2016 Philadelphia 3-Day Wrap-up

Folks who have walked in the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day before know that Mother Nature has not always been at her kindest during the Philadelphia event weekends. But for the 2016 Philly 3-Day, she decided to play extra nice and treat the 750 walkers and 275 crew members to a superbly beautiful weekend in the City of Brotherly Love. There was not a poncho to be seen when the 3-Dayers arrived on Friday morning to Opening Ceremony at Willow Grove Park Mall, and the pleasant weather was only the tip of the iceberg for the memorable three days ahead.

Amber Livingston from Susan G. Komen® welcomed everyone to the Opening Ceremony on Friday morning, and she was soon joined on stage by six Philadelphia 3-Day participants who shared their personal statements about why they are part of the 3-Day. img_1602 img_1797The 3-Day’s own beloved Dr. Sheri Prentiss also joined the Opening Ceremony, and all of these inspirational hosts pumped up the walkers and reminded us all of our shared goal: ending breast cancer forever. The inspiration level was raised even higher when we looked at the nine beautiful women who made up our Survivors’ Circle, and their bravery was the last little burst of invigoration that the walkers needed to set out onto the 60-mile road ahead.img_1795 img_1638

The walkers trekked through Willow Grove to reach their first pit stop at Ardsley Park in Glenside. The route continued to pass through lovely residential neighborhoods, including a pass down the legendary “Bra Street” cheering station, before reaching pit stop 2 in Oreland.img_7235 img_1809 Along the way, walkers also met street after street of schoolchildren—from kindergartners on up through high schoolers—who took breaks from their Friday classes to cheer for the passing walkers.img_1776 img_1822 A Grab & Go in Glenside and a cheering station on Germantown Ave. fueled walkers in to the lunch stop on the beautiful grounds of New Covenant Church.img_7208 img_7367 Walkers quickly noticed that on Friday, the entire Philadelphia 3-Day crew—from pit stops to sweep vans—was united with a common Dr. Suess theme, making it a delightful trend throughout the day.

img_7523 img_1971 img_1940After lunch, the route moved along the shady Wissahickon Trail and to Grab & Go B at the Historic Rittenhouse Town before turning along the Schuylkill River and past Boathouse Row on approach to pit stop 4 right before the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Around the front side of the museum, most walkers took advantage of the amazing photo op, and were delighted to see Rocky Balboa himself (well, a convincing impersonator, anyway), happy to take pictures at the top of the steps that his movie made famous decades ago. Cue “Eye of the Tiger!”img_7584 img_7599

The final stretch of Friday’s route brought walkers downtown to camp at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The camp show on Friday brought back the hosts from the morning’s Opening Ceremony, Dr. Sheri and Amber, as well as a special appearance by President and CEO of Susan G. Komen, Dr. Judy Salerno, who thanked the 3-Day community for being such an integral part of Komen’s mission. We also heard from Elaine Grobman, CEO of Komen Philadelphia, and Komen grantee Dr. Susan Domchek, whose work is made possible thanks in part to funds raised by the 3-Day. Philadelphia walker and survivor Marianne gave an heartfelt speech about the 3-Day’s power in her life, and finally, the Philadelphia 3-Day Youth Corps took the stage to tell us their reasons for becoming part of the 3-Day.

On Saturday morning, walkers set out onto a route that was completely different from where Day 2 has taken them the last few years (though it did include some well-loved elements from Philly 3-Day events of the past). Within the first few miles, walkers were delighted with a surprise portion of the route that took them through the Philadelphia Zoo. Dozens of animals were out enjoying their breakfast and “posing” for pictures with hundreds of walkers.img_2079 From there, they passed by Memorial Hall and made their way up to a Grab & Go on Belmont Plateau with stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline.img_2177 img_2038 img_7630 From there, they cut over onto Bala Cynwyd trail (the Heritage Trail) and found pit stop 2 ready to fuel them up and keep them going.img_2172 After that, it was back across the Schuykill River on the new Manayunk Footbridge and headed toward lunch (after one teensy tiny little hill…at least is wasn’t The Wall!).img_7783 img_7739 Coming down from lunch, walkers strolled down Main Street in Manayunk, passed dozens of shops and restaurants, and one very Sinatra-esque serenader.img_2204img_2189 After that, it was a short walk on Kelly Dr., then a cross over the Falls Bridge, then a riverside walk along Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive back into downtown. A Philadelphia walk would not be complete without a photo op at the LOVE statue (even in its new home in Dilworth Park).img_7885

Back at camp, Friends & Family Night got into full swing as many Philadelphia walkers and crew members were joined by loved ones. The camp show began with a new face on stage; Lori Maris, who is Komen’s VP, Affiliate Network and a 3-Day walker herself, shared some heartfelt thoughts about the power of the 3-Day community. The 3-Day celebrated its 150th walk in Michigan earlier this year, and we’ve been reveling in the 3-Day’s big milestone all season long. So 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 acknowledge some Philadelphia 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 (and always kind of surprising after 40+ miles of walking) energy.

