Susan G. Komen 2017 Atlanta 3-Day Wrap-Up

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The 3-Day headed south for our October event, taking Atlanta by storm this weekend. The dawn was slowly coming up over Stone Mountain as our 475 walkers and 225 crew started their journey with a poignant and emotional Opening Ceremony led by local participants. The rising sun was the perfect welcome to a wonderful 60 miles ahead.

After walking through Stone Mountain Park, our walkers were greeted by quite the cheering section at Mile 1. All of Stone Mountain Elementary came out to cheer on our 3-Dayers with signs, flags and even their school drum line!

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From there, walkers headed through Clarkston, GA to Pit Stop 2 and 6.2 miles checked off their first day. They danced The Wobble with Youth Corps and stocked up on snacks like the infamous Grahamwiches. They also received support from other local cheering stations before arriving at lunch.

“Boob University” was the perfect break spot at Mile 12.6 at the Decatur Family YMCA, complete with pink resting mats from Mohawk Flooring, who also had several staff members walk with us this weekend. There were plenty of dancing and photos as well!

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The second half of Day One saw the walkers being welcomed into Emory Village, by the Winship-Glenn Family Breast Center team, who showed the walkers their fundraising dollars at work.

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They spent the rest of the day walking through Downtown Atlanta, including crossing the Jackson Street Bridge and walking through Centennial Olympic Park. They ended Day One at camp at the Georgia World Congress Center after 21.7 miles walked. Walkers were able to relax at the 3-Day Lounge, including getting some much-needed pampering from the Bank of America massage chairs. We had an emotional and celebratory camp show before everyone turned in for the night.

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Day Two started a little cooler, making it perfect walking weather for our walkers to take on their second set of 20 miles. Straight from camp, the walkers passed the CNN Center and Ivy Hall before stopping at Pit One after a quick 2.2 miles on Saturday morning.

There was plenty of local support before lunch as well, including multiple local Girl Scout troops and Red Hot Yoga Studio, all of which kept our walkers smiling and inspired. At Pit Stop 3, the local Atlanta Komen Affiliate also came out to add to our cheering Crew to propel the walkers those final few miles to lunch.

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Lunch was at Mile 11.6, and we had time to meet our amazing Atlanta Youth Corps via Facebook Live as well as re-hydrate before the second half of the day.

High Points on the rest of the day included walking by the Tanyard Creek Park Train Trestle and the World of Coca-Cola before arriving back at camp for the night. Walkers tucked into everyone’s dinnertime favorite: 3-Day mac n’ cheese! Then there was a fun dance party before lights out on Day Two.

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Day Three dawned bright and warm, with our walkers making great time on their final 20 miles of the weekend. Pit Stop 1 was at 3 miles, right outside the Atlanta IKEA, but our walkers couldn’t stop to shop. They had a mission!

They breezed through lunch at Morris Brandon Elementary, and in no time at all they entered Pit 3, right along the Chattahoochee River at Mile 13.3. There was a fun community cheering station at Akers Mill Square before our walkers climbed the hill to see the new SunTrust Park up ahead.

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We had some liquid sunshine as our walkers crossed the finish line and entered SunTrust Park, but that didn’t stop everyone from dancing across the finish line with smiles on their faces, and even tears of joy in some eyes. The clouds opened up and the sun shone down for our Closing Ceremony, and final celebration in Atlanta.

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Our journey is never truly done, though, as was evidenced throughout our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.

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As we hugged and celebrated and danced under the bright October sunshine, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. We are shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight, where we seek to live in a world free of breast cancer, WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Atlanta. We are so very proud of each and every one of you.

If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.

 

Atlanta Coaches’ 3-Day Highlights

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You already know coaches Karen, Libby and Susan from your Atlanta 3-Day team. They are the group who have been (im)patiently waiting for our walkers and crew to begin their 60-mile journey this weekend. And they will be welcoming everyone with open arms!

As you get your final preparations, training and packing done this week, they’re giving you more to get excited about. From favorite spots on the route, to their most prized memories, to their “must-visit” Atlanta spots, the coaches are sharing their personal 3-Day highlights.

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Coach Susan

Favorite memories of 3-Days past

Coach Susan: Walking in the pouring, freezing rain in Atlanta in 2008! Plus, working with Youth Corps for 2 years! And of course, all the laughing…so much laughing. More than the moments, it’s the community that I look at with gratitude and fondness. I’m grateful that I can be a part of something that brings out the best that humans have to offer.

Coach Libby: I have lots of favorites over the years but seeing friends and family connect with participants at the Closing Ceremony gets me every time.

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Coach Libby

Favorite parts of the 3-Day this year

Coach Karen: I am looking forward to reconnecting with walkers who I haven’t seen in a few years. It will be great to get a big hug and catch up! Then, on the route, I love Virginia Highland. I lived there when my kids were little and it is such a fun, diverse and creative place to live.

Coach Susan: I love the areas around Decatur and Emory on Day One, the beautiful Buckhead homes on Day Two, and I love the Vinings area on Day Three. I’m also looking forward to a new Closing Ceremony site along with a new Day Three route! Everyone, including 20-mile walkers will get to enjoy our all new Day 3 route this year! We’ll be walking through parts of Atlanta that we haven’t been through on the 3-Day before.

