The 3-Day headed south for our October event, taking Atlanta by storm this weekend. The dawn was slowly coming up over Stone Mountain as our 475 walkers and 225 crew started their journey with a poignant and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants. The rising sun was the perfect welcome to a wonderful 60 miles ahead.
After walking through Stone Mountain Park, our walkers were greeted by quite the cheering section at Mile 1. All of Stone Mountain Elementary came out to cheer on our 3-Dayers with signs, flags and even their school drum line!
From there, walkers headed through Clarkston, GA to Pit Stop 2 and 6.2 miles checked off their first day. They danced The Wobble with Youth Corps and stocked up on snacks like the infamous Grahamwiches. They also received support from other local cheering stations before arriving at lunch.
“Boob University” was the perfect break spot at Mile 12.6 at the Decatur Family YMCA, complete with pink resting mats from Mohawk Flooring, who also had several staff members walk with us this weekend. There were plenty of dancing and photos as well!
The second half of Day One saw the walkers being welcomed into Emory Village, by the Winship-Glenn Family Breast Center team, who showed the walkers their fundraising dollars at work.
They spent the rest of the day walking through Downtown Atlanta, including crossing the Jackson Street Bridge and walking through Centennial Olympic Park. They ended Day One at camp at the Georgia World Congress Center after 21.7 miles walked. Walkers were able to relax at the 3-Day Lounge, including getting some much-needed pampering from the Bank of America massage chairs. We had an emotional and celebratory camp show before everyone turned in for the night.
Day Two started a little cooler, making it perfect walking weather for our walkers to take on their second set of 20 miles. Straight from camp, the walkers passed the CNN Center and Ivy Hall before stopping at Pit One after a quick 2.2 miles on Saturday morning.
There was plenty of local support before lunch as well, including multiple local Girl Scout troops and Red Hot Yoga Studio, all of which kept our walkers smiling and inspired. At Pit Stop 3, the local Atlanta Komen Affiliate also came out to add to our cheering Crew to propel the walkers those final few miles to lunch.
Lunch was at Mile 11.6, and we had time to meet our amazing Atlanta Youth Corps via Facebook Live as well as re-hydrate before the second half of the day.
High Points on the rest of the day included walking by the Tanyard Creek Park Train Trestle and the World of Coca-Cola before arriving back at camp for the night. Walkers tucked into everyone’s dinnertime favorite: 3-Day mac n’ cheese! Then there was a fun dance party before lights out on Day Two.
Day Three dawned bright and warm, with our walkers making great time on their final 20 miles of the weekend. Pit Stop 1 was at 3 miles, right outside the Atlanta IKEA, but our walkers couldn’t stop to shop. They had a mission!
They breezed through lunch at Morris Brandon Elementary, and in no time at all they entered Pit 3, right along the Chattahoochee River at Mile 13.3. There was a fun community cheering station at Akers Mill Square before our walkers climbed the hill to see the new SunTrust Park up ahead.
We had some liquid sunshine as our walkers crossed the finish line and entered SunTrust Park, but that didn’t stop everyone from dancing across the finish line with smiles on their faces, and even tears of joy in some eyes. The clouds opened up and the sun shone down for our Closing Ceremony, and final celebration in Atlanta.
Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.
As we hugged and celebrated and danced under the bright October sunshine, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Atlanta. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.
If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.