2016 Atlanta 3-Day Wrap-up

We’ve turned the corner on the 2016  Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, with the conclusion of the fourth event of the year. And as we find ourselves heading back down the hill with our last 3 events of the 2016 season, we reflect on the incredible weekend we had on the Atlanta 3-Day.

The 2016 Atlanta 3-Day kicked off early Friday morning with an emotional Opening Ceremony set against the picturesque backdrop of Stone Mountain Park. Amber Livingston from Susan G. Komen® was joined on stage by Dr. Sheri Prentiss, and the two inspirational hosts motivated the crowd of eager walkers. We also heard personal testimonials from six of our incredible Atlanta participants who shared their own inspirations, for walking and crewing, making us smile, cry and reflect on the one singular goal we all share. Energized by the bravery of the beautiful Survivor’s Circle, the walkers set out, determined to face the 60-mile road ahead.img_6196 img_6307 The first few miles were spent migrating through Stone Mountain Park before reaching pit stop 1 and the Pirates of the CariBOOBean. Next, the walkers exited the park and walked through Stone Mountain Village to the first grab & go.img_1015 Atlanta is home to an extensive network of off-road trails for pedestrians and cyclists called the PATH, and out of grab & go A in Stone Mountain, walkers took one of the PATH trails into Clarkston, through a heart-meltingly adorable preschool cheering station, and into pit stop 2. img_6484From there, it was back onto the trails and onward to the lunch stop, a “Boob-kini Beach” party in Avondale Estates. After lunch, walkers continued into quaint downtown Decatur, where they were greeted by another cheering station before hitting the second Grab & Go.img_6523 img_6383 After that, the route made its way into Atlanta city limits. The spooky-sweet Halloween-themed pit stop 3 and “Mardi Bras” of pit stop 4 helped power the walkers through the end of Day 1—even during a brief rain shower—and into camp at the Georgia World Congress Center.img_6647

Friday night in camp, after some outstanding live entertainment, Dr. Sheri joined Amber on stage again to thank the 3-Day’s sponsors (Bank of America and Mohawk Flooring) and introduce friends from the Komen Greater Atlanta affiliate. We played our own 3-Day version of a “Who Wore It Best” relay race, and the comical game was followed by a stirring speech from breast cancer survivor Grendel, and the always-inspiring Youth Corps speeches.

The sun was out and shining brightly on the 3-Dayers for Day 2, which was spent entirely inside Atlanta city limits, allowing walkers to see many corners of this vibrant city.img_1122 From camp, walkers headed north toward Midtown and up into Lindbergh, with the first two pit stops and a packed cheering station all within the first 7 miles.img_6711 Pit stop 3 was set up at the home of Komen Greater Atlanta’s offices, and the local Komen staff was out in force to rally walkers in and out of the stop with a marvelous cheering squad. After leaving pit stop 3, walkers moved through the beautiful residential area of Buckhead, then out to Paces Ferry Road and past the Governor’s mansion.img_1171 Lunch and a grab & go were up next, and then the walkers moved onto the north Belt Line trail, a beautiful, shaded pathway.

That's Gatorade, we promise!

That’s Gatorade, we promise!

img_1236 The route moved back through downtown, past the art museum and into Midtown to Midtown Bank where pit stop 4 was set up. The bank employees even came out with tremendous spirit and some extra snacks and water to support. The final stretch on Day 2 brought walkers up close with some of downtown Atlanta’s most visited spots, including the World of Coca-Cola museum, Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park, before leading them back into camp.

Saturday is Friends & Family Night at the 3-Day, and many walkers and crew members were joined by loved ones in camp. On stage, we welcomed Victoria Wolodzko, and Catherine Oliveri from Susan G. Komen headquarters who talked about Komen’s bold new goal—to decrease breast cancer deaths by 50% in the next 10 years. The 2016 3-Day has also been a season-long celebration of the 3-Day’s 150th walk (which was in Michigan in August), and with glasses of yummy sparkling grape juice raised, Amber led us in a toast, followed by surprise cupcakes for everyone. The camp show went on to recognize some Atlanta participants who reached milestones of their own, including top fundraisers and local award winners. And of course, the Saturday night dance party followed with typical flair.

