up to celebrate like we had never before.  Something happened this year that has never happened before, rain.  In years past the forecast would call for rain the day of our annual 5K and by the time the day came, no rain.  Or it would rain, take a break for us to hold our event, load the truck, and drive away, and then the rain would start again.  Never in 10 years have we had a downpour like the one we all experienced the first weekend in May.  

We thought that it might pass us over, or hold off until after the 5K was done, we really really hoped!  And it all looked good, setting up – great, welcoming in our survivors, walkers, and runners – awesome, our opening ceremony – fantastic!  Lining up at the starting line a few drops fell – no problem.  Then the countdown to the start of the race, and the downpour.  We weren’t 30 seconds into the starting gun and the rain fell, heavier and heavier, and heavier.

In that moment, there was a little internal panic, would it get worse (how could it possibly get worse), what if it started to lightning, what if people got upset, what if people left, we are here to celebrate, honor and remember, what if the rain stops us from doing that??  Then I looked around, and runners were still running, walkers were still walking, the Teal-gating area was a buzz with people running from tent to tent, laughing and smiling.  

I walked over to the finish line to help hand out water (ha!  Handing out water in the middle of a downpour) and runners were starting to finish, volunteers were cheering louder than ever for everyone who came past them, survivors were hand in hand with friends with the biggest smiles on their faces, everyone just laughing.  

As I look back at that weekend and our 10th annual Charlotte Teal Diva 5k, I’m reminded that life and the things that happen in it are unexpected.  Things might (and probably won’t) go the way we had planned.  We have two choices, we can show up with smiles on our faces, hand in hand with the people we love embracing the unexpected moments, or we can show up disappointed and and focused on all the things that are wrong.  The impact of showing up with a positive attitude goes beyond the moment, it carries into the next moment, and the next, and your neighbor, and their moments.  We all have to show up, I want to show up with a smile on my face, looking for the good, the beauty, the connections, even in a downpour.

This event wouldn’t be the same without all of our survivors, families, friends, teams, volunteers, and sponsors. From the bottom of our teal hearts, THANK YOU!

Teal Diva 5K Charlotte 2024 Sponsors: GSK, Novant Health, Arauco, Atrium Health Lavine Cancer, Blanton Miller and Moore DDS, Eisai, Simply Southern Collection, Whitlock, Carolina’s Natural Health Center, Queen City Event Management & Consulting, Aspire Women’s Health, By Winona, Carolina’s Bio Oncology, GenMab, Hendrick Mini, Illume Boutique, and Myclex.

Were you a participant or volunteer in our 2024 5K? We are always trying to do better each year, and we’d love your feedback.