The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is a big event with a big commitment. Through all of the steps of this incredible journey—from registering, to fundraising and training, to what to expect on the event itself—we have the Komen 3-Day coaches as well as our website and handbooks to help provide information and support. But with so much to learn about the 3-Day®, we know it’s not uncommon for some details to get lost or misconstrued along the way. In a blog post last year, we dished out the truth about some common misconceptions related to the Komen 3-Day, and today we’re back to address a few more of these misunderstandings in the latest edition of 3-Day® Mythbusters.
Myth: Cell phones are not permitted on the 3-Day. It’s 2014, and we’d be pretty out of touch if this myth were true. You most certainly can have and use your mobile phone throughout the 3-Day—to take photos or video, to update your Facebook and Twitter or to touch base with teammates who are on other parts of the route. We even have phone charging stations at camp. You just aren’t allowed to use your phone while you’re walking. When in motion, your focus needs to be on the road and other walkers around you, in order for you and them to stay safe. So if you need to snap a pic of the amazing scenery and Instagram it right away, just step off the route and stop, then stash your phone in your pack and carry on when you’re done. That way, you won’t inadvertently cause a 10-walker pile-up on the route!
Myth: You’re not allowed to listen to music while walking. Back in the day, if you wanted to listen to music while you walked, your only options were to cover your ears with headphones or carry around a boombox for your beats. The 3-Day’s policy has always prohibited headphones/earbuds, simply for safety reasons – if you can’t hear what’s around you, you increase your risk of running into an obstacle or another walker. Now, however, most mobile phones can play music through built-in speakers, or can be connected to compact external speakers that are easily clipped to a walking pack. Let’s be honest: music can be a great motivator to get you through the miles, so if you can fire up your playlist without covering or plugging your ears, as long as the lyrics and volume of your tunes are not offensive to the people around you, groove away!
Myth: You must walk the entire 3 days, or nothing. The 3-Day is just that: a three-day long event, and to get the most out of it, you should certainly plan to be there from early Friday morning all the way through until after the Closing Ceremony on Sunday. But we get it, sometimes things come up—a Friday work commitment, travel conflicts, a Saturday wedding—and a walker may have to miss part of the weekend. That’s fine! We’ve even had two walkers leave during the middle of Day 2 to get married to each other, and then come back for Day 3. If you raise all your money, you are welcome to be there for the parts of the event that you can, and miss parts if you have to. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but it’s important to know that missing a few hours here or there shouldn’t hold you back from doing the 3-Day. (Note that the rules for Crew are a little different: because crew members have a designated job on the 3-Day, they are required to be on the event for all 3 days, plus the All-Crew Kick-Off on Thursday.)
Myth: The crew gets paid to work on the 3-Day events. The 3-Day does have a small paid staff who manages the events, but the majority of the on-event work—setting up camp, running the pit stops, serving food, keeping the route safe—is done by the all-volunteer crew. These amazing folks (usually around 300 people per event) commit their time and energy to making the 3-Day great, and are paid only in the smiles, high fives and heartfelt thanks of their fellow participants.
Myth: Joining the Crew is an “easy” alternative to walking. Sometimes we hear people say, “Walking 60 miles is too hard, so I’ll just crew instead.” Those folks are in for a big surprise when they find out that being a crew member is equally—or more—challenging than walking. Crew members are the first people awake in the morning and the last ones to bed at night, and are often pushed to great physical demands (long periods on their feet and heavy lifting, for example) over the course of the event. So if you do not want to walk, but are still able to give 100% of your energy to the 3-Day in a different way, then the 3-Day Crew may be a good fit for you.
Myth: The 3-Day only serves junk food. Keeping walkers well fed and hydrated is an important health objective on the 3-Day. After all, your bodies are working hard with all that walking, burning an average of 100 calories per mile. Feeding hundreds of participants across 60 miles requires logistical efficiency, so packaged snacks like chips, peanuts, granola bars and yes, those delicious PB&J grahams make sense. But you can always find healthy, fresh options to eat too. At pit stops, you can feast on things like bananas and oranges, carrots and string cheese. Breakfast and dinner are hot meals served in camp, and include salads, fresh fruit, and protein.
We hope this clears things up! If there are any other aspects of the 3-Day that you’re just not sure about, your best bet is always to call the coaches at 800-996-3DAY, or refer to your Fundraising, Training and Event Prep Handbooks on your Participant Center.
Are there any other myths that you’d like to see busted? Tell us in the comments!