Meet Your San Diego 3-Day Coaches

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 love working together! But you can expect more than just smiling faces and lots of laughs with coaches Amy Schwager and Staci Roos, and Event Planner Meredith Parker! Before our California 3-Dayers arrive at our final Opening Ceremony tomorrow, here are some things you need to know about your hard-working San Diego coaching team.

They are here to support your every step…

They have been looking forward to seeing the smiling faces of all the San Diego participants since the Closing Ceremony last year! Staci has been emailing and talking on the phone with all of you for weeks and can’t wait to put a face to each of your names.

Coach Amy at right

Amy is also waiting with open arms for her 3-Day Crew to arrive!

“I’m so excited to see the smiling faces of my crew. It is a magical feeling when you are surrounded by people who desire nothing more than to give all that is asked of them and so much more. We’ll also be welcoming new Crew Captains to the amazing Sand Diego Crew Captain leadership team!”

And they support each other too!

The love is real for this group of women:

  • Amy does “magical work with our awesome crew,” according to Staci. “They arrive with great energy, inspired to serve and sprinkle love to the walkers and their fellow crew members.”
  • Meredith loves ice cream, pumpkin chiffon cheesecake, and “has an easy-going personality that makes you feel comfortable instantly,” says Amy. She also is the ultimate problem solver, taking on all the challenges and exciting aspects of planning a great 3-Day route like the pro she is!
  • Staci has an “ability to emotionally connect with her walkers and develop deep relationships” that Amy admires. “She is always always ALWAYS finding the time to support our participants in order 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.”

Coach Staci

Keep an eye out for them throughout the weekend – They can’t wait to meet you!

The 3-Day is personal to them

Staci and Amy have long been involved with the 3-Day family, and each of them have a personal reason for working hard for this cause all year long.

Staci says this weekend allows her the opportunity to “honor the memory of my mother in law, Grace Lennon Roos. I get to honor the many survivors I’ve come to know. I get to do work every day that empowers people to have an impact on a cause that is near to their hearts. I get to hear people’s stories and connections to this cause and learn of their passion for making a difference.”

Amy honors and welcomes all our 3-Day participants with her trademark enthusiasm 😊

“The 3-Day weekend is magical. On the 3-Day, you will experience something that defies explanation. You will be challenged, inspired, pushed harder and appreciated more than you have ever have before. It is a magical feeling and I wish I could bottle it up and sprinkle it all year long!”

But they sure know how to have fun

From beach boardwalk to celebratory hilltops, the coaches will be celebrating San Diego all weekend long!

Their favorite spots for the route are:

  • The top of Torrey Pines
  • Waves crashing along Sunset Cliffs
  • Sunrise at Mission Bay
  • All our lunch stops

But more than any photo op, they are excited to shower all the participants with love.

Coach Amy says, “I can’t wait for everyone to feel the love of the 3-Day community. The 3-Day is a beautiful example of what happens when you allow love to rule over everything you do.”

Creating the 3-Day Route: What goes into planning those 60 miles?

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Planning a 60-mile journey is no small feat, especially for hundreds of people in different cities across the country. That is the magic of the 3-Day! For three days, we take over major metropolitan cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle, and more, to walk 60 miles towards a cure for breast cancer. One of the many benefits of spending 60 miles on your feet is in how the 3-Day route is a showcase of the amazing host cities we call home for a few days each year.

Planning that route goes on all year long, and involves many people, working to get our 3-Day routes ready. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes!

This applies to all our 3-Day cities, but we asked the Seattle Coaches, Gayla and Liz, our amazing crew & Volunteer Coordinator Libby, as well as our Event Planning Manager, Ann, to give us an in-depth look at how they work to make every step of the 60-mile journey challenging but fun, all while showing off the best of our host cities.

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Planning the Route

Every city is different, and that’s why the elements of the 3-Day route look and feel different in each of our host cities. We base our route on the natural scenery, beauty, and attractions of the host city, but we also must be ready for the route to change based on factors like construction and local events. Can you imagine if we didn’t walk through Gas Works Park in Seattle or stroll past the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia?

What about those parts of the route that aren’t exactly scenic, but unavoidable, like hills? We work very hard to eliminate and minimize hills along our route. This is especially true in hilly cities like Seattle, which is nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Cascade mountains, surrounded by water, islands and bridges. These features provide for unique challenges in the planning process while attempting to achieve the flattest possible path. The beautiful terrain doesn’t provide many flat options in and around Seattle, however, in cases where we cannot go entirely flat, we work with the terrain to the best of our ability. Whenever we are designing the route in any city, we look at different options to get from one place to another, and try to always choose the least hilly or steep path.

However, when a hill is unavoidable because we need to get out of a valley or our route options are limited by construction, sidewalk availability, or city requirements, we look at ways to break the hill up as much as possible. This can include employing a “switch back” technique that breaks the hill up into several smaller, less steep hills whenever possible. Essentially, we try to stair-step our way up the hills.

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No matter what 3-Day city you are walking, proper training is always essential. As we work to plan the best route possible, you should do prep work as well. Try to find a route with some hills and stairs to help prepare for the possibility that they will occur during any event.

Also, check the website for training walks that are being hosted in your area. They are a great way to get ready for the event while meeting and talking to other walkers!
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Involving the Community

Our local teams are already working hard to get businesses along the route to cheer our walkers on, so everyone will feel the constant support from the community. If you have any recommendations or connections along the route, send contact information to your local Coaches. And if you have friends, neighbors and longtime donors who are local, talk with them about setting up a cheering station. The work with communities is continual throughout the year and we have dedicated volunteers (some of them walkers and crew members) who work on community involvement year-round, but while we do our best to line the route with all the support we can, we cannot do it alone!

You can also help by sharing these documents with local businesses, neighborhood associations, clubs, teams, church groups, etc., and by contacting your local coaches at 800-996-3DAY, (Hey, Seattle! Liz and Gayla are at Option 7) or on their coaches Facebook pages to volunteer to help so we can get an early start on lining the route with support.

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Leading the Way

Our Route Team works tirelessly to make sure the route is as clearly marked as possible. We never want a 3-Dayer to feel lost! However, because we mark the route the day before, the signage is vulnerable to changes. That’s why we are always on alert during each 3-Day weekend, and why we also make changes every year based on walker experiences.

For example, last year, Seattle signs were removed and altered by the public in many places, especially along trail sections, which caused confusion and frustration for walkers — and hey, we get it! That’s a huge bummer, especially when it means being on your feet for any longer than you have to be.

To address this problem, this year we will rely on staff members to confirm placement of all signage in the early hours before we open the route for walkers. We will also utilize Route Safety crew members to check each section of the route before the walkers pass through and increase our Route Safety presence and signage along foot paths and areas of high traffic.

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If you have feedback on any part of your 3-Day route, community involvement, or anything about your experiences, please make sure to include those in your post-event surveys! We work hard to make sure every aspect of your 3-Day experience is the best it can be, all year long.

We are putting in that work now, and always, because we know how important your 60 miles are. Every step you take is important to us because every step is another one towards a world without breast cancer. Thank YOU, participants for walking with us, for giving your time and energy, and for being the best part of the 3-Day experience.