A beautiful 3 days: 2018 Michigan 3-Day Recap

Friday morning, as the sun rose into a dusty blue and orange sky, hundreds of walkers, crew, and volunteers gathered at Walled Lake Western High School to kick off a 3-Day celebration in the fight against breast cancer.

We heard from people living with metastatic breast cancer, survivors, and watched our 3-Day family carry flags of our four pillars of strength upwards onto the stage. We shared the names of our loved ones lost in remembrance.

As the music swelled, we embarked on our first several steps. Our first pit stop was with the BooBees on the shores of Walled Lake.

As our crew friends in yellow buzzed around making sure we were hydrated and fed, we posed for pictures against the beautiful lake. We walked on, enjoying the beautiful greenery and flowers of Michigan’s flora, and ended up at Pit Stop 2, a crowd favorite for the weekend. Senior citizens from a retirement home came out to cheer on our walkers and drum, and many of us posed for snapshots with wonderful elders who reminded us at every turn how proud they were of us.

Our community came out in full support and cheered us on at the Novi Ten Shopping Center, and then we stopped for lunch at Meadowbrook Congregational Church at mile 10.3. Knowing we had 8.1 more miles to go, we charged onwards, stopping at two more churches for pit stops at miles 13.8 and 15.5, and then we rounded out our last few miles with another amazing cheering station at the Briar Pointe Shopping Center.

Finally, we walked into Camp at Novi Middle School, finishing out a joyful 18.4 miles, posing for pictures, enjoying spa waters in the lounge, the Bank of America massage chairs, and celebrating our top fundraisers and award winners. Then, we curled up in our cozy pink tents, ready to build up our energy for an amazing Day 2.

The temperature was rising, but we began Day 2 heading towards Thornton Creek Elementary for our first Pit Stop at mile 3.3. The popular Cass Benton Park was the site of our Pit Stop 2, and walkers took in the beautiful rolling green hills, enjoying the scenery but maybe not the elevation.

Birds flew overhead and butterflies fluttered around all through the park, accompanying us as we walked toward the Plymouth Cultural Center, where we took a well deserved break for lunch at 10.9 miles in. The highlight of the day was the popular fountain at Kellogg Park, dyed pink just for us. We all posed for photos at the fountain and took in the sights and sounds of the farmer’s market also going on at the same time.

We charged through the vibrant business district to Northville Downs, the site of our Grab and Go B at 16.2 miles, and by now, the heat was feeling sweltering.

Making sure we were all hydrated and stretching, it was onwards, to Pit Stop 4 at mile 19 at Thornton Creek Elementary, and then finally, to mile 22.3 back into camp, where again, we cheered in our last walker.

The Camp Show kicked off another ’bout of inspiration and hope for us walkers and crew; especially in hearing from Tony, a male breast cancer survivor living with metastatic breast cancer (joined by his daughter Amanda, a first time walker!). His positive and poised speech reminded us all of why we fundraise, why we train, and why we walk: to one day live in a world free of breast cancer. We headed to our pink tents one last time, ready to emerge from them inspired and determined for Day 3.

Day 3 arrived quickly, bringing some extra heat and humidity just so that our walkers and crew could prove they were even more awesome than they already knew.

We took a bus for a quick ride to Kennedy Elementary School in Livonia, then headed out, enjoying miles of cheering stations to our first pit stop of the day at mile 3.3 at Franklin High School. From there, it was onwards to Pit Stop 2 at Wallaceville Field, where we enjoyed the shady parts of the path and admired the tall, green trees.

We also oohed and aahed over the Rosedale Gardens Historic District, packed with beautiful pre-historic World War 2 brick colonial and English cottages.Then, we walked through the always-beautiful N. York Street, where residents adorned the sidewalks with bra garlands and decorations, misting us with cool water, handing out popsicles, sharing THEIR stories of survivorhood and loved ones lost, reminding us again – at every step – why we walk.

From lunch at York Park where the crew was delightfully themed Under the Sea, we rested in the shade, and gathered our remaining strength for the final five miles of the day.

The last few miles took us through the city of Dearborn, the home of Henry Ford, and marched us towards the Ford World Headquarters, where our family and friends waited to celebrate our joyous victory.

As our crew lined up and walked into the Closing Ceremony, walkers followed, with our survivors marching in right behind us. As the music swelled, tears filled our eyes as we passed the Memorial Flag on to seven-city walker Heidi, ready to be carried victoriously in to Twin Cities in just a week and a half.

