DFW 3-Day for the Cure 2010 Recap

November 15th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (1 Comments)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been over a week since my latest phenomenal 3-Day for the Cure experience.  This year I met more wonderful people, got to walk with people from previous years and had a very busy first day! I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself, to talk about this 3-Day for the Cure, I kind of have to step back to the Wednesday before the walk.


If you have my post on setting goals then you’re probably aware of two lofty goals that I set for myself this year.  One was to be the top fund raiser in Dallas and one was to raise over $20,000 this year for the 3-Day for the cure.  Wednesday morning it looked like I was probably not going to hit either of those goals, though it was very close.  I was pretty sure that I had stretched my fund raising network as far as it would go and I was happy with the amount I had raised.  I thought it would have been nice to have reached them but I could definitely be proud of what had been raised.

The family drove up to Dallas on Wednesday evening.  My wife was on crew and had to be at crew training on Thursday and I had to be at flag bearer rehearsal as well, more on that later.  When we got to my mother-in-law’s house (she’s one of the reasons that I walk, she’s a 10-year survivor!) she asked how close I was to the top fund raiser.  When I told her it was about $500 short, she instantly said, “Well, I can make that up for you, no problem.”  At first I was taken aback, I wanted to say something, but my mouth just wouldn’t work.  My wife said what I wanted to say:  That she didn’t need to do that.  She had, just a couple of months before, contributed $300 to my sister’s fund raising.  She insisted and said, “I know that you do it for me and my girls, I know it would mean a lot to you to be the top fund raiser, I want to do this.”

That was the final word.  She made a donation and got me in the lead and then said, “Now, if you need another donation before this closes out, you get me up and I’ll make another donation.”  Long story short, I stayed up that night and when it was done I had stayed in the top fund raiser position.


This year I was selected to carry the “Turning Points” flag from the Lifetime flag series during the opening ceremonies of the 3-Day.  I have tried several ways to write to explain what the flags are, but I think that Jay Furr’s post, Raise the Flag, does a much better job than I could of explaining the flags and what they mean in an opening ceremony.  Thursday was the rehearsal for the flag bearers.  I arrived at the opening ceremonies site just before 4.  I had always thought about how much work had to go into putting together a 3-Day for the Cure event, but it didn’t really dawn on me how much work was done before a walker arrived at opening ceremonies until then.  There were a lot of cars parked there and when you looked around you could see a lot of work being done just about everywhere.  Crew meetings on one spot, staff carrying a part for a setup this way and up by the stage, the group of people that I would be carrying a flag with the next morning.

Karen checked me in and congratulated me on achieving the top fund raiser spot and suggested that I go talk to Dan.  Dan was one of the two other people that had leap frogged for the top spot throughout the year.  I think I mentioned him, but not by name, in an earlier post.  He was carrying an honor flag for his wife who had lost hear 18 year battle with breast cancer earlier this year.  As we stood there waiting for the rehearsals to start, he was able to tell me about how they met and that they had been married for 43 years.  I was very close to tears.  You see, I know I have mentioned that I walk for my wife so that she doesn’t have to fight breast cancer, but every year I get more reasons to continue walking.  When I hear a story like Dan’s where they fought breast cancer for almost half their marriage it brings a lot of thoughts to the surface.  It makes me angry and upset that people still lose their loved ones to breast cancer, but at the same time it renews my determination to stay in the fight to try and get rid of this disease.  Thank you so much for sharing your wife’s story with me Dan, I hope that you had a wonderful walk.

When you go to the flag bearer rehearsals, you go through an abbreviated opening ceremony.  Jenne Fromme does a shortened version of what she will say so that the staff can make sure that all of the flag bearers know what to do and when to do it.  I have to say that even with no one in the audience and her speech shortened, it still makes for a moving experience.


Waking up early is not something I enjoy doing.  On a training walk recently I told one of the walkers that was with me that I usually only wake up really early (before 5:30) for training walks and the 3-Day.  I’m not even sure what time we got up on Friday, but it was early and after picking my sister up from her hotel and getting some breakfast we got to the opening ceremonies at 6.  Huge thanks go out to my niece for getting up early and taking us there.

It was still dark and very cold and I was wearing my Keep Going® Blogger t-shirt and shorts.  I had still not decided at what point I would lose the shirt and be in just a bra for the top.  With the cold as it was, I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen at all.  My sister and I wandered around for a little bit and tried to stay in larger groups of people for a little break from the wind.  At 7, I was supposed to report behind the stage to be ready to carry my flag out.