On the morning of Day 3, the Atlanta walkers headed out from camp and onto the Georgia Tech campus.img_6877 They moved back through Midtown to Piedmont Ave. and worked their way around the outside perimeter of Piedmont Park, ending up on the eastside Beltline Trail until they got to pit stop 2 and a Cheering Station at the beautiful Historic Fourth Ward Park.img_1341 img_1343 From there, walkers made their way east to the lunch stop then continued winding their way on and off the PATH trail, coming through Inman Park and up to pit stop 3 at the Historic Water Tower. With only a few miles to the finish, walkers trekked past the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., through downtown and past the state Capitol, and south to Turner Field, the site of the Atlanta 3-Day’s Closing Ceremony.img_6985 img_6994

Surrounded by the cheers of family and friends gathered around them, the Atlanta 3-Day’s 600 walkers and 225 crew members marched victoriously into the Closing Ceremony arena. Amber and Dr. Sheri were our hosts once again, and they thanked the many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions that made the event possible. Soon after, we brought in the final group of Atlanta 3-Dayers, our breast cancer survivors, and together, we saluted their courage and strength, and celebrated the Atlanta 3-Day’s remarkable $1.7 million raised.img_1386

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We at the 3-Day are truly humbled by the passion, dedication and spirit of every single person who touches this event. We can’t say thank you enough. To those of you who we’ll see again in one of the three remaining events this year, we look forward to it, and to the many of you who will make Atlanta your pink home for three days again next year, we can’t wait to see you again. In the meantime, we carry each of you in our hearts. Onward to Philadelphia!

2016 Atlanta 3-Day Opening Ceremony Speakers—We Are the 3-Day

This morning, we celebrated the start of the 2016 Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day with a lovely and inspiring Opening Ceremony. Walkers ready to take the first steps of their 60-mile journey were joined by crew members and supporters as everyone renewed the shared promise of ending breast cancer forever, one footstep at a time.

We were honored to welcome some special Atlanta 3-Day participants to the stage as part of the Opening Ceremony. These men and women shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. #WeAreThe3Day

Roslyn Konter – My Sister img_6171 “I walk for my wonderful sister-in-law, Sherry Konter, who would have been 62 this year had she not been taken by this insidious disease almost 16 years ago. I also walk for my mother, Bobbie Pollard, who was a 36-year breast cancer survivor when she died at almost 85. I’m Roslyn and I AM the 3-Day.”

Jake Stefan – My Friend img_6175 “Why do I crew? Well, simply put, it is because I walked 60 miles once, and y’all are crazy! But really. I crew for you, all my 3-Day friends. You are fighting the good fight to put an end to this nasty disease. You are fighting to protect my family, my friends, and me. I’m Jake and I AM the 3-Day.”

Mary Sorrel – My Family img_6170 “Fifteen years ago, when a friend who had recovered from breast cancer asked me to walk with her, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. My father died of liver cancer and my brother-in-law had recently died of a brain tumor. All these miles later, I’m still walking, and while we haven’t found a cure, we know so much more than we did. Just last year, my husband was successfully treated for prostate cancer. I believe that if Komen can unlock the cure for breast cancer, it will lead to breakthroughs for all cancers. I’m Mary and I AM the 3-Day.”

Megan Blair – My Mother img_6178 “I walk because breast cancer threatened to take my momma from me when I was only 18 years old. I walk because there was a time when she couldn’t. I walk because now… she can! I walk because of her strength, relentless courage and because of her fight. I walk so that my babies will never have to know what it’s like to fear losing their momma to breast cancer. I’m Megan and I AM the 3-Day.”

Angela Baldwin – My Children img_6165 “I walk in honor of the many friends who have fought and won their battles against breast cancer. I walk in memory of the loved ones that have been lost. I walk so that someday, my children will never have to fear losing a loved one to cancer. I’m Angela and I AM the 3-Day.”

Kurt Grainger – My Wife img_6166 “I’m walking for two reasons. First, it helps my late wife, Gail, complete her bucket list. When she was told her breast cancer was terminal, she set the goal to walk in EVERY 3-Day city. Atlanta is the last one on her list. I also walk for my daughter, Britain Grainger. We have to find a cure. I’m Kurt and I AM the 3-Day.”

 

Together, we are strong. Together, we can defeat breast cancer. Together, we are the 3-Day.

