The Inspiring Chicago 3-Day

The Chicago 3-Day kicks off in Northbrook, Illinois as walkers stride proudly onto the streets

The Chicago 3-Day kicks off in Northbrook, Illinois as walkers stride proudly onto the streets

We all watch the weather closely as the 3-Day inches closer, knowing that we will be at the mercy or the delight of the elements. “We’ve never had weather this wonderful!” commented one walker. “Chicago has either been hot or raining or both!” The sun rose on a temperate, crystal-clear Friday morning in Northbrook, Illinois, as the walkers, crew, and friends and family joined in the Opening Ceremony and burst out onto the streets, ready to walk the 21.3-mile course through the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Glencoe, Winnetka, Northfield, Glenview, and Des Plaines.  Our gracious hosts at Our Lady of Guadalupe/Maryville Academy allowed the pink tents to pop up for two nights in their spacious fields. What a camp show!  Dancers and singers both nights were top quality.

A team of Susan G. Komen Chicago 3-Day walkers gear up for Day 2

A team of Susan G. Komen Chicago 3-Day walkers at Pit Stop 1, with an additional photobomb

Saturday’s 19.3-mile journey through Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights was peppered with some of the most lively and supportive neighborhoods, fire departments, and police departments anywhere. Pink police shirts, Mt. Prospect’s great team of firefighters, Arlington Heights’ pink fire engine, The Pair Tree, local cheerleaders, the pink balloon arch. The list goes on and on, and we couldn’t have been more pleased! We were proudly joined by the Young Women Walking group for the day, and they fit right in, pounding the pavement and making new friends. Like so many in the past, this memorable Saturday on the 3-Day® will be treasured.  Thank you all for your support!

The Young Women Walking joined up with our current walkers for a memorable Day 2 on the Chicago 3-Day

The Young Women Walking joined up with our current walkers for a memorable Day 2 on the Chicago 3-Day

Saturday’s 16.4-mile route led through the Lake Shore Drive area, but it was anything but quiet. Sunday in Lincoln Park was bustling with weekenders, and walkers were cheered on by individuals, a few Pit Stops and even a hot dog festival. The real treat, however, was the scenic entry with views of downtown, the lake, and finally Soldier Field. The pace had slowed by this time, for obvious reasons, and the gaits of many were stiffening after almost 55 miles over three days. It is this point where observers really start to see the rise of determination.

Downtown Chicago looms in the distance as a Komen 3-Day® team walks along the Lake

Downtown Chicago looms in the distance as a 3-Day team walks along the Lake

This is where drive starts to exceed ability and training. The last few miles of the 3-Day are often the silent struggle of participants, often reminding them of their own struggle over breast cancer or the struggle of those loved ones who have been physically pushed in their fights. Inside the stadium, alone, they often talk to me in passing, sometimes not really wanting to be heard, “If Judy could do it” “If my mother could fight it” “I’ve done it before.” Sometimes I take their pictures, and sometimes I do not.  But they can hear the cheers in stadium, and they know that the end is nearby, along with their families, the inspirational Closing Ceremony, and their dedication to finding a cure.

Chicago 3-Day walkers are cheered into Soldier Field at the end of their 60-mile journey

Chicago 3-Day walkers are cheered into Soldier Field at the end of their 60-mile journey

MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CHICAGO 3-DAY

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 3 to find a cure for breast cancer.