Meet Your Dallas Fort Worth 3-Day Coaches


Coaches Gayla, Val and Liz

If you’ve been following along with your Dallas Fort Worth 3-Day coaches on social media, you already know they’re one fun and loving bunch! But how much do you really know about Coaches Gayla Cruikshank, Liz Parks and Val Jones? Let’s put it to the test! Before our Texas 3-Dayers arrive at Opening Ceremony on Friday, here are some things you need to know about your coaches…

They are 3-Day veterans…

Coach Liz has been involved with the 3-Day the longest, joining our family in 2004 in honor of her aunt, who is a two-time survivor. Since then, she has crewed 11 times, walked 7 times and is already registered to walk in 2018 with her daughter for her first walk. Coach Gayla joined the next year with friends in 2005, and has been a passionate DFW 3-Dayer ever since. In 2006, Coach Val rounded out the group because she “wanted to do something that was big and bold. Something that truly made a difference. After I walked that first year I was hooked and never looked back.”


They are super close all year long…

These ladies are always in touch! They talk often to each other separately but always have a video call at least once a week to talk about things going on in their market, plus a lot of fun stuff, too. They share a love of their furry friends (Liz and Val have cats and Gayla has two dogs) and always make each other laugh. Plus, they are each other’s biggest supporters.

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Coach Liz and 3-Day pals

Coach Gayla says Coach Liz is “the biggest supporter of anyone I know.  She’s always available to walkers, Val and me, ready to answer any question that comes her way. She’s very knowledgeable and patient. She’s dedicated to health and fitness and is an inspiration to me and so many others.”

And about Coach Val, she adds, “Val has a strong connection to her crew and cares deeply for them. She’s had many years with the 3-Day and can answer almost any question you throw at her.”

How could you not love that love?


Coach Val (right)

They’re foodies…

When asked about their favorite foods, every woman has a strong and passionate answer!

Coach Val swears by chips & salsa, while Coach Gayla loves ice cream and chicken fried steak.

And Coach Liz? She couldn’t choose just one!

“It would be so much easier to ask what I don’t care for, because I can name those on one hand: cilantro (tastes like soap), okra and tripe. I like just about everything else!”

2010 Gayla & Mom tata towing

Coach Gayla (left)

They are super women…

“If I had a superpower, I’d want to be a clone of myself, because I want to be everywhere at once with everyone I know and love. I don’t like to miss a THING!” says Coach Gayla with a grin.

But if she could, you’d find Coach Liz flying through the skies.

“I want to be able to fly! I want to travel and experience the entire world and that is the only way I would be able to do it.”

Coach Val, however, is happy just as she is, no super powers needed.

Power of flight or not, we think all these ladies are pretty dang super already!


They can’t wait for this weekend…

“Since most of my interaction is on the phone, I look forward to meeting everyone I have talked to and supported throughout the year,” says Coach Liz. “It is so wonderful to meet them face to face and give them a hug in person!”

Coach Val echoes that, saying, “This year it has felt like there have been a million little special details to take care of and to pass on to my amazing team. I am absolutely most looking forward to spending the weekend with them and watching all these little details become one truly beautiful event!”

Bernadette Schulz 11-6-15

If you needed any more excitement from this team, Coach Gayla has it.

“I can hardly stand my excitement to see how many people will be on the route cheering on our walkers. Komen partners, local businesses, mom and daughter charity groups, just to name a few. This is going to be a fantastic year!”

Do you want to know anything else about your Dallas/Fort Worth coaches? Put your questions in the comments, or ask them on Facebook!