While I was backstage I met up with Sandy Villetti, my contact for the walk with Energizer®.  We talked for a little bit and then the ceremony started.  It seemed like no time until I was walking across the stage with my flag and next to no time until the opening ceremony was over and I was walking out.  One of those things I never really knew about being a flag bearer is that you lead everyone else out to the route.  This was the closest to the front that I had EVER been on a 3-Day walk.  It actually made it so that we weren’t concerned about time at all for the rest of the day.  We would get to pit stops or lunch and have plenty of time left.  It made for a very worry free day (I tend to worry a little bit when I get to pit stops and only have 10-15 minutes until they close).

Julie caught up to me and I found out that she had, purely by accident, met up with her tent mate at opening ceremonies.  Since my wife was walking with crew and tenting with me, she got a random tent mate and it turns out that they got along really well for the whole walk.  I took the shirt of and went in the bra.  It was cold, but I adjusted to the cold pretty quickly.  For a little while there we didn’t think that we were going to be able to get anywhere because every ten feet or so, someone wanted another picture.  Eventually I told Julie and Rachel to go ahead and I would catch up between pictures.

Friday at the Dallas 3-Day for the Cure is always my favorite.  There are a couple of reasons.  First is that you are fresh and your muscles aren’t tired.  That’s pretty minor to the main reason: the schools.  We walked by at least two schools that had the kids and teachers out cheering.  I won’t go into too much detail since I wrote about this over the weekend in the post titled Community.  Go there and check it out because these schools were awesome at keeping us motivated!

When we came into camp around 4, I really felt like the day had just flown by.  It was a great day and I felt really good after walking 19.3 miles.  When I got back to camp, I found my tent.  Now, there’s a few words about the tent that I want to say.  Being the top fund raiser, I was given a larger tent with some goodies inside.  First, here’s a picture of the tent:

So the first thing to note about it is that it is larger than the pink tents that you normally sleep in.  Second, it has a little covered “porch” area that we were able to stow our stuff in without risk of it getting wet.  On the inside of the tent we were provided with a queen size air mattress and lots of comfy bedding and it was all on a platform so it was normal bed height.  That made it a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning when your muscles were stiff.  It had a camp chair and foot rest right outside the door and the final thing it had was a space heater.  That’s right, a space heater.  If you checked the weather for this past weekend, you may have noticed that the temperatures at night on Friday dipped into the 30s, so a heater was a welcome addition to the tent, but more on that later.

The night was pretty busy.  After showering and eating, I got set up in the Energizer tent to start blogging and met most of the 3-Day Tweeps that were in Dallas.  Then Sandy and I went in to do the drawing for the Energizer giveaway in the dining tent.  I was able to work on my blog a little bit more before heading back to the dining tent for the announcement of the top fund raiser by New Balance.  Then I headed back to work on the blog and read some of my camp mail before finally heading to bed.  A busy night, but it was a lot of fun.

When we headed back to the tent, it was nice and warm from the heater running.  We settled in for the night to sleep until the next day of walking.


Right around midnight on Saturday morning the heater stopped working.  More appropriately, the generator stopped working, it was apparently out of fuel.  Now, before I go on with Saturday I want to say that later on in the day we talked to Kendra with New Balance about it going out and she was super about getting a resolution in place and a different generator for us to use on Saturday night.  Thank you Kendra for all of your help!

With the heater dying, it changed things quite a bit.  When we originally came to bed, we didn’t wear hats or long sleeved shirts because the heater kept the tent pretty warm.  Once it cut off, it took about 45 seconds for all of that heat to leave the tent.  No, I’m not complaining about having heat for half the night when everyone else had no heat, I’m just explaining what happened.  We ended up pulling out warmer clothes, cuddling up some more and making it through the night just fine, if a little colder.  We got up Saturday morning, had breakfast and were ready to do it all over again.

Walking on Saturday, I felt like I was going considerably slower than I did on Friday.  I know what the problem was though, I didn’t start off with the early pack, I started somewhere in the middle to back.  We started getting to pit stops 20 minutes before they would close.  I tried not to stress out about it, but in the back of my head I was saying to myself that I didn’t want to get swept because I was moving too slowly.  We made it through just fine though.  The cheering stations on Saturday are always a lot bigger because people don’t have to skip work to make them, so the cheering stations on this day were awesome.  The Valley View mall cheering station just seemed to go on forever!

Right when I was done with walking on the Addison suspension bridge, I got a call from Sandy (with Energizer).  She wanted to make sure that I was scheduled for one of the chair massages in the tent later that night.  What a fantastic surprise!  I can honestly say that I have never been able to get a massage at camp in the other walks that I have done simply because I forget to sign up for it until all of the spots are taken.  Sandy goes in my awesome book for setting this up!

Got back to camp a little more sore than the first day and really no blisters to speak of.  I showered, ate dinner and had my massage.  It was great!  You use a lot more muscles than just your legs when you walk 20 miles a day.  All the muscle groups are involved just to keep you upright and moving in the right direction.  The massage was a welcome relief to those muscles that I don’t ever think about when walking.

After the massage, I got to working on my next blog.  I know it’s a little silly to write in your blog about writing about your last entry, but there’s a little something that kinda makes me smile now that I look back at this and I feel I should mention it.  I wrote the post about checking the mail.  Several of the mail items that I got made me tear up a little bit.  I should have known before I wrote that post that I would get a little emotional again.  As I was writing the post (and quoting one particular letter) I started to cry.  In the Energizer tent, especially on Saturday night there is a long line of people waiting to borrow portable phone chargers.  Here was this line of people and off to the side of them on my computer I’m sitting there crying.  Several asked me if I was alright and I had to explain to them that I was crying from reading letters and then again writing about them.  In fact, when Kendra from New Balance came by later to make sure that everything was fine with the tent, she stopped mid sentence and said, “Are you ok?  You look really upset.”


Sunday was when some hurt started coming in.  I think I bruised my right foot and did something to the tendon or muscle on the back of my left leg.  Walking was a bit more painful, but despite that the day seemed to go better.  The thing that really sticks out for me on Sunday during the walk was the cheering station at the West End in Dallas.  There were tons of people there, it went on for quite awhile and before the end of the cheering station I was in tears.  I don’t know why this cheering station hit me more than others, maybe it was because I hadn’t seen my kids since Friday, maybe it was some of the pain I was in, or some other un-thought of reason.  Whatever it was, by the end of the cheering station, my sister was looking over at me trying to make sure that I was ok.

We went through some downtown areas and came into Fair Park, the annual site for the State Fair of Texas.  This year was a little different than others I had walked in Dallas in that the holding area (the place where walkers go after they are finished, but before closing ceremonies) was indoors.  At first I thought this would be great.  In Boston when they did this it was nice and cool in the holding area and it was great for after walking in the sun.  When we first walked in here, I was actually kind of hot.  After I had some time to adjust it was fine, but I didn’t want to put on my victory shirt for awhile.

I checked in, got my shirt and then went to cheer on other walkers that were coming in after me.  I really enjoy doing this, you get to see everyone coming in, many who you met over the course of the walk, and you get to see them at their happiest.  They did it and they are at the finish line.  I didn’t get to cheer many people on in Boston because we were pretty close to the end of the line of walkers when we came in, so it was really good to be able to cheer on so many when we got in on the Dallas walk.  I even got to cheer my wife on as she came in with the rest of the crew.  When I saw her I gave her the biggest hug I could, and that was one of my favorite 3-Day moments from this year.

I could go on to explain about closing ceremonies, but I like ending on that note.  I’ll have videos from throughout the walk to post as soon as I get a little organized and you’ll be able to see some of the closing ceremonies and some cheering school kids, but this is where I want to end now.  Thanks to everyone that made this year’s Dallas 3-Day for the Cure walk an amazing event.


Checking the Mail

November 6th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (Comments Off on Checking the Mail)

I missed the mail pickup in Boston when I was there and because of that I now know that I really missed out on quite a bit.  Last night I got a BOAT load of mail.  I knew that the 3-Day Tweeps were going to send me some mail, but I had no idea that it would be that much.  To be totally honest, I am still going through all of it.

Even though I haven’t read it all, I know that they are all going to be awesome just from the sampling that I have had.  The mail that I have gotten has made me laugh, made me tear up a little bit and been just incredible to get.  I would like to share with you some of the mail that I got and I would like to encourage anyone that is reading to make sure to send your walker mail for the next walk that a loved one, friend or even a stranger is doing.

Ok, let’s start with mail from Kristen Cincotta (@kscincotta).  This one really kind of made me a bit emotional, and not because it was saying that I did great fund raising.  Here it is, I’ll explain some stuff and why it did that to me:


Congratulations on finishing Day 4!  I hope your feet are holding up just as well, if not better, than they did in Boston.  I wanted to tell you yet again how blown away I am by your fund raising success this year.  You have raised more this year than I have in 3 years combined.  I can tell you, your fund raising totals will be almost enough to pay for one scientist for a whole year.  That is AWESOME.  Thank you so much for all your hard work!


Ok, you may be wondering why she’s saying day 4.  Kristen and I both walked in the Boston 3-Day for the Cure earlier this year, so technically this is the fourth day of the 3-Day for me this year.  The thing that really got me here was when she said that my fund raising totals will be almost enough to pay for one scientist for a whole year.  Really and truly, the reason that we do this is to fund the research necessary to end breast cancer.  To hear that my money could possibly be use to fund a scientist that is in this fight is amazing.  I had never really thought of this before about how directly my fund raising will go towards making the end possible.  In fact, when I was walking today, if I started to get some aches, I thought to myself, “one scientist for a whole year, one scientist for a whole year.”  That in my mind is an amazing thing.

Ok, the next letter that I’m going to talk about, I’m going to have to describe a little more.  The letter that I got from Cat Holland (@fatgirlwalkin) could almost be described as explosive.  When I opened the letter from Cat, an enormous amount of shiny pink confetti spilled out.  I opened some more and more spilled out.  It was frankly amazing how much she was able to fit in this envelope.  I chuckled to myself because I remember Kristen mentioning opening Cat’s mail in Boston and it basically exploding all over her tent.  She cracked up and I did too.  As I write this, I still see a couple of pieces of the confetti on my keyboard.  A smile at the 3-Day added to all the ones that you will already have there is a great thing.

There were a lot of letters wishing me luck and saying how proud they were of me and they all meant a whole lot to me, but I couldn’t pick out just one, so I need to just say thank you to everyone that sent a letter at the 3-Day.  If I didn’t mention your letter, it’s not because I didn’t love it, it’s because there were so many great letters it was hard to pick just one more!  It was a real treat to hear from you all and to have something in the mail at camp.  I’m going to sign off now and finish reading my letters!



November 5th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (1 Comments)

Ok, so instead of doing a recap of the day like I did in the Boston walk earlier this year, I wanted to specifically talk about the community support that I saw today.  I had already written half of a recap post, but I just talked to a couple of walkers here about the awesome cheering stations that I changed my mind.  Community support is a huge thing for me on the 3-Day for the cure.  When people are honking as they drive past or showing up at cheering stations or making their own cheering stations is really helps me to Keep Going®. It’s just a huge morale booster when your muscles are sore and there are still many miles left in the day.  So I wanted to talk about the different kinds of community support that I saw and what some of my favorites were.  I’m going to start with my all time favorite first.

W.T. White High School

To the teachers and students of W.T. White High School, I would like to personally say that you rock!  It was very close to the end of the day when we came across the school and the students were out in droves.  There were at least 75-100 people out there and instead of being on one side of the sidewalk like most cheering stations, the lined both sides of the sidewalk for a good distance.  You walked by the high school and it was like this massively loud victory tunnel.  I am quite serious when I say that this was THE loudest cheering station I have ever seen.  We heard them from several blocks away.

But the noise wasn’t the only thing.  All of the students really looked like they wanted to be there, everyone wanted to give us a high five when we walked through.  If they weren’t high fiving they were clapping.  It was an immense experience to walk through that and when I it was past I had to find out the name of the school because I wanted to make sure that I wrote about them in one way or another.  Again, a huge thanks to W.T. White high school for being so awesome and making that last leg of our day that much better!


I really don’t know the name of the elementary school that we passed early that morning, but they were great too.  What they lacked in volume compared to the high school, they made up for in sheer numbers.  We kept walking and waking and there were more and more students!  I took some video of them and will post it on here as soon as I get the chance!

Forest Lane Cheering Station

The Forest Lane cheering station was the last of the day and it was a long one.  In my recollection, Friday’s usually aren’t huge days for cheering stations.  You still have a lot of people at work that can’t make it out, they end up at the cheering stations on Saturday or Sunday.  The cheering station on Forest Lane had the definite feeling of a Saturday cheering station.  There were lots of people there and it took me a long time to make it through because there were a lot of people that wanted me to stop so they could get a picture of the crazy guy in the bra!

I especially liked the gentleman that had used the temporary pink hairspray not only on his hair and beard, but also on his dog!  I saw him last year and really enjoyed him being there again this year.

At Your House!

I enjoyed the impromptu cheering stations at people’s houses.  Especially the ones that went all out and decorated.  The one that sticks out in my mind had a sign out front that said, “A 31 Year Breast Cancer Survivor Lives Here”.  In addition to the decorations, they had some of the cheerleaders from a local high school cheering as we went by.

Ok, that’s all I have time for tonight.  It’s kind of short, but I really wanted to talk about the awesome community support that we had out and about today here in Dallas.  I love it!  I’ll write more tomorrow and maybe even a more full recap of the day!



September 14th, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (5 Comments)

There haven’t been a lot, but I have met enough people that stay in a hotel instead of camp to know that it happens.  And I understand, there is a certain allure to sleeping in a hotel room instead of an air mattress or camp bed.  I can see where it would be appealing to be able to go to a restaurant and order what you want instead of eating what’s being served at 3-Day camp (though I will say the food is pretty good).  I can also understand how someone might want to see their family and friends at night.  Despite all of those reasons, I still think that staying at camp overnight is as much a part of the 3-Day as walking those 60 miles and raising that $2300.  For those of you that are set on staying somewhere other than camp, consider this my attempt at persuading you to at least give camp a try.  For everyone else, consider this a preview of some of the awesome stuff that you can get to do at the 3-Day camp!  I went back and forth on how to organize it and finally settled on breaking it out by section of camp.  So here is your preview of what’s in store for you at camp.

Living Quarters

For those of you that are on the fence about staying in camp, please stick it through until at least the next section.  I will freely admit that this section of camp is probably the least compelling reason to stay, but it is still an integral part, so I have to talk about it!

You see how I put living quarters up there like it was more than just a tent?  Well, truthfully there is more to what I am calling living quarters than just a tent.  When I talk about living quarters, I really think of three things and they’re not all in one spot, thankfully.  I think about showers, tents and port-o-potties.

Just last weekend I was walking with some people from Chi Chi Mamas DFW, a 3-Day team in Fort Worth, and was asked if the showers are actually hot.  Apparently they asked someone on staff and wanted to get a second opinion.  I can confirm that the showers are hot and definitely welcome after a long day walking!  In fact, for many the showers will be the most appealing part of the living quarters section.

Next comes the tents, a giant sea of pink tents.  The rows are all marked well, but it is still a good thing to somehow mark your tent so that you can remember where it is.  That’s where the decorating contest comes in.  Those walkers that have SO much room left in their 35 lb duffel bag will pack decorations for their tent.  There are two reasons for this.  First it makes it easy to find your tent if you have a miniature boxing ring in front of your tent.  Second you can win a legacy pin for having the best decorated tent!  I will say, that I really appreciated my neighbors for the second year that I walked that put something on top of their tent that made it look like a breast with a pierced nipple.  That pierced nipple was like a beacon to get back to the tent!  The really good thing about staying in the tents is that you don’t have to worry about wake-up call or an alarm clock because camp will be like your alarm clock for you.  SOMEONE in camp will set their alarm and that will be just like having your own alarm that you can hear but don’t have to worry about turning off!

Last in the living quarters section of camp is the port-o-potties.  I realize that this isn’t the most glamorous thing to talk about, but you should be getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (if you’re not, shame on you!  You’re not drinking enough!) so it’s a good thing to get acquainted with where the port-o-potties are.  To be honest, when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to go to the bathroom, I try to gauge by the light how close it is to when people will be getting up.  Then I try and determine if I can just wait until people are up or if I should go right then, because who really wants to get up in the middle of the night to traipse their way to a port-o-potty?  Invariably the answer is always that I have to go to the bathroom at that moment and waiting will just not do.


So you’re probably looking at that last section and thinking that I have done a bang-up job of selling you on why you shouldn’t go to camp.  Peeing is a real bathroom is pretty compelling to a lot of people.  But don’t fret!  The next couple of sections are bound to have something that will pique your interest!

After you’re done walking 20 miles, you’ll need to eat a good dinner and re-fuel.  You will get plenty of food for dinner and over the two nights and you’ll be able to eat steak, chicken, apple pie and much more.  But food is not all that you will get for dinner.  You’ll also get a show!