Michigan, thanks to you, we raised a staggering $1 million in the fight against breast cancer. We will NEVER give up!

Click here to view all of the 2018 Michigan 3-Day photos!



Why 3-Day Volunteers Matter

We are only a few weeks away from our first 3-Day of the year, and there are still ways to get involved! If you are still looking for ways to join the 3-Day family but can’t commit to walking or crewing all three days or walking 20 miles, we are always looking for volunteers. The 3-Day volunteers help with so many parts of our weekend and support the walkers and crew in immeasurable ways.

Think you might be interested in the 3-Day? Volunteering is the perfect way to get started!

If you need more convincing, here are just some of the ways that our 3-Day volunteers matter so much, coming right from Coach Gina and the other 3-Day Crew & Volunteer Coordinators.

Volunteers are the heart ❤️of the 3-Day.

Volunteers share the load. One person can not make the 3-Day happen on their own and volunteers are constantly collaborating and working together to make More Than Pink magic.

Volunteers are helping hands. You’ll see them taking care of everything from working at pit stops to cheering on the walkers as they cross the finish line!

More hands mean more hearts, and more hearts mean more fun!

Volunteers share a passion and energy to make a difference. They help us in such a huge way as we work towards Komen’s Bold Goal.

Volunteers are that special ingredient that makes the 3-Day a success. You’ll see their work and effect throughout the weekend.

“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” James Doolittle said it, and we couldn’t agree more!

Volunteers are ordinary people with extraordinary hearts. Anyone can be a volunteer, so never hesitate to sign up!

Volunteers matter because they are selfless. They make the 3-Day a seamless experience for our walkers and crew.

Because they give without expectation. Who doesn’t love that?

Volunteers are the people you turn to when you need something done. If you need dinner served, or photos taken or help finding your camp mail…the volunteers are there for you!

Because volunteers are people you can count on.

Without volunteers, there would be no 3-Day.

What do you love most about our 3-Day volunteers? Tell us in the comments!

Planning the Perfect 3-Day Training Walk

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Summer is a great time to kick your training into high gear, and with our 2018 3-Day season just around the corner, your training walks are likely getting longer and longer. Whether you’re walking on your own, using our 3-Day training apps, or joining an official training walk leader to train, now is the time!

To help you make the most of your next training walk, we asked Coach Liz – an experienced  training walk leader – to give us her tips and tricks for planning the best training walk possible. Honed from years of experience, here’s how she gets it done…

When planning a route, I always have two web browser windows open: the Miler Meter pedometer to map our the miles and Google Maps to look for shade and places to stop and take a break.

I usually find a place to start on Google Maps that is open early and has sufficient parking, which you can see on Google. For example, Safeway at McQueen and Ray Road (Point A on the map below). Then I look for a grocery store, fast food restaurant, convenience store or coffee shop that is somewhere close for an end spot (Point B).

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Then I start mapping on pedometer to plan about 3-4 miles through the city streets and housing areas to get from point A to point B. This route is an out and back (3 miles out and turn around and reverse back to start). I make sure the route has some shade and sidewalks. And, whenever I can I try not to have us facing the sun as the day or route gets later and longer. That’s a pro tip for you!

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I put it all together with turn by turn directions that I hand out, so everyone knows the route. We don’t want anyone getting lost!

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As the training walks get longer, I plan longer walks with stops every 3-4 miles. I will also plan some walks with loops so if someone needs to bow out or needs to stop they can.

We always make sure to take time to stretch before and at our “pit stops” on the training walks!

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When we get to the longer walks, particularly on the 15+ miles back to back, we get our local crew or our families to come out and provide “mock pit stops.” It really helps the new first time walkers start to get a feel for the 3-Day, and it makes the walks so much more fun! Plus, it helps our families and communities get more involved in the 3-Day.

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Also, on any walk that is more than 13 miles we also build in a lunch stop. I remind all our walkers to be sure to bring a change of socks and money for lunch.

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And of course, we train on all terrains, to make sure the walkers are prepared for the whole route. In the photo below, we added some hill training by walking to the top of Hayden Butte (it is only a 0.7 mile walk but the elevation gain is 278 feet!)

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We hope these tips help you and your fellow 3-Day participants plan some amazing training walks! See you all soon!