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 Atlanta 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 on will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and know what exciting high points to look forward to.

We’ve been giving you one of these more in-depth route peeks for every 2015 3-Day event (we’re more than halfway through, already having seen peeks at the Michigan, Twin Cities, Seattle and Philadelphia routes) and today, it’s the Atlanta 3-Day’s turn to shine. Let’s see what 3-Day Event Planner Brian and Atlanta 3-Day Coaches Tara and Susan had to say:

  • Do you know of any major changes to the Atlanta route from last year? – Folks who walked the Atlanta 3-Day last year will see lots of familiar sights, as there are no big changes from 2014’s route. That said, the team reminds us that there’s always potential for last-minute changes as we approach the event in October.SUsan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles atlanta route peek insider's guide
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does Atlanta’s route present (e.g., are there hills? Poor sidewalks? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?)? – Susan and Tara were both quick to respond with the biggest challenge Atlanta 3-Day walkers can expect: hills. Tara told me, “Many people complain about the hills, but Atlanta is a hilly place and there’s no way to avoid them. Walkers should prepare to walk those hills in order to see the beautiful sites the route does have.” Susan adds, “You may want to curse them from time to time, but you’re going to get a real treat with our route. Make sure that you train with that in mind.” SUsan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles atlanta route peek insider's guideSusan also shared, “Most of the route is pretty urban, which means that you’ll be doing a lot of walking on concrete. Sometimes the sidewalks aren’t in perfect condition because we will be walking through some of the older, more historic areas.” Brian also shared some non-hill related input. “Atlanta in October is pretty mild, but can get hot. Some short portions of Day 1 between Stone Mountain and Decatur follow a trail, so there will be no direct access to sweep vans (those wonderful 3-Day-staffed vans that pick you up if you can’t walk anymore) on those parts, but once walkers reach Decatur, sweep van access is plentiful. The mileage is full on Day 1 and 2 (22 and 20 miles, respectively), and we may increase sweep van access locations on those days if the needs demand it. There are some locations with no sidewalk, so we’ll have coned-off walking paths on the shoulder of the road and plenty of police support. There’s also limited sweep van access through Piedmont Park on Day 3.”SUsan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles atlanta route peek insider's guide
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? – Susan was quick to boast about her city’s route. “I absolutely love this route! It manages to take you through some of the coolest parts of Atlanta. On Friday we start at Stone Mountain which is very uniquely Atlanta. On Saturday, you’ll walk through some beautiful residential neighborhoods and will walk by the Governor’s Mansion. Sunday takes you through Piedmont Park, a true gem in our city, then through some more historic neighborhoods (picture Driving Miss Daisy) and past the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.” Brian and Tara also listed off their favorite spots along the route: the Botanical Gardens; Downtown Decatur and Little Five Points (fun shops and boutiques); downtown Buckhead; Peachtree Street, with lots of restaurants and shops; World of Coke and Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta; the campuses of Georgia Tech and Emory University; Freedom Trail bike path. Whew!SUsan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles atlanta route peek insider's guide
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of Atlanta’s route? – “Although the route is the same as it’s been the last few years,” Tara said, “we are working to amp up the community involvement even more, and have lots of cheering sections and business out to support our walkers.” Brian had this to say: “The Atlanta route really provides a good historical aspect of our southern roots. From the Opening Ceremony at the foot of Stone Mountain underneath the carving, to the downtown neighborhoods of Atlanta and the MLK historical center, highlighting the civil rights movement. Downtown Atlanta shows the progress of a modern southern city embracing its heritage.” And Susan summed it up beautifully, saying “What I love most about the Atlanta 3-Day is that you are basically getting a walking tour of the city’s rich history. In addition to that, Atlanta is a city full of warm, Southern charm.”SUsan G. Komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles atlanta route peek insider's guide

The Bottom Line – Hearing that your chosen route is loaded with some big, challenging hills can be a source of anxiety for a lot of walkers, but that’s exactly why we’re giving you these route peeks. For walkers coming to Atlanta in October, there is still plenty of time to work hills into their training routines and show up at Stone Mountain well prepared. The American south in October will be a tableau of beautiful fall colors, but the weather could easily swing from cool mornings to toasty afternoon sun, back to chilly evenings, so be sure to dress in layers. Like Michigan and Philly, the Atlanta 3-Day camp is indoors, which makes camping a breeze.

The Insider’s Take – My team and I walked in Atlanta last year, and it was lovely. Simply lovely. The city and surrounding areas are full of vibrant history, natural and manmade beauty, and quirky charm. The people—everyone from cheering station supporters who praised us like we were their own family, to the local shopkeepers who thanked us for walking by not charging us for our frozen pops, to the congenial police officer who took the time to tell us a little bit about the neighborhood while we waited to cross an intersection—are some of the kindest and friendliest folks you’ll ever meet. As for the hills? They didn’t faze me, but in all fairness, I’m not usually too troubled by hilly walking. My take is the same as it is in any other hilly 3-Day locale: train on hills, and you’ll be fine with the hills. And as with all the 3-Day locations, Atlanta is a place to just keep putting one foot in front of the other while taking in the sights and sounds of a world getting closer and closer to being rid of breast cancer. That’s a view that looks great from anywhere.

See What Other Bloggers Are Saying About the 3-Day!

This year, we’re pleased to have several bloggers involved with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® who are sharing their adventures on their own blog sites. Follow the links below to see what these wonderful walkers are saying about their Komen 3-Day experience!

Meghan C. (Atlanta 3-Day) – “My Breast Exam at 29 and Walking 60 Milessusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog jamonkey meagan cooper blogger walker 60 miles

Jamie R. (Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day) – “Susan G. Komen 3-Day: Do Something Hugesusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog jamie roubinek reality blogger walker

Trina O. (Philadelphia 3-Day) – “3 Days. 60 Miles. Why I am Doing it Again!susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog trina o'boyle obo y! organic blogger walker

Jessica C. (Philadelphia 3-Day) – “10 Reasons to Sign Up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog jessica cohen eat sleep be blogger walker and “What to Pack for the Susan G. Komen 3-Daysusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog jessica cohen eat sleep be blogger walker

Krystyn (Atlanta 3-Day) – “I’m Doing Something Huge… Will You Support Me?”


Crystal – “Hey Cancer, You Lose!susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog crystal and co blogger walker

Hey, speaking of packing, you can join the online conversation about this important aspect of your 3-Day preparations on our Packing Tweet Chat, taking place tomorrow, July 16, 5:15 p.m. PDT. Find out more about joining the chat here.3DAY_2015_SocialMedia_FacebookMeetUps_v2a

Have you spotted stories about the 3-Day elsewhere on the web? Be sure to share them with us on our Facebook page!