2016 Seattle 3-Day Wrap-up

We’ve closed the books on the 2016 Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day, and not surprisingly, it will go down as one of our best events yet. With some extensive changes made to its route on all three days (more than any other 2016 3-Day event), the 2016 Seattle 3-Day had some new features that were exciting for all 600 walkers and 200 crew members, whether they were first-timers or seasoned veterans. And even through showers of “liquid sunshine” (aka, rain) on Saturday, the Seattle 3-Dayers’ spirits never wavered as they enjoyed 60 miles of this beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest in some new and exciting ways.

As all 3-Day events do, the Seattle 3-Day began on Friday morning with a lovely Opening Ceremony held at Seattle Center near the iconic structure that makes Seattle’s skyline instantly recognizable: the Space Needle. Amber Livingston from Susan G. Komen® hosted the ceremony along with Dr. Sheri Prentiss. img_9337 img_5217Moved by their fellow 3-Dayers who shared their own inspirations, and driven by the bravery of the beautiful Survivor’s Circle, walkers set out, determined to face the 60-mile road ahead.img_9376

The first part of Day 1’s route was familiar to walkers who have been in Seattle the last several years. After exiting Seattle Center, the pink parade made its way out of the downtown Seattle area and toward pit stop 1, where they were greeted with a festive fiesta.img_9431 From there, they weaved down to the waterfront of Lake Washington (many stopped for incredible photos of majestic Mt. Rainier to the south) and set off across one of Seattle’s “floating” bridges to cross the lake.img_5308 img_9475 On Mercer Island on the east side of the lake, walkers quickly reached pit stop 2, where they were welcomed by some cheerful lumberjacks (and lumberjills) and their big-footed friend.img_9506

Lunch on Day 1 was a wild west show at Surrey Downs Park in Bellevue, and after leaving the lunch stop, even walkers familiar with the past Seattle routes noticed Day 1’s big changes. The route passed through the heart of the business district of Bellevue to pit stop 3 at Bellevue Highlands Park. img_5381From there, walkers ascended a short (yay!) but steep (ugh.) hill onto a trail which eventually exited them onto the Microsoft campus in Redmond. This is the first time that the 3-Day route has passed through Microsoft, which was exciting for walkers and the superheroes of Grab & Go B who set up there.img_5453 After exiting Microsoft, walkers picked back up with the 2015 route, heading back into Bellevue again for a short little stretch. From there, it was back into Redmond and down to Idylwood Park on Lake Sammamish. Goodies from pit stop 4 and support from friends at the last cheering station fueled walkers for the couple of miles into camp at Marymoor Park, completing Day 1’s 20.7 mile distance.

On Friday night, Amber was joined on stage by Miguel Perez, Komen’s Senior Vice President, Affiliate Network. Miguel introduced David Richart, Executive Director of Komen Puget Sound, who shared some insights into the breast cancer programs that are funded by 3-Day proceeds at the local level. David then introduced Dr. Nora Disis from University of Washington Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who is a Komen grantee researching tumor immunology and the potential for a vaccine that could actually prevent breast cancer.

Dr. Nora Disis

Dr. Nora Disis

Dr. Sheri joined Amber on stage to thank the 3-Day’s sponsors (Bank of America and Mohawk Flooring) and we played our own 3-Day version of “Who Wore It Best.” The comical game was followed by a stirring speech by breast cancer survivor speech Kathy Bressler and the always-inspiring Youth Corps speeches.

