Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day began with a beautiful sunrise over Opening Ceremony at the Collin Creek Mall in Plano. The amazing Dr. Sheri welcomed the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day family, and was joined on stage by Dallas/Fort Worth local events coach Gayla, as well as Chrissy Mathews from Susan G. Komen®, who was not only the 3-Day’s co-host this weekend, but also participated as a first-time walker.
Walkers set out through Plano, and within a few miles, passed an elementary school where literally hundreds of students were out to cheer them on (what a way to start the morning!), and arrived at pit stop 1. Soon, the route headed south into Richardson and pit stop 2, where the theme was “Wish for the Cure”, complete with magic lamps and “flying” carpets. Even early in the day, it was clear that the Dallas/Fort Worth community would be a huge part of the 3-Day weekend; walkers rarely went more than a few blocks without hitting a private cheering station, school, or even just neighbors outside their houses cheering them on. DFW is “Komen Kountry,” and some of the most amazing cheering stations walkers saw all weekend were the ones put on by Susan G. Komen; they literally rolled out the pink carpet and had special goodies for walkers on each of the three days.
Walkers enjoyed lunch at Valley View Park, and yes, met up with another public cheering station just on the other side. The second half of Day 1’s route took walkers through some very pretty spots, over bridges and through woods. At Churchill Park, many walkers stopped to snap pics with all the metal figures that populate the park. Soon, it was through pit stop 4 and into camp at Brookhaven College.
At Friday night’s camp show, we were joined once again by Dr. Sheri and Chrissy, who was quick to commiserate with walkers after completing the 20-mile day herself too. We were moved by a speech from Sara, a young breast cancer survivor, and we celebrated the top fundraisers, top training walk leader and Milestone Award winner.
Day 2’s route was full of new twists and turns with an almost entirely new route from past years. Cloudy skies soon opened up with some morning rain for the walkers to enjoy as they weaved through the neighborhoods of Farmers Branch. Even with the rain, there were cheering stations a’plenty on Beltline Road, leading into a pit stop in Addison Circle. Walkers faced a long stretch between pit stop 2 and lunch, but a huge public cheering station just before lunch to push walkers that last little way. Lots of supporters from far away locales (New Jersey, Boston) flew here to be with their walkers. By the time most walkers reached lunch at Campbell Green Recreation Center, the rain had stopped and walkers enjoyed the great park with a wide trail. A “paw-some” cheering station set up by Lone Star Puppy Raisers greeted walkers after lunch with almost a dozen four-legged friends. From there, the route went through Far North Dallas, then wrapped up down Vitruvian Way, where (not surprisingly) people continued cheering walkers in all the way back into camp.
Day 2’s camp show was certainly emotional. For starters, Chrissy was feeling the burn from completing the 20+ miles of Day 2. Beyond that, we heard another powerful speech from Robin, a 10-year walker and 10-year survivor, and from Miguel Perez, the Susan G. Komen VP of Affiliate Network. We also honored Dallas/Fort Worth’s Local Impact Award winner and heard moving messages from the DFW Youth Corps.
Sunday started with a short bus ride from camp, where walkers were dropped off at Walnut Hill Recreation Center to begin Day 3’s route. They got in a few good miles through some scenic residential Dallas neighborhoods before hitting pit 1. From there, walkers trekked through beautiful Park Cities, finding yet another public cheer station in Curtis Park, then walked around Goar Park. Up the route, walkers spent time on Lakeside Drive next to Exall Lake, a great photo op. Pit 2 was at Cole Park, then walkers circled around Turtle Creek before arriving at Reverchon Park for a gorgeous and shady lunch spot. From there, it was up to the Katy Trail and into the home stretch past American Airlines HQ and Victory Park, the West End Marketplace and another big cheering station. The route passed Dealey Plaza (with the Book Depository and the “grassy knoll”), an important location in American history. Numerous iconic photo stops dotted the last five miles of the route: the big red courthouse, red Mobil Pegasus statue, and the bronze cattle drive statues leading up to city Hall and pit stop 3. Main Street Garden Park (the site of last year’s Day 3 lunch stop), and Deep Ellum were the last couple of sights before walkers were routed into Fair Park and the finish line.
The sun dipped in the sky as walkers marched into Closing Ceremony. Dr. Sheri, coach Gayla, and Chrissy were on stage again to thank the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day’s sponsors and supporters, and to congratulate DFW’s 1,100 walkers and 325 crew members on their amazing 60-mile journey and the $2.8 million that they raised.
The 3-Day event team and our friends at Susan G. Komen can’t say thank you enough to every single person who makes this event what it is. This event, and the kind and passionate little world we create on it, would not be possible without each of you: your spirit, energy and passion. We look forward to welcoming many of you back in Dallas/Fort Worth next year and carrying each of you in our hearts every day until then.