2015 Seattle 3-Day Wrap-up

The 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Seattle has concluded, and what a weekend it was! In spite of a rainy All Crew Kick-off on Thursday (What? Rain in Seattle? Crazy!), which left the Opening Ceremony site a little bit soggy, Mother Nature cooperated and kept the Seattle 3-Day walkers and crew members cool and (mostly) dry.

Friday morning began with a moving Opening Ceremony held beneath Seattle’s most iconic structure, the Space Needle. IMG_7830Hosted by our own dear Dr. Sheri, along with Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen® and Seattle local events coach Aubrey Cushing, the ceremony filled our 3-Day family with inspiration and motivation to set out on Day 1.IMG_7921IMG_8052Walkers exited Seattle Center and weaved through vibrant downtown neighborhoods on the way to the I-90 bridge. Traversing this “floating” bridge stretching over Lake Washington was a memorable experience for all of the walkers, and brought us what may have been a first on the 3-Day: walker stalkers on boats! Well played, Seattle supporters!IMG_8251

Photo credit: Instagram @manders1957

Photo credit: Instagram @manders1957

Day 1 continued onto beautiful Mercer Island, where walkers enjoyed scenic waterfront pit stops, providing photo ops a-plenty. Another short bridge crossing brought walkers to the east side of Lake Washington and the lunch stop, where we rolled out our new “Promise” photo backdrop; it was an instant hit! IMG_8434Walkers started getting a good taste of Seattle’s hilly terrain as they weaved through Bellevue, but the lovely pit stops, tremendous crew support from sweep and route safety teams, and their amazing never-quit spirits kept them going all the way to camp at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

Friday night’s camp show featured fun and laughs from Dr. Sheri and Chrissy, an inspirational speech by breast cancer survivor and 10-time Seattle walker Jen, and the recognition of Seattle’s top fundraisers and Milestone Award Winner.

Walkers headed out from camp on Day 2 and were climbing right away (there’s no escaping it: Seattle is all about those hills!). But the steady diet of inclines was no match for the tenacious can-do attitudes of Seattle 3-Dayers. The challenging route was nicely broken up with gorgeous stretches along the waterfront in Kirkland and pit stops where walkers could relax and take in the breathtaking views.IMG_8797 Saturday walker stalkers were out in full force, cheering on the walkers from cheering stations, private roadside posts, and mobile units (i.e., cars decked out in incredible pink flair).IMG_8998 The afternoon route brought walkers back through the neighborhoods of Redmond before returning them safely to camp.

The camp show on Saturday night brought out laughter (how funny is that new dress-up race?) and tears. We recognized Seattle’s Local Impact Award winner and we heard from another survivor, Lori (who was also Seattle’s Milestone Award winner from Friday). Chrissy from Susan G. Komen made an impassioned promise to the 3-Day family, and we all were inspired by speeches from the Seattle Youth Corps. And of course, no 3-Day event would be complete without the famous Saturday night dance party.

And just like that, Day 3 was upon us. Walkers loaded onto the waiting buses at camp and were transported over to the University of Washington campus to start the day.IMG_9319 The forecasted rain held off nicely and instead walkers enjoyed cool breezes and sunny skies for most of the morning, which made the views of the Seattle skyline from pit stop 1 at Gas Works Park all the more stunning.IMG_9400 From there, walkers strolled through quirky Fremont, and farther down the route, the bridges and marinas of the Ballard neighborhood led to a phenomenal cheering station at the Ballard Locks where dozens of supporters came out and encouraged walkers to keep pushing through their final 10 miles of the day.IMG_9466 With Puget Sound to the west, walkers wound their way through the beautiful residential streets of Magnolia to a picturesque lunch stop at Magnolia Viewpoint Park.IMG_9720 Soon, they were headed back toward downtown, first heading south along the waterfront, through the Olympic Sculpture Garden, past the famous Pike Place market, and then back north to Seattle Center.IMG_9804

