We could not have asked for a more perfect weekend to celebrate our final Atlanta 3-Day. Mother Nature gave us sunshine, cooler temperatures, and lots of beautiful sights to see and appreciate as our walkers and crew took on 60 incredible miles.
Friday dawned bright, with the sun coming up just as we started our Opening Ceremonies in the shadow of Stone Mountain. It was just the inspiration our walkers and crew needed to start the weekend off on the right foot (literally and figuratively!) The pep in our steps continued thanks to Stone Mountain Elementary, who came out for the second year in a row to cheer on our walkers. Their signs, high fives, and chants of “Just keep walking!” put a smile on every face.
From there, walkers continued along trails until they reached Pit 1 at mile marker 2.9. Our amazing Pit 1 Crew team has worked this spot on the Atlanta 3-Day for years, handing out a custom pin each year. This year, they celebrated Atlanta’s final 3-Day by handing out pins from all the 3-Day years past so walkers can hang onto those wonderful memories.
There were cheering stations all along the route, with Atlanta schools, businesses and local communities turning out to shower support on the walkers! By lunchtime, they had already conquered 12.6 miles as they rested at the Decatur Family YMCA. Walkers relaxed on the Mohawk pink mats (and chatted with the local Mohawk team!), while we were introduced to our amazing Atlanta Youth Corps!
The rest of the day went smoothly, passing through Decatur and into Atlanta city proper. Walkers loved the route, including passing through the historic Fourth Ward Park, before arriving home at the Georgia World Congress Center.
The night ended with a fun camp show where we honored local Atlanta participants, and awarded our Bank of America Top Fundraisers! Feet to Beat Breast Cancer (Top Team), Susan Breding (Top Individual) and Jake Stefan (Top Crew) inspired us all (Jake’s son was the Top Youth Corps fundraiser, too!). Feet to Beat Breast Cancer raised $75,697 this year and were also our largest Atlanta team. Susan raised $16,100 this year and has raised $40,432 in her lifetime on her team For Tits & Giggles. She’s also a seven-city walker this year! Jake raised $8,580 this year and has raised $84,753 in his lifetime over 12 events. You may know him for his tassel twirling!
Day Two brought us through Buckhead and Piedmont Heights and into Granite Properties – the home of the Atlanta Komen Affiliate! Their team came out in full force to congratulate our walkers on already conquering 8.4 miles on Day Two!
Lunch was shady and comfortable at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, and local Girl Scouts sent our walkers off with treats and cheers! Much of the rest of the afternoon was spent on Atlanta’s iconic Beltline Trail. This was a great way to see all kinds of Atlanta sights from the comfort of a walking trail.
We then made our way back into the city via Peachtree Street, again walking in urban Midtown before returning to downtown’s Georgia World Congress Center. Saturday was Friends & Family night at camp so our walkers and crew got a visit from loved ones…plus everyone’s favorite dinner: 3-Day mac n’ cheese!
And suddenly, it was already Day Three! We spent all of our final day walking through Atlanta proper, with our first Pit Stop bringing us back alongside the Beltline Trail at Mile 2.7
Our Youth Corps was everywhere on Sunday, cheering on walkers at Pit 2 (Mile 5.5), lunch at Mile 7.5 and beyond! If you were one of the lucky walkers who participated in their selfie contest, you know what a bunch of energy all of them were!
We were honored to be able to walk past Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, his tomb and birth home on Day Three. These are such an important part of Atlanta history.
We were also once again supported by the local Atlanta community, with local radio station The Bull and clogging team PowerTaps both coming out to support walkers before they entered their final Pit Stop of the 3-Day!
Our final Closing Ceremony took place at the Atlanta International School, and we celebrated the fact that our dedicated community raised an amazing $1.1 million in the Atlanta 3-Day.
The Atlanta 3-Day may be over, but our journey to end breast cancer still has many miles to go, and we need you with us. Whether through Komen Greater Atlanta or by walking or crewing at a 2019 3-Day, there are many ways to continue to support the fight against breast cancer.
Thank you to everyone in this community who has made the Atlanta 3-Day possible. On behalf of the millions of men and women who rely on Susan G. Komen, THANK YOU ATLANTA for 14 amazing years.