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Sending the boys a message
Think Gigi McKay might be a little nervous about the upcoming quicksilver hydroplane races?
After all, shes the only female competitor in the eight-cylinder class. Factor in the fact that shes also fairly new to the sport and its easy to rank the 45-year-old Belfair resident as an underdog.
But McKays not too worried. Its not the first time shes been an underdog.
McKay is a four-time cancer survivor and co-owner/co-driver of the Namron Racing Team 8-cylinder stock hydro (she shares both owner and driver titles with her husband Bud).
After beating out breast cancer, melanoma and two other types of the disease, McKay, the security and guest services manager at Kitsap Mall, is ready for anything.
Ive run the gamut, she said.
It should come as no surprise that McKay is returning to such a high-speed sport.
Its a real kick. Ive been riding (motorcycles) for 35 years, she said. My first adrenaline rush. Im one of those people with a need for speed. Its a great time.
A veteran to the world of motorcycles, McKay said her Harley-Davidson was one of the main supports that helped her through her battles with cancer.
It sounds kind of silly when I say it but one of the things that kept me going was being able to ride, McKay said. I always did ride when I had the opportunity to do it. It was such therapy for me. Its definitely my first love. It helped with it, it really did.
After beating the disease, McKay wanted to find a way to give back. Bud McKay had always dreamed of owning a hydro racer. She said the two just seemed to fit together.
Everything we do with our team, McKay said. Before we even started, we agreed to combine my motive in life, to give back the community, and my husbands dream of owning a hydro. So we said, Heck, lets do both.
So the McKays started Team Namron, named after Buds father Norman (Namron is Norman spelled backward). All of the prize money the team wins is donated to cancer research.