Cancer to 14K 2021!
Tell cancer to take a hike.
Cancer to 14K is a 12-week conditioning program for cancer survivors and their caregivers who want to jump back into life, get stronger and feel better. Along the way, you'll make new friends and have fun! Cancer to 14K includes weekly group hikes, and recommendations and encouragement for exercising on your own during the week. The hikes get harder each week.
Not so long ago, oncologists were advising their patients to rest and take it easy during and after their treatment. No more! The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends that survivors get at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate exercise (a level of exertion where you can talk, but not sing). Cancer to 14K, plus regular exercise on your own in-between sessions, will get you there and more!
This year, we are offering two live, in-person tracks of Cancer to 14K: the Grays Peak track, and the Blue Lake track. The Grays Peak track is more difficult. People in the Grays track will train to climb Grays Peak, a 14,270' high mountain, in Week 12. The Grays Peak hike is about 7.5 miles long, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain.
OUR APOLOGIES, BUT AS OF APRIL 19, THE BLUE LAKE TRACK IS FULL. The Blue Lake track is less difficult, but still challenging. Instead of climbing a 14,000' high peak, people in this group will train to complete a 14,000 step long hike -- about 5 and a half miles. We will hike to Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks wilderness. Blue Lake sits at 11,300'. The hike has about 850 feet of elevation gain.
Both the Grays Peak and Blue Lake tracks begin with easy hikes, and gradually build up to their respective goals. There's an orientation session for the Blue Lake and Grays Peak tracks on May 15. Hikes are held on Saturdays, beginning May 22, and ending August 7. Sundays will be used as rain dates. Space is limited in the Blue Lake and Grays Peak groups. We will be screening applications to ensure the groups are well-matched in terms of fitness.
We are looking for volunteers to help on the Cancer to 14K hikes. You don't need to be able to go on all the hikes to volunteer. If you want to volunteer for one or more of the hikes, you are on the wrong page. To go to the volunteer registration page, please click here.
In addition to these two live, in-person tracks, we are offering a virtual Cancer to 14K program. The virtual program includes three sets of recommended hikes for improving your fitness on your own: there are easy, moderate, and difficult tracks.
To help you keep track of your training, and provide some encouragement, participants in live and virtual tracks will be able to use an easy to navigate fitness tracking program where you will be able to keep track of your steps and monitor your progress. This program automatically syncs to your own fitness tracker or app on your smartphone. You can also enter your data manually, if you prefer.
To celebrate completing the Cancer to 14K program, we'll be hosting a big outdoor, socially-distanced party for all participants (including virtual participants) at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood on August 15.
What if I don't know much about hiking?
We've got you covered. Our experienced trip leaders and volunteers will lead the way and help you along the trail. We have advice and recommendations on gear. We even have some gear we can loan you. And, hiking is not like skiing or scuba diving -- there's not a ton of specialized equipment. Mainly, you need a small pack to carry some extra clothes, your lunch/snacks, and water. You need comfortable hiking shoes or boots. You need a water bottle and a rain jacket. You may want a hat to keep the sun off your head and face.
We'll teach you some basics about how to keep nature natural, route-finding, and safe travel outdoors. By the end of the 12 weeks, you'll be a hiker!
What Covid precautions are being taken?
Exercising outdoors is a relatively safe activity, even during Covid. We will use the following precautions to further minimize risk.
1. All participants, hike leaders and volunteers must have received at least one Covid vaccination prior to the first hike.
2. We will require participants to wear masks at meeting places, and during breaks (unless eating or drinking). While hiking, participants should wear masks whenever they cannot maintain 6' of social distancing.
3. Participants must submit a symptom checklist prior to each hike, and may not attend a hike if exhibiting Covid symptoms.
What do I need to do to register?
We require two medical clearance forms for every participant in the Blue Lake and Grays Peak tracks. One is for you to fill out, the other is for your doctor to fill out (about you!). Download the forms during the registration process. You must submit these forms to us by May 7 if you want to participate in the program. You must also provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination by May 7. Participants in the virtual tracks do not have to complete these forms or provide proof of vaccination.
You are not required to attend all hikes in order to sign up. But if you know you will miss 5 or more hikes due to other commitments, you should register for one of the virtual tracks instead. In any case, to give yourself the best chance of being able to complete the 14K goal in week 12, you should plan to attend at least 8 of the hikes, and make up any you missed with a similar hike on your own. It's also important to hike or walk on your own in between the group hikes. You may want to start out at 3 days per week, but by the end of the program, you should be walking or hiking 5 days each week. We'll help you with strategies for getting those walks in, overcoming obstacles, and setting goals.
To register for the Cancer to 14K conditioning program, click the "Register" button, and follow the prompts.