Coach Libby: This year we are walking through Vinings and I am excited to see what walkers think out such a cute area of Atlanta! I also love the new route and closing at SunTrust Park – Go Braves!

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Not-to-miss Atlanta spots

Coach Susan: I love the Atlanta Beltline! We are big baseball fans in our family, and the new stadium is great (Go Braves!). I love eating at some of the unique Atlanta places. Table & Main in Downtown Roswell is one of our favorites!

Coach Karen: I love to eat, and my favorites right now are Miller Union, The Optimist and Bacchanalia. For local favorites, I love Mac Magee in Roswell and Murphy’s in Virginia Highland.

What are looking forward to most on the Atlanta 3-Day? Tell us in the comments!

Atlanta 3-Day – 2016 Route Update!

Last year on the 3-Day® blog, we shared some detailed “Insider’s Peek at the Route” posts with you. We pulled the curtain back on the overall process of planning and executing a 60-mile route, and then got even more in-depth with each individual 3-Day walk’s route.

This year, we don’t need to dive quite so deep, since most of what we shared last year still applies. But we definitely wanted to keep you looped-in with the updates and changes that have been made to the 3-Day routes for 2016. We’re also bringing in members of the 3-Day Advisory Council to share their thoughts about the 2016 changes. These participants stand as the “voice” of the 3-Day community and their input has been instrumental in strengthening the communication and camaraderie between Komen and the 3-Day family, so we’re thrilled to have their insight here on our route updates.

We’ve previously shared route updates for Michigan, Twin Cities and Seattle, and today, Atlanta is front and center!

Need a refresher about what the Atlanta 3-Day route was like last year? Read our 2015 “Insider’s Peek” post here.

New for 2016 – Meredith, the Event Planning Manager for the Atlanta 3-Day told me that the 2016 event doesn’t have too many major differences from last year. Day 1 starts in Stone Mountain again, and should look pretty familiar except for a few changes on the last two miles before camp. On Saturday morning, the first half of Day 2’s route will be a reverse of Day 2 from last year; in other words, the morning route out of camp up to lunch will be the same route that brought walkers from lunch to camp on Day 2 last year (of course, there will be other pit stops in between). Meanwhile, the entire second half of Day 2’s route this year, from lunch back to camp, is brand new. With regard to Sunday’s course, Meredith shared, “You’ll also see some changes on Day 3: Atlanta Pride is happening the same weekend as the Atlanta 3-Day, so on Sunday, we’ll have to go around Piedmont Park, rather than through it as we have in the past. You’ll also see a few changes to middle miles of Day’s 3 route.” The Closing Ceremony will be at Turner Field again. Meredith pointed out a couple of highlights that walkers can look forward to in Atlanta this year: “Get your cameras ready for a photo op on the Jackson St. bridge, made famous by The Walking Dead. And Atlanta’s new Beltline Trail will play a starring role in our Day 2 and Day 3 routes this year.” She also added, “And yes, Atlanta never disappoints in the hills department and some of the city sidewalks are a little rough around the edges, but hopefully our Atlanta walkers have been preparing for that!”

In Their Words – Here’s what Charles, Beth and Sylvia, three of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Atlanta updates:

Charles (5-year Atlanta 3-Day crew member) – The Atlanta 3-Day will mark Charles’s sixth year as a crew member and his fifth year as the captain of the Traffic Control crew team. Since he hasn’t walked in the 3-Day before and spends most of his crew time in camp, Charles didn’t have much feedback about the changes to this year’s Atlanta route. But he did say, “I think the route is good! My wife (this is her 6th year as a walker) is disappointed about not going through Piedmont Park, but she is looking forward to the Belt Line trails.” Charles and his wife Renee participate in the 3-Day in honor of Renee’s mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.

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Charlie, on right

Beth (2x Atlanta walker) – Beth, a breast cancer survivor herself, is excited to be returning to the Atlanta 3-Day after completing her first walk last year in Atlanta. Beth shared, “I am going to miss walking through Piedmont Park, but think the Beltline will be a great addition.” One other thing Beth enjoys about walking in Atlanta in October is the excitement of fall and the upcoming holidays. “I love walking through the areas that always have their homes decorated for Halloween.”

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Sylvia (11-year 3-Day walker) – Sylvia, who lives in Florida, will be walking in Atlanta this year for the second time. “I love the parks, and the beautiful trees and old homes. I love Stone Mountain, and the wildness of it.” Asked what she thinks about the route updates, she said, “The changes are truly going to help. I can’t wait to see the new routes, as I went to college here and it is a trip back in time for me.” Having such a long history with the 3-Day, Sylvia had some other thoughts to share “It is truly the journey that brings you to the awareness of why each of us are here. We have our own personal reasons for wanting to travel this path…but each of us, in our hearts, shares a passion for doing something, somehow, to make a difference, to change a life…to find a cure. Each of us, as we walk these miles, travel not only the journey of the road, but also the journey of our hearts. Each of us become one of a family that is united across all boundaries, to do what we can to truly make a difference, and we know that each step does make a difference.” Beautifully said, Sylvia.

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Keep an eye on the 3-Day blog in the coming weeks when we’ll continue sharing updates about the remaining 2016 3-Day routes.