Train today for annual City of Hope walk set for September


With a goal to cure cancer, local walkers are currently training for a two-day walk that will benefit one of the nation’s leading centers for cancer treatment and research.

Although the fifth annual San Diego Together4Hope 2-Day Walk isn’t slated until September, organizers are encouraging people to train early for the 40-mile event.

“It’s just a wonderful time to get with people who care about something that is worthwhile,” said Encinitas resident and event organizer Gail King. “We’re making a difference in the lives of people who have cancer and their families.”

Training walks begin 16 weeks prior to the event date and are usually held every Saturday starting mid-June, with walks scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays as the event becomes closer. A training walk schedule will be posted on the event website at

Reservations are required as space is limited for each week’s free training walk.

“The training is imminently important,” said King, who noted that the group held 34 training walks last year. “It’s different than running.”

The two-day walk will take place during the last weekend of September.

Check-in is at 7 a.m. on the first day, Saturday, Sept. 24, followed by an opening ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Participants will walk around De Anza Cove in Mission Bay, where a 5K walk/run and standup paddleboard course will also be held in the morning.

The 5K walk/run starts at 8 a.m. Two standup paddleboard sessions will take place at 8 and 9:30 a.m.

The route for the second day of the walk, Sunday, Sept. 25, is still being planned.

Lunch will be provided to all walkers on both days. During the walks, pit stops will be located along the routes. In addition to restrooms, pit stops will have complimentary refreshments and snacks. Minor medical supplies will also be available.

“You meet new friends,” said King, who met her husband during a training walk. “I’ve made so many friends through the training walks and through the actual walk.”

Having participated in other walks, King pitched an idea for a two day, 40-mile walk in San Diego County that would benefit the City of Hope, one of the nation’s leading centers for cancer treatment and research. With many volunteer hours and support, the first-ever San Diego Together4Hope 2-Day Walk was held in 2012.

“Time goes by so fast. It’s just amazing,” said King said. She and the other organizers, who are all grandmothers, are now known as “Grandmothers 4 Hope.”

The 2015 San Diego Together4Hope 2-Day Walk was held the last weekend of September.

On the first day, participants walked around De Anza Cove in Mission Bay. On the second day, participants walked from Moonlight Beach in Encinitas to Magee Park in Carlsbad and then back to Moonlight Beach.

“It’s beautiful,” King said. “We live in a very beautiful area.”

A total of 17 people participated in last year’s event. Each participant raised a minimum of $1,000 by walking 40 miles over the course of two days across the county. Participants will be asked to raise at least $1,000 again this year.

Altogether last year’s event raised $32,000 for the City of Hope, which is located in Duarte, northeast of Los Angeles. Over the past four years, the group has raised more than $160,000 to combat cancer.

“We have one goal: cure cancer,” King said. “We’re always looking for that cure.”

For more information or to register for the event, visit

To inquire about sponsorships, contact the San Diego Office at 858-452-6846 or email at