I’m not one to pat myself on the back, so I won’t. I’ll pat the other eight contestants instead. If they want to pat me on the back, that’s their prerogative.
I could have spent my Saturday morning sitting in a tree stand, letting the rain melt me away on the first day of archery season. But I didn’t. I was committed. I was committed to Paint Pittston Pink and I was committed to Barb Sciandra. I was committed to breast cancer research and I have no regrets.
The first Paint Pittston Pink Walk a “Mile” in Her Shoes Gentleman’s Dash was held Oct. 3 in the streets of downtown Pittston following the Color Me Pink 5k. I participated, as did several other Greater Pittston residents, to help raise money for Sciandra’s second Paint Pittston Pink weeklong event.
There’s a reason “mile” is in quotation marks. See, if Barb would have made us actually go a full mile, I would be writing this story from a hospital bed. Instead, our mile turned into a 100-yard dash.
Following the 5k, we gathered around the Paint Pittston Pink banner near the Tomato Festival lot. Prior to our race, the Pittston Area cheerleaders led a flash mob to the song “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
Then, it was our turn.
We were introduced one at a time, with me going first (I didn’t hear any boos so I guess the sports section looks OK on a weekly basis). Introduced then were Russell Keeler, John Adonizio, Jarrett Ferentino, Pat Cosgrove, Chris Sanders, Ed Ackerman, Sal Sciandra and Jay Duffy.
The finish line was at the newly-renovated Newrose Building. At the shot of the gun, we busted through the banner and the race was on. OK, so it wasn’t exactly a race.
Pre-race favorite Duffy, who reportedly did some questionable things to his body to become more aerodynamic, shot out of a cannon into the lead. He easily high-stepped his way to victory. I remember seeing him cross the finish line, followed by Sal Sciandra, Barb’s husband, who was dressed like a businessman — shirt, tie and dress shorts.
I came across the line in third or fourth place, but the big win was crossing the finish line in one piece! I had reservations heading into the competition. My four-inch pumps were questionable, at best. All the props on the world go to the women who wear them on a weekly basis.
Although it hurt quite a bit, being transformed from 5-9 to 6-1 was invigorating. I felt like I was towering over Main Street. A real rush!
Another win was seeing spectators lined up throughout the streets of downtown. It was a rainy, cold, miserable day. Only one thing could get anyone out there — grown men in high heels.
The amount of people who came out to watch a 20-second race was remarkable. It was all in good fun. Barb handed us each two T-shirts following the race — one with our name on the back and one with name of the person we were walking for.
Prior to Saturday, however, there was a question as to whether these contestants were participating in good fun or being serious.
You wouldn’t think an event like this would create the smack talk it did. However, over the last two weeks, an email thread nearly in the 1,000s took over most of my free time. I didn’t send many emails, but the banter between Sal Sciandra and Jay Duffy made my day.
Sal and Jay seem to be friends. They’re cordial when together. But things got heated over the last week, and rightfully so. Sal and Jay finished in the top two spots of our little contest. Sal raised an absolutely absurd $5,315 for breast cancer research, while Jay raised $4,000.
As a team, we raised more than $18,000 for breast cancer research — and donations are still pouring in, demolishing our goal of $10,000.
Would you believe you can still donate? Head to the Race Roster website and donate to your favorite gentleman’s page. Deadline to donate on the page is Friday, Oct. 16. You can also send checks made payable to Paint Pittston Pink, 70 Pinewood Drive, Laflin, PA 18702. Let’s see if we can reach $20,000!
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick