The Insider’s Peek at the Twin Cities Route

In February of this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® events. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it was still kind of broad in the sense that it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general, to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events individually. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches, to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early in the year will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and have a few exciting high points to look forward to.

We’ll be publishing one of these location-specific peeks for every 2015 3-Day event (we kicked off the series with the Michigan peek a couple of weeks ago), and today, the Twin Cities 3-Day is in the spotlight. Here’s what the Event Planning Manager Kendra and Local Events Coach Stephanie had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the route from last year? Kendra shared, “No major changes to the route from 2014. However, walkers can expect a direction reversal on Day 2.” Stephanie added, “There’s also a new Closing Ceremony site this year.” (Click here for a recap of the 2014 Twin Cities event, including route highlights, as well as the 2014 Twin Cities Journey Map.)susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Twin Cities route present (i.e., are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) Stephanie, who you will often find joining local Twin Cities 3-Dayers for training walks, said, “The Twin Cities 3-Day route, for the most part, is pretty flat, but there are a few hills after lunch on Day 2 and again on Day 3 towards the end of the route. You will definitely want to include some hill training over the next few months.” But she’s extremely confident in her walkers’ abilities: “Nothing too major though that tough Twin Cities 3-Dayers can’t handle!” Kendra agreed on all points, and added, “We’ve experienced some hot 3-Day weekends in Minnesota over the last couple years, so walkers should come prepared with a hat and sunscreen and drink plenty of water throughout the weekend.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? From Stephanie: “Day 1 will take our walkers around some of the beautiful lakes that Minneapolis has to offer. They’ll pass by a favorite Twin Cities attraction, The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – a great photo op! Here you’ll also find gorgeous views of the Minneapolis skylines and the Basilica of St. Mary.  Lunch is served in downtown Minneapolis at Loring Park and it’s always fun to see all the pink walking through the heart of the city.” Kendra continues, “Day 2 swaps the action of the city for the quietness of the suburbs. There are some great trails and neighborhoods to take in. Day 3 is a good mix of suburban and rural as walkers make their way into downtown St. Paul, for a Closing Ceremony on the shores of the Mississippi River.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of the Twin Cities route? Stephanie and Kendra, who both live in the Twin Cities area, are quick to brag about their community: “The Twin Cities 3-Day has a reputation for having tremendous community support along our route, and we are very proud of this. It’s a great showcase of two vibrant metropolitan cities and the natural beauty that surround them.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route

The Bottom Line: Twin Cities walkers should plan on working a few hills into their training, and should prepare themselves as much as possible for walking in hot weather (and meanwhile, we’ll continue to keep our fingers crossed for a mild weekend forecast). Aside from that, they should be sure to free up lots of memory on their phones and cameras so that they can capture the picture-perfect beauty of the Twin Cities.

The Insider’s Take: Yes, Kendra and Stephanie, as the local experts on the Twin Cities route, are the ultimate insiders, but I’ve walked in the Twin Cities, and my biggest take-away was that it was the most naturally beautiful route I’ve seen. It seemed like we didn’t turn a corner without coming head-on with another gorgeous lake, park, or riverfront pathway (There were bald eagles along the Mississippi, people. Bald eagles!). Was it hot? Heck yeah it was, but there were also wonderful supporters around every corner handing out popsicles, frozen grapes or cool face wipes; and the Twin Cities 3-Day was where we discovered the Orange Shirt Drinking Game, a guaranteed way to stay hydrated. The route didn’t strike me as particularly hilly, especially compared to other 3-Day routes I’ve walked, but I could see how someone might be in for a shock if they didn’t do any training on hills.

Still have questions about the Twin Cities 3-Day route? Call your Twin Cities 3-Day coach Eileen at 800-996-3DAY (select option 8 for Twin Cities), or email twincitiescoaches@the3day.org.

3-Day April Meet-up Round-up

April was a busy month for our Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches, who were pounding the pavement at meet-ups and training events, meeting and inspiring walkers for the Komen 3-Day events coming up in just a few months.  Let’s see some of the fun and inspiring local events that our 3-Day® family held in April!

Michigan

On Saturday, April 11, walkers and crew members gathered at the New Balance store in Farmington Hills for the Michigan 3-Day 16-week Training Kick-Off Event. A beautiful (if slightly chilly) morning saw nearly 40 walkers head out on a 4-mile training walk, while crew members patrolled the route on their bikes and motorcycles. We even had a cheer station and a sweep van! After the walk, participants enjoyed some snacks and shopping.

MI tkoe_2015

Twin Cities

Twin Cities 3-Day coach Stephanie hosted a walker and crew Meet-Up on April 1 at Lucky 13 Restaurant in Bloomington. Five new walkers attended and got lots of great tips from our veteran walkers and crew.

Lucky13April1MeetUp

Springtime temps brought these 21 walkers out on April 11 for a Walk & Talk with Coach Stephanie. They enjoyed a 6.5-mile walk around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis (part of our Day 1 Route).

TC lake walk and talk april

And in keeping with the training spirit, Twin Cities walkers enjoyed a Get Trained Workshop on April 18, hosted by Run n’ Fun, one of the Twin Cities’ local outfitters. Proper shoes are the most important pieces of equipment walkers will need on the 3-Day, so workshop attendees learned about proper shoe fit based on their own body mechanics, and learned that not only is comfort the key but also how the right shoe helps to prevent injuries.

tc april get trained

Seattle

At an April 2 Get Started Meeting at Redmond Library, long-time Seattle (and other cities!) walker William Kline attended in full walking gear—his signature look. He was joined by a few brand new walkers and Tath, a very active training walk leader in the Lynnwood area.

Redmond GSM_4.2

On April 18 at Seward Park, Seattle 3-Dayers met up for a Walk & Talk with Coach Aubrey. They looped around the peninsula, which offered 2.5 miles of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier views. The walker on the far right (Tina Marie B.) came all the way from Oregon to walk with the group!

Seward Park_Walk & Talk_4.18

Another Walk & Talk, held on April 30 in Renton, included a 2-mile out-and-back along Lake Washington. The group included two members of the Breastketeers and three first-time walkers.

Coulon Park on Lake Washington_Walk & Talk_4.30

Philadelphia

Over 30 Philadelphia 3-Dayers met up on April 18 at the Philly 3-Day 24-week Training Kick-Off. Hosted by the New Balance store in Cherry Hill, NJ, the event included a training walk and some great how-to demonstrations for packing gear and pitching a perfect pink tent. A great day!

PHL 24 week TKO april

Atlanta

The Atlanta 3-Day folks had their first Walk & Talk of the season on April 4, with wonderful training walk leader Coleen and 5 new walkers. It was a beautiful day, and it was great for these enthusiastic walkers to get some walking shoes on and meet some new friends!

ATL April 4 Walk and Talk

On April 11, Coach Susan hosted a great Get Started Meeting with 3 new walkers and one who was thinking about registering. Susan shared, “We had terrific conversations about training as they were most concerned about how in the world they were going to walk 60 miles! After the formal meeting, we spent even more time answering questions and getting to know one another. It was great to see everyone come together and make connections with each other.”

ATL april 11 GSM

Dallas/Fort Worth

At a Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day meet-up on April 2, Coach Gayla was joined 80-year-old veteran walker and extreme fundraiser, Ralph M. He helped welcome and inspire other walkers at Luke’s Locker in Highland Village.

4-2-15 Meet Up Luke's Locker HV

Gayla was back at another Luke’s Locker location on Saturday, April 4 for a Walk & Talk, accompanied by training walk leader and team captain of Angels for the Cure, Debby R. as she led a 3-mile training walk.

4-4-15 W&T Luke's Locker Plano

April 11 was a busy Saturday for Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Dayers, starting with a 3-mile Walk & Talk with training walk leader Sheryl C. and many members of team STEPS in Plano. Later in the day, the Get Started Meeting at Methodist Hospital in Richardson drew a crowd of brand new walkers who were encouraged by amazing team captains and veteran walkers.

4-11-15 GSM Richardson

The Greater Fort Worth Susan G. Komen® affiliate held its Race for the Cure on April 25, and the Komen 3-Day community was well-represented (there were many more walkers not in the photo). Even folks who weren’t walking or running in the race were still showing their 3-Day spirit as volunteers (Pink Hair Guy is a popular photo op every year).

4-25-15 GFWRFTC PHG3

San Diego

April was actually a quiet month in San Diego, in terms of local events, but things will ramp up in May. (Next month’s Round-up will include some great shots of the San Diego 3-Day reunion held on Saturday, May 2…stay tuned!).

If you couldn’t make it to a meet-up in April, don’t worry! There are still local events for every 3-Day city in May, and more and more training walks are being added every day. Visit the 3-Day website to find a local event near you.

