Sole Sisters will soon begin training for Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure; orientation is March

February 23, 2004

CHAPEL HILL — Many women have gone through life never believing they could keep a regular exercise regimen, much less run in a race. Sole Sisters, a 14-week training program, wants to challenge that assumption and help these women succeed in ways they never thought possible.Women interested in becoming “Sole Sisters” are encouraged to attend the exercise group orientation on March 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. They should first make reservations, by e-mailing or calling (919) 966-5905.The free program provides support for women over the age of 21 who want to begin exercising but aren’t quite sure where to start. Participants will focus on walking and-or running and will then take part in the Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure in June.

Sole Sisters, now in its fourth year, is led by Judith Swasey, a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center surgical oncology nurse practitioner, who is also a runner and an advocate for women’s health. Swasey developed the program.

Although the annual group goal is completion of the Komen race, the most important outcomes are motivation, a sense of completion and a lifelong exercise program with all of the associated benefits, Swasey said.

The program has positively affected the lives of many women since its initiation, including 38-year-old Lisa Katz, director of communications for UNC’s School of Public Health.

“The best part is all of the supportive women from all different walks of life,” Katz said. “Some women are just out of college, some are retired; some are thin but not fit and others are borderline obese and are trying to get their health in check. I really enjoyed the companionship that these women gave me.”

Laurie Holst, a Durham resident with two grown daughters, can’t say enough about how Sole Sisters has changed her life. In addition to keeping with a regular exercise routine, the 56-year-old has stayed in touch with two other women she met through the program and wants to put together a Sole Sisters reunion.

“I just really enjoyed the Sole Sisters,” Holst said. “I had never imagined myself in a race before, but the day of the race it was just so uplifting to see all of the women there.”

Katz, who has exertional asthma, added that the best part of Sole Sisters is the sense of accomplishment and ability that she will carry throughout her life.

“It was challenging, but I know I can do it now,” she said. “It’s just a matter of doing it – before Sole Sisters, I wasn’t really sure if I could.”

For more information on the Komen race, click on

Note: Contact Swasey at (919) 843-8057.

Lineberger Center contact: Dianne Shaw, (919) 966-5905 or News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or

For further information please contact Lisa Katz either by phone at 919-966-7467 or by email at