ESCANABA - A local woman recently walked a marathon and a half in two days and raised more than $3,000 at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago.
Tracey Maycunich, manager of the Lion's Den in Escanaba, attended the walk with 3,200 other participants June 6 and 7. The first leg of the walk was 26.3 miles, a marathon. Maycunich was the first to cross the finish line that first day.
"I had a lot in myself," she said of the race. "It was a life-changing experience and I am looking forward to doing this again next year."
The second day of the walk took place in downtown Chicago. At the end of this 13.1-mile journey, Maycunich crossed the finish line 15th overall and third of those who completed the entire marathon and a half over the two days. She said she did a personal best.
"I had set a goal for myself that I was going to finish, and I did and...I was allotting myself a certain amount of time," said Maycunich. "Because a woman is diagnosed every three minutes with breast cancer I was trying to shave off three minutes of each hour just to save one woman... and to find a cure."
Maycunich gave herself seven hours to complete the first-day marathon, and made it in six hours and 15 minutes.
At a glance
Escanaba resident Tracey Maycunich recently completed a marathon and a half in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago.
Maycunich also raised more than $3,000 for research and awareness of breast cancer.
"This was not a race, but to me it was a race for the women who have breast cancer," she said. "There were many times that I wanted to quit but I couldn't come back here and face the people I told I would do this and have not done it, because 'can't' is not in my vocabulary."
Maycunich, who has had five major back surgeries and has steel rods in her spine, lost a brother to cancer 15 years ago.
Her mother-in-law was also recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and her aunt was diagnosed a year ago. In addition, she has many friends who have had breast and other cancers over the years. Maycunich herself is a survivor of cervical cancer and her sister is a survivor of cancer as well.
"Right when I thought I was too tired, I kicked it up a notch," she said.
Maycunich trained for the event for months beforehand, averaging 10 to 12 miles per day since January.
Maycunich wanted to send out a big thank you to her 26 business sponsors and countless individuals who donated to her cause and helped her to raise $3,041.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer funds go toward helping women who can't afford mammograms, and meals on wheels for those who are too sick to cook, as well as much more.
The money raised in nine weekends with walks in major cities is distributed throughout the U.S.
Since 1992, the Avon Foundation has raised $580 million worldwide. The walk in Chicago took in $7 million and the funds will mainly benefit patients in the Midwest.
Maycunich's maiden name was Smith. She lives in Escanaba with her husband, two sons and a daughter.