Meet Your San Diego 3-Day Coaches

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Coach Marianne and friends

If you’ve been following along with your San Diego 3-Day coaches on social media, you already know they’re a pretty fun group (who know how to work it for Facebook Live)! But there’s so much more than a cute profile picture to Coaches Marianne Masterson, Amy Schwager and Staci Roos! Before our California 3-Dayers arrive at our final Opening Ceremony on Friday, here are some things you need to know about your coaches.

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Coach Amy at right

They Are More Than Pink

Each of the coaches has a deep and long-standing connection to the 3-Day. Staci and Amy both began walking in 2002, Staci in honor of her mother-in-law, who had been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that year.

After her first walk, Amy was hooked.

“After 60 long miles and a few blisters, I can truly say it was an unforgettable journey that I will cherish forever. It was after that experience that I knew I had to be involved in this event any way I could.”

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Coach Marianne at left

Marianne also has a very personal connection to the cause.

“All six of my sisters have had breast cancer, every one of them.  I lost my sister, Sheila, four years ago to this disease; two of my sisters have had reoccurrences. All of them continue to live with the fear of reoccurrence.

When my sisters’ breast cancer diagnoses began materializing, one after the other, I felt helpless against this disease.  I worried about the toll it would take on our family.  I feared the impact it would have on our children and whether our daughters would also carry this burden, as my sisters have.  So, I laced up my shoes and began walking towards a cure!”

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Coach Staci

They are each other’s cheerleaders

Staci says her fellow coaches are “inspiring to a T. They work tirelessly in pursuit of an incredible experience for all of our amazing participants; walkers, crew and volunteers alike.”

Amy describes Staci as someone who “always always always finding the time to support our participants to make sure they are successful with their fundraising and training, so they ultimately end up having the opportunity to experience the magic of the 3-Day.”

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Coach Amy at right

When asked about Coach Marianne, Amy says, “Marianne is always ready for whatever challenge is presented to her. She has an easy-going personality that makes you feel comfortable instantly. Her enthusiasm for the 3-Day is contagious and she has sprinkled the San Diego community with her love all season long.”

Marianne rounds out the group, speaking glowingly of her teammates.

“I knew Amy and Staci were amazing already, but now that I work so closely with them, I absolutely worship them!  Not only do they have a wealth of knowledge about the walk, they are incredibly dedicated. I love Amy with her trucker hats and sweet smile, and Staci with her easy confidence, and that she’s a dog lover!”

Talk about sharing the love!

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Coach Amy

They have a sweet tooth

Coach Amy’s favorite food is “any flavor” of cupcakes!

Marianne loves ice cream almost as much as she loves spending time at the ocean with family, and her favorite flavors “will have nuts and chewy chunky goodness.”

When we asked Coach Staci for a food, she asked “Is candy corn considered food…?”

So, if you see them on the route, feel free to share a sugary snack!

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Coach Marianne and family

You want them in your book club!

Recommendations from the coaches for books to read this winter are…

  • “I Know This Much is True” and “She’s Come Undone” from author Wally Lamb are favorites of Coach Marianne
  • “Tell the Wolves I am Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt was “Just. So. Good.” according to Coach Amy, although she is a dedicated reader whenever she can find the time, so it was hard for her to pick just one option!
  • Coach Staci is a huge fan of Isabelle Allende (“The House of the Spirits” is a favorite) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She’s also been known to binge-read from Oprah’s book list.
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Coach Staci

Learn more about the coaches, and ask them for more book recommendations, on their Facebook page! Or, ask them when you see them this weekend!

Seattle 3-Day Route Preview

In September, the 3-Day is taking us to the Pacific Northwest. Here we come, Seattle 3-Day!

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For returning walkers, this walk will be a welcome combination of all their favorite spots, combined with a few updates we have made based on participant feedback from last year. There were some big changes to the route last year, so for this year we just made some small updates to the 2016 route.

Our Seattle Event Production Manager, Ann Love, says, “I’m so glad that we were able to take a new route that was so well-received last year, and make a few changes to make people even happier! We made some nice updates!”