The Participant Finish Area was on the site of Friday morning’s Opening Ceremony, bringing the walkers full circle. IMG_9930After cheering each other across the finish line and celebrating with family and friends, the Seattle 3-Day walkers and crew members marched triumphantly onto Memorial Field for a moving Closing Ceremony.IMG_0051 Hosted once again by Dr. Sheri, Chrissy and Aubrey, the Ceremony brought us all together once more to renew our promise to never give up our fight to end breast cancer. With joy, we thanked our many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions, we celebrated the incredible $2.1 million raised by Seattle’s 750 walkers and 250 crew members, and in a moment that couldn’t have been scripted, a rainbow appeared in the sky just as we prepared to raise the final flag over the Seattle 3-Day family. It was beautiful and fitting end to a wish-filled three days in the Emerald City.IMG_0088 IMG_0172

We at the 3-Day are truly humbled by the passion, dedication and spirit of every single person who touches this event. We can’t say thank you enough. To those of you who we’ll see again this year, we look forward to it, and to the many of you who will make Seattle your pink home for three days next year, we can’t wait to see you again. In the meantime, we carry each of you in our hearts. Onward to Philadelphia! Want a sneak peek of photos from this weekend? Visit our Blog Album here, and be sure to check Facebook later this week for the full set of photos from Seattle that you can download and share! IMG_0140

The Insider’s Peek at the Seattle 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® Series. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, 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. 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 know what exciting high points to look forward to.

We’re publishing one of these location-specific route peeks for every 2015 3-Day event (we’ve already enjoyed peeks at the Michigan and Twin Cities routes) and today, it’s the Seattle 3-Day’s turn to shine. Let’s see what the Event Planning Manager Emily and Local Events Coach Aubrey had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the route from last year? – Emily had this to say: “Nothing major, but there are a couple of changes that past walkers will notice. We have new lunch sites on Day 1 (because of construction) and Day 3 (based on feedback from last year). We’re looking at some stretches that could be longer, gradual hills as opposed to shorter, steeper climbs. Of course, I’m saying that as a local who is used to hills!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog seattle route
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Seattle route present? (i.e., Are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) – All right, Seattle walkers, let’s get right down to it: Seattle = hills. There’s no escaping it. Aubrey had this to say: “Seattle is extremely hilly, particularly on Day 2. Participants should train on hills that are long and winding. If they are near Kirkland or Redmond, those are great hills to train on, but long switchbacks would also help someone get adequately prepared for our hilly terrain.” Emily adds that it’s not just the Seattle route that’s inclined toward inclines, it’s the whole Pacific Northwest region: “We’ve been asked if we can change the route to make it less hilly, and we take the feedback seriously. We see how we could maybe shorten the hills or find ones that aren’t as steep, but there’s no way to get away from them completely. But remember, what goes up must come down!” Emily also added, “We’re keeping the crew aware of the walkers’ needs and prepping the crew to help. For example, on Day 2, when there’s not much going on at camp during the day, we’ll use some of the camp teams and vehicles as extra sweep support.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog seattle route
    The Day 1 route takes walkers across the I-90 “floating” bridge over Lake Washington (gephyrophobes, be warned) and Emily reminds us, “The bridge is wide open, and if it’s warm out, being over the water will help keep you cool, but there’s no shade and no sweep van access on the bridge.” (Sweep vans will be available before the crossing for anyone who needs them.) Emily continues: “On Day 2 there’s a big hill right as we leave camp. We’re looking at alternate ways to get around the steepness of that hill, but there’s no other way out of camp to go up and over and get to downtown Kirkland and the waterfront.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog seattle route
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? – Aubrey is quick to gush about what her city has to offer the 3-Day walkers: “Day 1 brings great views of downtown, a walk across the I-90 floating bridge across Lake Washington and the Botanical Gardens. Day 2 offers fantastic views of lakes, beautiful homes and photo ops at the tops of the hills. Day 3 is great for Gas Works Park on Lake Union, a walk through the funky neighborhoods of Fremont and Ballard, the Ballard Locks (where walkers will likely see seals), the gorgeous homes in Magnolia and a stroll through the downtown waterfront section to close off their weekend.” Emily adds, “Walkers get the best features of what makes Seattle so wonderful: Lakes, green forests, the Space Needle, Seattle Center, Pike Place, the Ballard Locks, Mercer Island, Gas Works Park. We hit so many of the cool little neighborhoods of Seattle: Hippie Fremont, the big beautiful homes of Magnolia, the cool little ‘beach town’ of Kirkland on Lake Washington. Over the years, by trial and error, we’ve tried different routes and sites, and we’ve really come up with the best of Seattle, as great as we can make it (and as flat as we can make it!).”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog seattle route
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of the Seattle route? – “What I love most is the beauty of the natural landscape: the water, the mountains, the vibrant colors,” says Emily. “The parks are wonderful, but also the unique aspects of the different neighborhoods of the Seattle area. It’s the Pacific Northwest, it’s hilly, but that’s the Northwest! That’s what makes it so unique. That’s what Seattle was founded on, a series of hills, so in essence, that’s what Seattle is, so the more you can embrace it, the better Seattle experience you’re going to have!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog seattle route

