The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® started in Philadelphia with a bang on Friday morning, October 4, at the Willow Grove Mall in a warm, pleasant sunrise, and the anticipation and excitement of starting the physically demanding and personally challenging 60-mile course that wound its way through the greater Philadelphia area. Many first-time Komen 3-Day walkers seemed excited and a bit nervous about the daunting task, but the crowd of 1200 walkers, over 350 crew members, and family and friends were quickly engulfed by the spirit of the event that would raise $3.2 million to help end breast cancer!
The challenges of Day 1 often include a few new blisters as the day wears on, and the Medical Crew was in full force, assisting those who needed a little extra help. The sports medicine volunteer crew members were heaven-sent as they provided help in stretching out the sore and aching muscles that only 22.9 miles will bring. Though the heat index was high, some of the beautiful views of the Schuylkill River made up for it, and the trek up and around the Philadelphia Art Museum started the walkers to camp, held in the Philadelphia Convention Center. After some well deserved dinner, the walkers and crew were treated to a camp show of the day’s events, games by presenting sponsor Bank of America, recognition of Philadelphia’s top fundraisers, and a special Milestone Award, which was given to Andie Summers, a nine-year participant who has raised over $73,000 to date (and counting!). Congratulations to Andie for her dedicated efforts for the 3-Day®. She is also the captain of Team XTU Xtra Mile, which was Philadelphia’s second-highest fundraising team with $58,534 raised just this year.
Day 2 and the 22.3-mile leg of the 60-mile journey started out with a couple of hills (no problem, right?), but the scenery of West Fairmont Park made up for that as well. The heat index was high again on Saturday, and besides two official cheering stations, the course was dotted with private cheering stations in the neighborhoods of Bala Cynwyd, Nerberth, Haverford, Penn Wynne, and Wynnewood. The New Balance-sponsored cheerleaders from Garden Valley helped liven the group at Pit Stop 2. The camp show capped off a great day with moving speeches by Ellen Gunther, a co-survivor, and Sharon Slosarik, a young survivor. A little dance party never hurt anyone, and Philadelphia knows how to dance!
Sunday’s 14.4-mile route was exciting as almost the entire group of walkers lined up for the opening of the route, a sight to behold. Walkers worked their way through downtown Philadelphia and enjoyed the cheering stations at Passyunk Square, University of the Arts, and FDR. The Eagles’ Drumline happened to be encouraging the walkers to finish strong at the Navy Yard with their professional beats. A large crowd of friends and family gathered to cheer on these dedicated walkers and fundraisers, and gathered for a moving Closing Ceremony in great weather, honoring the walkers and crew of the Philadelphia 3-Day and the breast cancer survivors. Thank you Philadelphia and we’ll see you next year!