Catching Up With the Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

Before last year’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series, we introduced the local coaches from each event city. These are the staff members who support the Komen 3-Day walkers and crew members all year round, answering phone calls and emails, hosting community events, assigning crew captains and juggling dozens of other tasks to make sure that the 3-Day® participants make it to their events excited and well prepared.

Since we gave you the coaches’ full profiles last year, we’ll delight you with just a fun update before each event this year. We checked in with the Michigan 3-Day coaches earlier this month, and today, the Twin Cities coaches—Stephanie, Eileen and Amy—are in the spotlight (you can read last year’s “Meet the Twin Cities Coaches” here)!

First Up…A New Team Member! – We’re happy to welcome new Crew & Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Schwager, to the Twin Cities 3-Day team. Amy is new to the Twin Cities event, but not new to the 3-Day, having been a staff member for many years. susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles twin cities coachesSince we didn’t “meet” her in last year’s blog post, here’s a little more detailed insight into Amy:

Describe your job in 10 words or fewer. – Magical, inspirational, and rewarding. I heart my crew!

We’re a few weeks from the Twin Cities event. What’s a typical day like for you these days? – My days (and some evenings) are spent doing whatever I can to support my crew captain leadership team. They are my fuel, my inspiration, and I want to do whatever I can to make their jobs easier on-event. The next couple of weeks I will send out final event documents, re-adjust crew teams based on our needs, finalize our day volunteer deployment, and finish checking off all of the pre-event items. And in just a few weeks all of our efforts will culminate on an incredible 3-Day weekend. Challenging in its distance, profound in its intensity and life changing in its scope. I am confident it is going to be empowering journey in an indescribable way!


Thanks, Amy! Now, let’s check in with Stephanie and Eileen too!

What was your favorite memory from the 2014 Twin Cities 3-Day?

Stephanie (Twin Cities Local Events Coach) – I love the spirit and energy of the 3-Day weekend. Every mile along our route is filled with stories, laughter, hope and inspiration. Everyone is so nice and genuinely cares about each other. I always enjoy standing near finish line and watching the walkers celebrate their 60 mile journey!susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles twin cities coaches

Eileen (Twin Cities Participant Coach) – My favorite part of the 2014 Twin Cities 3-Day was finally getting to meet all of the participants I had been working with throughout the season. It was fun putting faces to names and remembering all of the conversations throughout the year. I love getting hugs from new-found friends. I am hoping to get many more this August! susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles twin cities coaches

Fun Facts About the Twin Cities Coaches – Can you guess which fun fact is true about which coach? (There are 3 facts about each coach; find the answers at the end of the Seattle coach catch-up, coming next month!)

  1. I have two delicious little boys (Brooks 7, Bryn 2) and a sweet golden retriever (Newton) who keep me smiling every minute of the day.
  2. My new favorite TV show is Scandal. I have watched the entire first four seasons since June.
  3. Bring me a coffee in the morning and you’re my friend for life.
  4. I recently got re-married and have discovered the delights and craziness of a blended family–including the joy of becoming a “GRANDMA” at the young age of 45!
  5. I love long driving vacations. We once drove 40 hours straight to San Francisco. Our favorite family vacation is a 22-hour drive to Myrtle Beach.
  6. I am always freezing. Even living in California, you can rarely catch me without my winter wool hat on.
  7. Besides being a 3-Day coach, my life revolves around keeping up with my three kids (ages 16, 13 and 10) and their very busy schedules. I know these days won’t last long, so I love every minute of it.
  8. I will be staffing six 3-Day events this year, and I am looking forward to seeing many of the Twin Cities participants in other cities too. Please stop and say hi!
  9. In college I did Semester at Sea—traveling to 14 different countries over 3 months. That experience left an imprint on my heart and I will forever love traveling and experiencing new cultures.



Looking for answers from the Michigan Coaches’ Fun Facts post? Here they are!

1) Ann; 2) Gina; 3) Ann; 4) Jennifer; 5) Jennifer; 6) Gina; 7) Jennifer; 8) Ann; 9) Gina.










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

2014 Twin Cities Susan G. Komen 3-Day Wrap Up

This weekend, Twin Cities was filled with the power of pink as the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® passed through the many beautiful neighborhoods of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Though Friday morning started with gloomy skies, the brightness and enthusiasm couldn’t be dampened by the clouds. Dr. Sheri led us through a rallying and an inspiring Opening Ceremony at the Southdale Center in Edina, and from there, Komen 3-Day walkers began their magnificent journey and were soon welcomed to a New Orleans “Mardi Bras” themed pit stop at the beautiful Utley Park.IMG_9144

The Lake Harriet Band Shell was the first cheering station, and the Twin Cities Community came out in full force, complete with cheerleaders, candy, and coffee stations. Onward through Minneapolis, walkers and crew enjoyed a cheering station at the Parade Ice Garden and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Walkers took a lunch break at the lovely Loring Park, and after lunch, it was onwards to another pumped-up cheering station at B.H. Nelson Park, with impressive views of Minneapolis. After an incredible 18.6 miles, walkers and crew arrived at camp in Harvest Park in Maplewood, and during camp show, we got to meet the Twin Cities 3-Day top fundraisers and Milestone Award Winner, in addition to playing some fun games and hearing from an inspirational survivor, Sue N., who motivated us to start strong on Day 2.


Day 2 on the the 3-Day® route started with balmy skies and cloud cover, and the friendly Twin Cities community came out in full support complete with puppies and babies in pink tutus at Holiday Inn Express cheering station. Vadnais Lake gave sore legs and tired minds some serenity, and a rocking cheering station at Ramsey County Island Park, complete with cheerleaders, helped our walkers put an extra pep in their step. The community came out again to rally walkers at Acorn Park in Roseville, and then, even conquering a few hills before lunch on Gramsie in Shoreview couldn’t dampen the excitement for lunch at Island Lake Elementary School.


After hydrating and eating, walkers strolled across bridges at the picturesque Gervais Mill Park before heading back to Camp, where we heard from more amazing members of our 3-Day family, including Cassie of team Cassie’s Cups, who’s currently fighting breast cancer for the third time. Her moving story set the stage for Sisters Ashley H. and Nicole L., who again reminded us of the many reasons why we walk.  We ended the night with stars lighting up the sky as the 3-Day Dance Party kicked off, and then it was back into our pink tents for some serious slumber before taking on Day 3.


A little bit of rain came down before Day 3 officially began, but the skies cleared up just in time to reveal brilliant blue skies, thick humidity, and a shining sun for our last 17.5 miles. The community came out to support the walkers at Northwood Park, passing out popsicles and iced coffee that were joyfully accepted by our strong walkers. The cloud cover lasted through Beaver Lake Park, where a serene lake shimmered in the distance as upbeat music kept our walkers pumped. Next on the route was Indian Mounds Park, and walkers were treated to sweeping views of the St. Paul skyline.


After a beautiful photo opportunity sitting on Jody’s Couch, a Twin Cities 3-Day landmark for the past nine years, walkers moved on to pit stop 3.  Walkers fueled up and ‘rotated their socks’ at the 3-Day Speedway themed pit stop. The last few miles of the route stretched through beautiful downtown St. Paul, ending at the Minnesota State Capitol where the white and gold dome of the capitol building gleamed in the sun. Our 750 walkers, 225 crew members, and volunteers victoriously marched through the courtyard, and reminded us once again why these 60 miles and 3 days are so very important. The crowd of walkers, crew, volunteers and supporters danced joyously together, and celebrated an incredible $2 million dollars raised.