The First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day – Let’s Meet the First Timers!

Last year, our Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day brought you details about the entire 3-Day experience from the perspective of one grizzled old veteran walker (me), but this year, we thought we’d get a different point of view. So, we asked three women who are participating in the 3-Day for the very first time to share that journey with us. And just like that, the First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day was born! So today, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to our three first-timers. You’ll be hearing a lot more from them throughout the next few months, as they tell us about their very first 3-Day adventures, but for now, let’s get to know them a little bit, in their own words…

Crystal – Michigan 3-Day First-Timer

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog first timers guide“My name is Crystal Spagnuolo, a 38-year young single Mom to two amazingly beautiful kids. I have a teenage daughter named Jocelyn and a young stud of a son named Mateo. He prefers to be called Teo now, since he is the “man of the house.” I am born and raised in Windsor, ON, a small Canadian town a mere jaunt across the bridge or tunnel from Detroit, MI. My family has been here since 1955 when my grandparents moved here from Lincoln Park, MI. “Most of my free time (yeah, what is that?) is spent taking care of my babies. They are both energetic, outgoing, more athletic than I have ever been, and two of the biggest pains in my butt. Between soccer practice, softball tryouts, all star tournaments, youth group dances and birthday parties, I fully engulf myself in getting to know these rare creatures I am blessed to raise. Life has thrown us a few loops, and after a few very financially trying years we ended up back at my parents’ house to regenerate. It all worked out as my step-dad needed bypass surgery and we got to help out. As we have firmly planted our feet back on the ground, we are looking eagerly at spreading our wings and flying the coop within the next few months. “I work at a cell phone company where I assist people with technical issues when it comes to these devices we’ve become accustomed to living our lives through. I love the challenge of each email or phone call. I love helping people and tutor often on the side to all the friends and family around me who are otherwise technologically challenged. “I’m a fighter, so I’m told, but for the greater good. I wear my heart on my sleeve and always root for the underdog. I had to battle my health for the past seven years and I will honestly tell you I didn’t realize how bad until my hysterectomy this past February. Dealing with cancer scares and pain, agonizing months of stress and anxiety for test results have all made me a well-rounded basket case. I have a tight-knit circle of friends, mainly due to my children’s never-ending social lives, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve wanted to give something back and show my kids that hard work pays off. This walk means so very much to me but not for reasons you may think. I’ve been blessed to not have lost or battled this disease but after the marathon I just ran with my health, walking 60 miles in memory and spirit for those who no longer can is an honour that I will cherish forever. “When I mention what I’m doing this summer, most of the people I deal with on a daily basis smile and simply say, “of course you are, you are amazing.” Now not to toot my own horn, but I feel amazing having this opportunity to give back and change my life forever. “I look forward to seeing you all in August, wearing my absolutely favourite colour (Canadian spelling) in the whole world.”

Sheilla – Philadelphia 3-Day First-Timer

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog first timers guide“Name: Sheilla Carvalho Age: 34 Hometown: Vineland, New Jersey Current Residence: Williamstown, New Jersey, where I live with my adorable and amazing 9 year old furry child, Sketch. Occupation: School Counselor Hobbies: yoga, shopping, spending time with family/friends/Sketch, going to the beach, reading, traveling, walking/running, etc. Interesting Facts About Me:

  • I speak 3 languages (English, Portuguese, & Spanish). Portuguese was my first.
  • I enjoy traveling to and learning about other countries/cultures; I have visited France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, China, Brasil and will be traveling to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji in July.
  • I have dual citizenship: United States and Brasil; Rio de Janiero is my favorite place!
  • I have had many part-time jobs (due to various interests): student advisor at local community college, receptionist and teacher at local yoga studio, Weight Watchers, volunteer leader for People to People Ambassador programs, and now 3-Day training walk leader!

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m thankful to be a part of all this. The last couple of months have been truly amazing. I have met so many people, felt so accomplished (reached my goal in 6 months), felt inspired, motivated, grateful, etc. The amount of positive feelings and energy is very rewarding.”

Jodie – Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day First-Timer

Jodie 3.2

“I am Jodie Mannlin, a 56 year-old paraprofessional working with elementary students in a Life Skills class, an 11.5-year breast cancer survivor, and 3-Day first-timer, set to participate in the Dallas/Ft. Worth 3-Day on November 6-8! My husband (of almost 33 years) and I live in Mesquite, Texas (near Dallas, where I was born). I enjoy: reading; movie-going; attending any breast cancer event, such as brunches, fashion shows, seminars, Race for the Cure walks in the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, and participating in the Cowboys’ Pink Ribbon Halftime Show (where I saw my favorite QB, Peyton Manning when he and the Broncos came to town a couple of years ago :); and attending outdoor concerts from spring through fall. The entire 3-Day experience is proving to be exciting and rewarding, as I have met many inspiring walkers from my Boxing Babes team, as well as other teams. I am overjoyed to have finally accepted the challenge to “do something more” by entering the Komen 3-Day world! And, to have been given the opportunity to share my thoughts as a 3-Day first-timer blogger! More to come …” Please join us in welcoming Crystal, Sheilla, and Jodie to the 3-Day family! Stay tuned to the 3-Day blog over the next several months to hear all about their journeys. Are you a 3-Day first-timer too? Welcome! Don’t forget, your 3-Day coaches love to share tips, tricks, and advice for everything 3-Day. You can reach them by calling 800-996-3DAY.

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.

The Insider’s Peek at the Michigan 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 do one of these for every 2015 3-Day event, in order, which means: you’re up, Michigan! Here’s what Event Planning Manager Missy and Local Events Coach Ann had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the route from last year? – Missy assured me that there will be “No major changes from 2014!” (Click to see the 2014 Michigan 3-Day Journey Map and the 2014 Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up.)susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Michigan route present (i.e., Are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) – Missy’s response to this question was, “Although there is no extreme terrain in Michigan, there are plenty of motivating challenges when walking the 3-Day there, including some minor hills in the afternoon on Day 1 and a set of stairs after lunch.” Ann, a native of the Detroit metro area, confirmed, “Southeast Michigan is pretty flat compared to other 3-Day locales, but there are a couple hills that people should be sure to train for.” Missy added, “Day 2 has a challenging hill after lunch, and portions of the route are off-pavement.” Ann said, “Sweep access is pretty consistent, but there may be a few short stretches that don’t allow for easy access. We also walk a stretch of Hines Park on the afternoon of Day 2, which can be a bit on the shadeless side, depending on the time of day.” Missy’s concluding thoughts were, “On Day 3, walkers have little change in terrain, but go through more urban areas – some without shade.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? From Ann, “Historic Downtown Plymouth (with the pink fountain) and Northville on Day 2 are always great areas with tremendous community support. On Day, 3 the residents of Dearborn love to come out to cheer and decorate their streets.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall nature of the Michigan route? – Ann is happy to brag about her home state: “It’s a great mix of residential, commercial, and rural. The route goes through some of Detroit’s nicest suburban communities and folks are always really supportive.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route

 

The Bottom Line: Michigan walkers really don’t have much to worry about, as far as challenging terrain goes, but they should definitely work a few decent hills into their training, so nothing takes them by surprise. The Midwest in early August can get pretty hot and humid, and rain isn’t out of the question, so training in the heat to get used to it is a good idea too, as well as packing for the elements (but don’t worry about that until later). With those preparations locked down, walkers will have a beautiful and scenic route, with tons of community support greeting them in Michigan.

Still have questions about the Michigan 3-Day route? Call your Michigan 3-Day coach Jennifer at 800-996-3DAY (select option 4 for Michigan), or email michigancoaches@the3day.org.