What’s in Your Pack?

When you’re out walking long distances—for example, all that training you’re doing to walk 20 miles a day on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®–you want to make sure you’re equipped with whatever you might need along the way. Most Komen 3-Day walkers arm themselves for those long stretches by carrying a waist pack to hold the items they want to keep close by. What you carry in your pack is completely up to you, and chances are the contents will change depending on how far your 3-Day® training walk is taking you.

But to give you some idea of what you might want to include in your waist pack, we asked a few of our 3-Day coaches, who are also walkers, to share what goes in their packs.

Ann, the local events coach for Michigan, takes the minimalist approach to her walking goodies: “I carry a water bottle, my phone, and a couple bucks for fun treats that might show up along the route.”

Jennifer, the participant support coach for Michigan, adds a little bit more to her list of must-haves: “I carry my phone, tissues, Chapstick and sunscreen. I also have mints, because Gatorade mouth is nasty. I’ll carry sunglasses (if they aren’t already on my face), Handi-Wipes, which I use to clean my hands and to wipe my feet at lunch when I change my socks, and of course, extra socks.”

The other 3-Day coaches I asked had more robust lists. Alyssa, my 3-Day social media cohort (who walked her first 3-Day in San Diego last year) shared her list:

  • Tissues – for a runny nose and runny eyes, which may afflict you at any point
  • iPhone – fully charged and in airplane mode, of course.
  • Pink bracelet – because everybody likes to wear pink.
  • Sunscreen – because reapplication is so important!
  • Small packet of trail mix – for a heart healthy boost if I’m hungry but have eaten too many grahamwiches
  • Headband – to keep fly-aways out of my eyes when wind acts up
  • Fresh pair of socks – because this is the best idea ever. Change into them at lunch and rejoice.
  • Chapstick – to keep those plump puckers hydrated
  • Gum – Chewing gum while going up a hill just makes it better.
  • Large capacity, wide mouth water bottle – so crew can easily fill it with ice and sports drink
  • 3-Day Flair – a badge of pride, and to remember why I’m walking.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles waist fanny pack supplies packing

Gayla, our Dallas/Fort Worth local events coach, leads or joins training walks throughout the year and has her fanny pack (which she bought in 2005 and has trained with for 10 years) contents down to a science:

  • 2 – 20 oz. water bottles with wide openings for ice
  • Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel by Monistat (I don’t walk anywhere without this gel. I prefer this over the “stick-style” anti-chafing products.)
  • Spark energy drink mix
  • Pen (for autographs, ha!)
  • Phone charger & plug
  • Tissues
  • Cash
  • Mirror
  • Lip balm
  • Fundraising business cards
  • Clean, dry socks in a Ziploc bag to swap sweaty socks mid-day
  • Driver’s license
  • Mints or gum
  • A little extra room in my pack for all the stuff I seem to collect on the route at the cheer stations.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles waist fanny pack supplies packing

 

Seattle participant support coach Paula, who, with 15 events under her belt has walked more times than any other coach, totes quite the impressive array of goodies in her pack:

  • A copy of my credential with my cell number, so my pack will find its way back to me if I lose it!
  • My driver’s license/ID and my debit card and/or cash for those must-have 3-Day souvenirs or a Starbucks along the route! (This is in the most secure spot in my pack.)
  • Phone/camera
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer (clips on to my pack)
  • Tissues
  • Pain relief meds (Tylenol/Advil/Aleve)
  • Chapstick with SPF
  • Sunscreen
  • Hairbrush, ponytail rubber band
  • My 3-Day bub
  • Rain poncho
  • Large trash back to sit on if the ground is wet at lunch
  • Extra pair of socks in a Ziploc bag (bag will hold dirty socks after lunch)
  • Body Glide
  • Blister kit – bandages, moleskin, small scissors
  • Sticky notes and a  permanent marker pen (to jot down names/emails of new friends)
  • A soft “squeeze” ball (mine is actually pink ribbon shaped) which is great to help circulation in your hands and keeps your fingers from swelling from all that arm swinging! J
  • Any stickers or items I may want to pass out to people along the route. I have some cool pink ribbon temporary tattoos that are a big hit with kids and adults alike!
  • For training, it’s all of the above, plus sports drink powder for hydration and snack bars for some carbs.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles waist fanny pack supplies packing

 

What goes in your pack?