Jenne Fromm is your host and I have to say that she does a marvelous job.  Yes, it is scripted and I have seen the script evolve over the years, but Jenne rolls with what happens up on stage and when the 3-Day participants on stage with her throw a curve ball and the result is usually a lot of laughs.  But Jenne is not everything for the dinner show.  They also have the “Are You Cure-ious” game show where three walkers or crew members try to be the first to answer questions about breast cancer facts and it is highly entertaining.

Then there are the people that will get on stage and talk about why they walk and I have to say that I haven’t made it through a 3-Day where I haven’t cried  at this part of dinner.  Hearing the stories of strength, struggle, sadness and hope is one of those things that you walk in the 3-Day for.  It also gives you so many more reasons to walk.

3-Day Main Street

Once you have had your fill of food and dinner entertainment, you should head on over to the 3-Day Main Street. No, I assure you that they didn’t lay pavement down in the middle of the field that you’re camping in, but they have set up tents with all sorts of people available to help you out.

Let’s start with the Energizer® tent.  I start here primarily because if you’re walking or crewing, you should definitely go visit the Keep Going® Blogger that they have in there.  If you’re participating in the Dallas walk, this would be me and I would more than welcome the company!  But wait, that’s not all!  In addition to that, the lovely people at Energizer® will be providing chair massages!  Everyone needs a massage after a long day walking, so you should definitely drop by and take them up on it!  Hold on, there’s more!  They also have Internet access so that you can communicate with loved ones and a phone charging station where they will loan you a portable power pack to get your phone charged up and ready to go for the next day!

While the Energizer® tent is pretty awesome for what they provide, there are also other things to see on the 3-Day Main street.  Let’s go to the 3-Day post office next.  If you read the my earlier post, Mail Call, then it will be no surprise to know that you can get mail at the 3-Day.  This is where you go to pick it up, so remember to tell all your loved ones that you would love to hear from them while you are on the walk!

AT&T is the next stop and you’ve probably realized by now that I am doing these in no particular order, but in the order that they come to mind.  At the AT&T tent, you will also have the opportunity to charge your phone while you wait and you can pick up the silly bands that you missed getting while you were out on route.  In addition to that, there will be AT&T people on site to ask any questions you might have about some of the AT&T phones or apps.  In addition, AT&T does some giveaways and this is where you can sign up for them or get information about their photo mosaic project (which is pretty cool once it’s done!)

Next up is Shop3Day.com and their tent full of 3-Day for the Cure gear.  If there were things that you saw on the online 3-Day store that you would have preferred to touch and feel before purchasing, this is your chance.  So make sure that you bring along some method of payment to make sure that you can buy what you need!  It would be terrible if you wanted something and couldn’t pay for it!

The Bank of America tent has oh so heavenly foot massages.  You may not think that your feet would want a foot massage after a day or two of walking, but I assure you if you wait too long then the line will get too long and you will miss out entirely, line up for this one early!

The next on 3-Day Main street that I’m remembering is the New Balance tent.  In here, you can turn in your entries for a drawing for a new pair of New Balance shoes!  They also have a big screen tv, New Balance products and on Saturday night they have Bingo.  It’s great fun for everyone!  And if I’m not mistaken, if you show up here sporting your New Balance gear you will get a gift just for arriving.  This may have just been on previous years, but I’m pretty sure they are doing it this year too!

The last thing I will talk about for the 3-Day Main Street is the 3-Day cafe.  This is where they have a camp services table, it’s also where you collect your legacy pins for the 3-Day.  They also have a tv and comfortable chairs that are a lot better to sit in than folding chairs or the ground.  Lauri Yanis and her husband Matt, both of whom have been on this site before, told me that they basically hang out in the 3-Day Cafe until they get kicked out, so there’s one more recommendation for it!

<I>The Final Ingredient</I>

As you can see, camp is pretty awesome.  It’s less like camping out and more like one big slumber party with prizes and entertainment.  But there is one thing that is involved in all of these things that hasn’t been mentioned yet.  The one thing that you will find here that you won’t find in any hotel room that you might to choose to stay in is the phenomenal walkers.  Yes, it might not be the most comfortable thing to sleep on the ground and go to the bathroom in a port-o-potty but the 3-Day walkers and crew are some of the most amazing people that you will ever meet and that makes up for a lot of discomfort while you’re sleeping.

It’s one huge community at 3-Day camp and part of the reason is that people choose to camp.  Sure they could have chosen to stay at home in a comfortable bed, but they chose to stay at camp with you, because you’re awesome too.  I hope that you will consider joining everyone at camp, it really is great fun and if you haven’t stayed there before you should really try it at least once!