In spite of our best attempts at wishing for sunshine, we awoke to rainy skies on Saturday morning. But that didn’t stop Seattle! They ponchoed up and headed out onto a 19.9 mile Day 2 that included bits and pieces of last year’s route and a lot of different part too. img_9836 Right away, walkers who were accustomed with the previous Seattle itinerary noticed that the course was reversed out of camp, taking walkers to Sammamish River Trail and into Redmond Town Center (no more big hill to climb right out of camp! Hooray!). The walk through downtown Redmond was also changed up a bit, leading walkers to the Redmond Connector Trail and up to Redmond Way to Grasslawn Park for pit stop 1 (this lovely site has been pit 1 on Day 2 for many years).img_9730 Out of the park, walkers took a new route through residential Redmond and into Kirkland through a wooded trail and new neighborhoods. Pit stop 2 was at a new site at Spinney Homestead Park, and from there, the route took walkers down to a stretch of the Kirkland Connector Trail into Kirkland. The route through Kirkland was recognizable but reversed from last year’s course, taking walkers down into lunch at the north end of Lake Washington at Juanita Beach Park. img_5534By afternoon, the rain had eased up, and out of lunch, the reversed-from-last-year route continued through quaint downtown Kirkland and along the waterfront. A new little uphill stretch had a surprise at the top as walkers reached the Grab & Go and got to stroll through Google Park and campus.img_9847 img_5546 From there, it was onto another section of the Kirkland Connector Trail, then another stretch of reversed route.img_5658 Pit 3 was still a tropical paradise, even in Seattle’s stormy weather. img_9919Walkers trekked back up and over the interstate via pedestrian bridge into the Bridle Trails neighborhood, an area with lots of lovely horse properties, then into Redmond again and back to Grasslawn Park for a cheering station this time. Benjamin Rush Elementary was our new pit stop 4, and the exit from that stop was the start of the Survivor Stretch.img_9945 This last 1.6 mile section was the beginning of last year’s Day 2 route but (you guessed it!) in reverse, downhill (ah!) and back to camp.img_9968

Saturday is Friends & Family Night at the 3-Day, and many walkers and crew members were joined by loved ones in camp. On stage, we welcomed back Miguel from Susan G. Komen who talked about Komen’s bold new goal—to decrease breast cancer deaths by 50% in the next 10 years—and shared his family’s own personal connection with breast cancer.img_5692 The 2016 3-Day season began in August in Michigan, which was the 3-Day’s 150th walk, and we’re celebrating this amazing milestone at every 3-Day event in 2016. So with glasses of yummy sparkling grape juice raised, Amber led us in a toast (followed by surprise cupcakes for everyone), and the camp show went on to recognize some Seattle participants who reached milestones of their own, including top fundraisers and local award winners. And of course, the Saturday night dance party followed with typical flair.

In the morning on Day 3, walkers loaded into buses and were delivered to University of Washington for the start of an almost entirely new Day 3 route.img_6783 From UW, walkers hit the Burke Gilman Trail, but instead of going left (southbound), they went right (northbound) into Ravenna Park to Ravenna Blvd., then west to Green Lake.img_0001 The route skirted the Green Lake area and neighborhoods before arriving at our first pit stop at Lower Woodland Park. The route then moved into the Wallingford area and parts of the Fremont neighborhood. Then it was back down to the Burke Gilman Trail to Gas Works Park, which previously had been pit stop 1 but was pit stop 2 this year.img_0220 Out of Gas Works, instead of going to the Ballard Locks and Magnolia, walkers went to the downtown area of Fremont, over the Fremont Bridge to the trail that runs around the west side of Lake Union.img_5905 Lake Union Park at the south end of the lake was our new Day 3 lunch stop, and on the way in to the beautiful park, walkers were greeted by Dr. Sheri, Amber and Miguel and presented with awesome “I Am More Than Pink” superhero capes to wear for the rest of the day.img_5989 From lunch, we took a new route through South Lake Union, near where Amazon.com is headquartered (what a tour of Northwest tech companies we had this weekend!), and through downtown Seattle toward the bustling Pike Place Market. Descending the stairs down to the waterfront, walkers headed north to the Olympic Sculpture Garden for an Elliot Bay Sunday cheering station along Puget Sound before arriving at a new pit stop 3 at Centennial Park. Now, walkers were in the home stretch, coming up through lower Queen Anne and back to the Participant Finish Area at Seattle Center where we all started on Friday morning.img_0476 img_0266

Clad in their hard-earned victory shirts, walkers and crew members marched into Memorial Stadium at the triumphant end of their 60-mile journey.img_0505 Amber and Dr. Sheri were our hosts again for Closing Ceremony, and they thanked our many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions. Soon after, we brought in the final group of Seattle 3-Dayers, our breast cancer survivors, and together, we saluted their bravery and celebrated the Seattle 3-Day’s remarkable $1.8 million raised.img_6104 img_6121

We’ve said it hundreds of times, but it can never be said too much: thank you. We are truly indebted to the Seattle 3-Day family and humbled by the commitment, the energy and the spirit of every single person who is part of this event, whether as walkers, crew, cheerleaders or donors. To those of you who we’ll see again down the road this year, we look forward to it, and to the many of you who will make Seattle your pink home for three days in 2017, we can’t wait to see you again. Onward to Atlanta!