The Bottom Line: You probably picked up on the major theme from the rest of this post: Seattle has a lot of hills. Our hope is that walkers will look at those climbs as motivating challenges, and reminders that what they’re doing, though difficult, is nothing compared to the uphill battles that too many of them and their loved ones have faced because of breast cancer. Part of the purpose behind these route peeks is to give walkers a heads-up months before their events, so that they can prepare and train the best they can to get themselves ready for their 60-mile journeys, and this is especially true for a challenging route like Seattle. The real bottom line is, if you’re going to be walking in the Emerald City, train on hills. There’s no better way to prepare yourself. Then, when you get there in September, strong and well-conditioned, you’ll be able to really take in the beauty and charm of Seattle, no matter what the elevation is.

The Insider’s Take: If I ever decided to move away from California, I’d head straight for Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful corners of these United States, and I feel like the Seattle 3-Day—which I have walked twice and crewed once—has a little bit of everything: forests and lakes, friendly suburban neighborhoods with incredible community support, and a city-centered Day 3 that will pretty much check off every Seattle tourist site you’d want to see on a trip there. Yeah, it has hills. Lots of hills. I happen to not really mind hills, but if you mind hills (or even if you don’t), you’re definitely going to have to make them a focus of your training, including both steep inclines and slow steady climbs. But you can handle it. I know you can. Keep your eyes up and don’t let gravity get the best of you. Plus: Starbucks. Lots of Starbucks.


Great stuff, right? If you still have questions or concerns about the Seattle 3-Day route, pick up the phone and call Paula, your Seattle 3-Day coach, at 800-996-3DAY (select option 7 for Seattle), or email seattlecoaches@the3day.org.

Where We’ve Been – A Collection of the 2014 3-Day Journey Maps

  • You’ve signed up for your very first Susan G. Komen 3-Day® and are anxious to know where the route will take you.
  • You’ve walked in the Komen 3-Day before, but are venturing to a new location this year and are curious to see how the route in the new city compares to the ones you’ve done before.
  • You and your team know you’re going to walk in a 2015 3-Day® event but you can’t decide which one, and you want to compare the possible options.

If you fit any of these scenarios, then feast your eyes below at the Journey Maps from all seven of last year’s 3-Day events. These maps will give you a good basic overview of where the route took walkers in each location last year, including the Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony and camp locations.

Please remember that these are Journey Maps from the 2014 3-Day Series, and are meant to be informational overviews only, not a guarantee of where the 2015 3-Day route will take you. As we explained in our Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, things can and do change from year to year. The 2015 routes in each 3-Day location are still being finalized, and maps for each 2015 3-Day event will be emailed to registered participants the week of the event.

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