Komen’s Snowshoe for the Cure is back in Frisco with pink parties, flamingos on March 4 | SummitDaily.com

Komen’s Snowshoe for the Cure is back in Frisco with pink parties, flamingos on March 4

Dina Garland and crew wouldn't dream of missing Snowshoe for the Cure, even if it means flying more than 1,800 miles from New Jersey to Colorado for just one weekend. But what a weekend it will be.

"We've gained people and lost people over the years, but we always have a great time," said Garland, team captain for Robin's Rompers, named after her sister and breast cancer survivor, Robin. "It's a nice weekend away and it's always for a great cause. We hope that someday we can live in a world that's free of cancer."

Thanks to Garland and Robin's Rompers, the world gets one step closer each year with fundraisers like Snowshoe for the Cure. Formerly known as Tubbs Romp to Stomp — hence the Robin's Rompers team name — the event was passed to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 2016, and the national nonprofit wasted no time working a snowshoe race into its roster of fun-loving fundraisers, including the recent Pink Tie Affair gala in Denver on Feb. 4 and the enormously popular Race for the Cure road-running series.

Snowshoe for the Cure returns to the Frisco Nordic Center on March 4 with a full day of activities, all built around a slate of snowshoe races and fun runs. When Garland comes to town, the 52-year-old brings with her 10 teammates for Robin's Rompers, including her daughter, a nephew from Steamboat Springs and three of her six sisters, including 62-year-old Robin herself. Everyone on the team will take part in the main event: a non-competitive 3K or 5K walk. Also this year is a self-timed competitive 3K for snowshoe racers, along with a short fun run of about 400 or 500 yards for youngsters.

"It's fun to get out early and watch the snow racers," Garland said. "I give them a lot of credit. But I personally, and our group, like to take it easy, soak up the atmosphere — just enjoy the town of Frisco."

Snowshoeing for a cause is a Garland family tradition that started in 2010, soon after Robin's diagnosis, and has continued every year since then. The team began at events in New Jersey, then moved to Vermont, and then finally came to Colorado in 2015. The Rompers missed last year's event — Garland heard about the Komen handover too late to register — but they can't wait for their return to Frisco.

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"We vowed we would come back every year because my sister, Robin, is a survivor," Garland said. "We just love coming out to Colorado for it. (We) fell in love with the snowshoeing. We're not exactly outdoor people, but we all just love this so much. And pink looks so good set against the white snow."

Pink parties and more

Snowshoe for the Cure is the third-largest fundraiser for Komen Colorado, behind only the formal Pink Tie galas and Race for the Cure. It's a prime opportunity to dress in pink, strap on snowshoes and spend a day in the shadow of Peak One, all with close to 1,000 of your new best friends.

"I think it's the whole idea of celebrating friends and family," said Erin Stoen, events manager for Komen Colorado, explaining why the snowshoe event is one of the year's biggest. "It's something different from the road 5K we have everywhere. It's also a smaller event, and I think people like that sense of community, of being up in the mountains and away from everything."

Last year, the snowshoe event raised about $40,000 and event organizers hope to see the same this year. Registration is $45 for adults or $30 for kids, and with about 1,000 total snowshoers (down from 1,200 last year) organizers are optimistic they'll hit the benchmark. Registration is available right up until race day, when pricing jumps by $5 for adults and children.

"Coloradans like to scare me and wait for the last minute to sign up," Stoen laughed. "It might be a smaller group, but it's mighty, and they have been fundraising like crazy."

Snowshoe for the Cure might be smaller than the enormous Race for the Cure events — the Denver race draws thousands of runners every summer — but it's a favorite for out-of-towners like Garland, who turns it into a sort of family reunion. Her nephew, Cory, comes to Frisco from Steamboat with his girlfriend to romp with the Rompers. That dedication keeps the event fresh and inviting, Stoen says, and when paired with the town's Pink Party pre-race bash on March 3 at the Summit County Community and Senior Center (5-8 p.m.), it's a weekend even she can't miss.

"They see the same people year after year, and whether they're part of the group that travels or another team, they're all part of the same community," said Stoen, who plans to be at the start line on March 4. "It's a way to celebrate and honor people who may have passed. It's just a very close-knit, feel-good event, where you aren't one of thousands and thousands of people."

2017 Snowshoe for the Cure Colorado

What: A laid-back, family-friendly snowshoe event to raise money for breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Foundation

When: Saturday, March 4 at 7 a.m.

Where: Frisco Nordic Center, 616 Recreation Way in Frisco

Cost: $45 for adults, $30 for kids (6-17 years old)

Registration is available online until March 3. After then, pricing jumps to $50 for adults and $35 for kids at the Frisco Pink Party on March 3 and at the event on March 4. All participants get a goodie bag and pancake breakfast before the event, beginning at 7:30 a.m. To sign up or find out more, see the events pages at komencolorado.org.