Those updates include a new spot for lunch on Day One, at the Downtown Park at Bellevue. We had lunch at the park a few years ago, but due to construction on the site, we haven’t been in there in a while, so this will be our first year back in the beautiful park! This is one of Ann’s favorite spots on Day 1 because there is a waterfall, a beautiful pond full of ducks, stadium seating and even a cool play area. If walkers still have energy after their first few miles, Ann recommends playing in the park!

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There are still plenty of well-known favorite sites on the Day One route, including the Opening Ceremony at the Space Needle, and camp in Redmond at Marymoor Park.

Ann promises newcomers that the park is “really large and beautiful! It’s an awesome camp spot!”

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After a restful night’s sleep in our park campground, much of Day Two will be spent along the waterfront in Kirkland.

Ann says this is usually “everyone’s favorite part” of the walk, and will offer a lot of great photo opportunities. Don’t forget to use #SEA3Day when you post your photos on social media!

You will also see some fun local cheering stations on the Day Two route.

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Those include the Parrot Heads of Puget Sound, who will be on Snyder’s Corner in Kirkland. You can enjoy the sounds of Jimmy Buffet as they support your every step! There will also be the Shore Cheerleaders in the morning and Woodinville Cheerleaders in the afternoon to help keep all our walkers motivated.

Also, keep an eye out for photo ops at Heritage, Grass Lawn and even Google Park. There is plenty to see and enjoy throughout the day!

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In addition, Coach Stephanie Mayer says to keep an eye out for the famous Lil Smokies Guys, who will be out every day of the weekend to cheer on the walkers!

Day Three has the most changes to the route from last year, all based on participant feedback from last year’s walkers. These include removing some stairs from the walk!

“These are all changes for the better that should make our walkers happy!” according to Ann.

The North Queens Drill Team will be out cheering the walkers on Sunday morning. They are a military precision marching and flag team. The team enables girls 8-20 the opportunity to march in parades and competitions, to learn sportsmanship, leadership, discipline, and responsibility. This is a favorite part of the walk for Coach Stephanie!

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There is also Gas Works Park, located on the north shore of Lake Union. You’ll hit this park around mile 6.8. and be able to enjoy beautiful views of the Seattle skyline from here!

Another site to look out for on Day Three will be the Woodland Park Rose Garden. The route will take walkers past the park, but we encourage walkers to take a slight detour to go in to explore and take photos!

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Then we will complete our 60 miles back at the Space Needle! What spots are you most looking forward to on the Seattle 3-Day?

Ways to Support Your 3-Dayer on Event

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Our first 3-Day of 2017 is just a few weeks away and that means 3-Dayers across the country have been ramping up their fundraising and training for their last big push. They can’t do it alone though!

If you are local in any of our event cities, please come out and cheer for your 3-Day walkers and teams along the event route! Our “Walker Stalkers,” or 3-Day supporters mean everything to our whole 3-Day family! Stand along the sidewalk, outside your home or even favorite restaurant, and let the walkers know how much their steps mean to you. You can also join some of our favorite, and famous, cheering stations along the route.

Camp Mail

If you aren’t able to be physically present for the event, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to show your love. For example, you can still send your 3-Dayer words of support and encouragement with snail mail sent directly to their tent on event.

In a world of texts and emails, a letter, card or note is a personal and emotional way to connect with your 3-Dayer while they walk those 60 miles.

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Does your 3-Dayer have a sweet tooth? You can now also send Sweet Treats to your favorite 3-Dayers walking in Michigan!

If you have a walker in our other 3-Day event cities, you will be able to send them Sweet Treats starting on the following dates:

It will be the perfect dessert to end each of their long days of walking.

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Last but not least, you can send them social media love! We will be sharing live videos, photos, interviews, announcements and more throughout every one of the 3-Days so show your love with likes, comments and more!

Keep an eye out for Facebook Live videos, as well as photos on our Instagram and updates from our Twitter feed. You might see the familiar face of your favorite 3-Dayer!

How do you support your 3-Dayers? Tell us in the comments!