Move Out!!

September 3rd, 2010 | Posted by john in At the Walk - (Comments Off on Move Out!!)

When the time for the event comes, sometimes you can plan so much that you forget some of the most important things about participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  Namely, how to get your stuff to the event and then back home.  As trivial as this may seem, leaving it until the last minute is not a good decision.  Just like everything else on the 3-Day this part of your journey also requires planning in advance.

Getting There

For those of you that are traveling from out of town and staying at one of the 3-Day recommended hotels, getting to the event is probably the easiest for you (of course, this doesn’t take into account the airfare and getting from the airport to the hotel and everything else, but we’re just talking about getting to the event in the morning for now).  The reason for this is because you will be able to take the shuttle directly from your hotel to opening ceremonies.  This is great and I highly recommend it, even for those of you that have loved ones traveling with you.  It is much better to let them sleep in so that they can show up at the cheering stations well rested and happy!  Besides, the shuttle gives you the opportunity to meet new walkers as you make your way to opening ceremonies and you don’t have to worry about any long car lines as you wait to get into the event.

Options for those of you that live in the host city are a little different.  I’m assuming that you’re not going to stay in one of the 3-Day hotels overnight when you could be staying in your own bed.  With that in mind, you have a couple of different options.  First requires having someone who either likes you a lot, owes you a favor or both.  The first year that I participated in the 3-Day, I had a good friend of mine, Chris Puyear, my mom (and teammate) and I to the event.  It required him getting up very early and if I had any other options I would have let Chris sleep in.  The second year, my sister (and teammate) had her husband drive us to the event.  Her husband is much more of an early person than any of my family so this worked out well.

The third year of the 3-Day, our team of three went in together and got a town car to pick us up and take us there.  This was nice because we could all split the cost and none of our friends or family had to wake up extremely early and trudge across town to make sure we could participate in the 3-Day.  He even drove us by a fast food place on the way to pick up breakfast!

The last option that is available to you is to drive to the event yourself.  I don’t recommend doing this and I’m not sure if you can park at all of the events.  The first year, one of my teammates opted to drive herself instead of joining us and ended up having to pay $20 to park and then after the event was over had to go pick up her car there before she could drive the thirty to forty-five minutes home.

Before I wrote that last paragraph I was going to say that there is no wrong way to get to the 3-Day as long as you get there, but I can’t in good faith recommend you driving there.  Find an option from one of the others available to you if at all possible before you decide to drive yourself, it will just make your whole experience a lot less stressful.

Getting Back!

Before we talk about the event being over and trying to get back to wherever it is you go for the night, I need to mention this.  If you plan to stay at the 3-Day hotel AFTER the event and want to take the shuttle you will need to purchase a ticket for the shuttle.  If I am not mistaken, you need to purchase this on the first night in camp, but I am hoping one of the readers will correct me if I am wrong.  I have been lucky enough to have someone able to pick me up at closing ceremonies for all of the walks.

Speaking of having someone pick you up at closing ceremonies, I cannot recommend enough having someone come to closing ceremonies.  There are two reasons for this.  First, they really need to see closing ceremonies.  It’s an emotional thing and it’s the culmination of all that you have done for the past three days so your loved ones and friends should really think about joining you in it.  Second, if you get someone to come to closing ceremonies then they can carry your bag back to the car.  If they get there early enough, like my brother in law did last year, then they can even get your back back to their car before you even step out of the holding area.  That way you don’t have to stress out or worry about finding your bag at all!  If you have family or friends anywhere near the city that you are walking in, definitely get them to come along, if not for you then for them!

Now, if you don’t have friends or family at the event and you aren’t staying at a 3-Day hotel after the event, it’s not the end of the world.  The gear and tent crew does an amazing job of getting all the bags out and ready to go in as much order as possible.  You will see the sign with the letter of the tent you were assigned and you just have to find your bag in the group of people that shared the same letter, not everyone on the walk.  I’m pretty certain that there are taxis that are there to pick people up.  I have seen them after the events.  However, if you have a team and you are wise enough to plan in advance, it might be a good idea to arrange for a town car or other car service to pick you up so that it is reserved and you know that they will be there for you when everything is over.

Again, the key to any of these things is being prepared and planning ahead.  Do that and you’ll do just fine, no matter what kind of ways you choose to get to and from the 3-Day.