Dempsey Challenge a success

It was an early start on October 17 for the members of Colby’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams as they departed for the 7th annual Dempsey Challenge at 5:30 am. After first making a quick Dunkin Donuts stop for some last minute caffeine, they headed to Lewiston, ME to run the 5k for the second year in a row. The Dempsey Challenge is hosted by Patrick Dempsey, widely known as “McDreamy” to Grey’s Anatomy fans, to benefit the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, Maine. The Challenge is made up of 10, 25, 50, 70, and 100 mile cycling distances and a 5k and 10k run/walk. 100% of the proceeds go to the Dempsey Center and providing support, education and medical services to individuals impacted by cancer. In order to participate, all members of the mens and women’s lacrosse team had to raise at least $150.

They arrived a little after 7 a.m. for the 8 a.m. start, and there were already thousands of people ready to go. Some participants were sporting rather eccentric team costumes, while others wore tee shirts in memory of deceased loved ones. While running in the 5k, the sense of support from the community was overwhelming. People lined the sidewalks of the entire route, offering cups of gatorade, cheerfully ringing cowbells, or enthusiastically cheering for every person that passed them. The finish line was incredible: there was applause for every person that finished, but whenever a cancer survivor’s names was announced, the crowd erupted. Caitlin Heaps ‘17, a member of the Colby women’s lacrosse team recalls her experience, saying, “It was such a great opportunity; getting involved with the Maine community, as well as the cancer community…I was very excited to support the cause, and the only thing that made it better was being able to do it with teammates and friends…and meeting Patrick Dempsey!”

This event is particularly important to the Colby lacrosse community, as members of the lacrosse family have lost numerous loved ones this past year. However, on the day of the 5k it was all smiles, and even a few tears of joy after the team snagged a picture with Patrick Dempsey. The men’s and women’s lacrosse programs plan to continue participating in this great event, hopefully with even more participation from the Colby community in the future.

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