Day 3 in Philadelphia is a bit of a walk through history. Walkers left camp at the convention center pointed east, and soon were headed down Elfreth’s Alley, notable as being the oldest continuously inhabited street in America.img_8010img_8028 From there, they put one foot in front of the other over cobbled streets until they got to the People’s Plaza, home of Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell (and a special addition just for the 3-Day: dozens of local cheerleaders offering encouragement and yummy donut holes).img_2578 img_2672 Eventually leading out of downtown, walkers crossed back over the Schuykill River again to come to pit stop 1 at the 30th Street train station patio (known as The Porch, complete with relaxing swings and chairs).img_2821 img_2832 img_2839 From there, walkers continued heading west until they reached the University of Pennsylvania campus. Next up was a walk back over the Schuykill River and into pit stop 2 at Schuykill River Park, approximately the halfway point of Day 3’s route.img_2985 Another cross to the east side of Broad Street brought walkers to another Grab & Go and another cheering station before leading them onto 9th Street and through the Italian Market, which is the country’s oldest open-air street market. A short distance later, walkers went right past the intersection where two landmark rival Philly cheesesteak purveyors, Geno’s Steaks and Pat’s King of Steaks face off. Just a couple short miles after that at the lunch stop at Marconi Plaza, walkers were greeted by Dr. Sheri, and Amber, Lori and Judy from Komen, who handed them “More Than Pink” superhero capes to wear for the final few miles.img_2966 img_8248 One last pit stop at FDR Park offered walkers another couple of beautiful photo ops before delivering them to the Navy Yard (where the United States Navy was founded and several decommissioned ships still are docked), the site of Closing Ceremony.img_3119 img_3108 img_8299 img_3126

The Philadelphia 3-Day Closing Ceremony was once again hosted by Dr. Sheri and Amber, who got the hundreds of gathered friends and family members pumped up as the walkers, crew members and survivors marched in to the arena. We thanked our many wonderful supporters, sponsors and local jurisdictions, and we shared an especially joyful moment when Amber announced that an amazing $2.1 million was raised by Philadelphia’s 750 walkers and 275 crew members.img_3139 img_8425 img_3149 img_8435 The Philadelphia 3-Day family danced it out one final time, and as the final flag of the 3-Day was raised, we remembered and repeated the promise we made way back on Friday morning: to never give up our fight until we have ended breast cancer forever.

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


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!

Philadelphia 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, Seattle and Atlanta, and today, the Philadelphia 3-Day route is the star of the show!

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

3day_2016_social_cityhashtags_localhashtag_phl2New for 2016 – Missy, the Event Planning Manager for the Philadelphia 3-Day, shared some info about updates to the 2016 Philly route. “Day 1 of the Philadelphia 3-Day route is exactly the same as it was last year, and Day 3 has only a few changes, including new locations for a couple of pit stops.” The real excitement about Philadelphia’s 2016 route changes comes on Day 2. “Saturday’s route is completely new, including all new route stops,” Missy shared.

Staying mostly within the Philadelphia city limits, this new Day 2 route incorporates some highlights that Philly walkers have visited before, plus others that we’ll be visiting for the first time. Missy also teased, “There’s a special surprise at the beginning of Day 2, but we won’t spoil it here.” Missy also gave a heads-up that there is a substantial hill just before lunch on Day 2 (keep an eye out for sweep vans if you need one), but added, “Main Street Manayunk and the second half of the day will make it worth it!”

Highlights from the whole weekend include: Germantown Ave., “Bra Street,” Historic Rittenhouse Town, 30th Street Station, City Hall, Dilworth Park (where the LOVE statue has been relocated), Philadelphia Art Museum “Rocky Steps,” Cynwyd Heritage Trail, Manayunk, Boathouse Row, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Italian Market, FDR Park and the Navy Yard.

In Their Words – Here’s what Kerry and Carol, two of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Philly updates:

Kerry (2nd year Philadelphia walker) kerry_phl_2 Kerry walked for the first time in last year’s Philadelphia 3-Day and returns to Philly this year as a three-year survivor. She said, “I am from the Philadelphia area, so I love any opportunity to see the city from a walker’s perspective.” As all of our 2015 Philadelphia 3-Dayers will remember, the weather last year was less than pleasant, but Kerry still saw the silver lining on Day 3. “Because the weather was cold and rainy and windy, I was told [by veteran Philadelphia walkers] that the cheering stations had fewer people than normal during the first two days. So I loved Day 3, going through the city on a beautiful day, getting cheered on by the community!”

Carol (14x participant) carol_phl Carol is a Philadelphia local and a long-time Philly 3-Dayer. This year, she is also one of our full 3-Day Series walkers, hitting the sidewalks in all seven 3-Day locations, but her heart belongs to Philly. “Because I am from here I have always been a little biased towards Philadelphia.” Carol is quick to welcome all of this year’s Philadelphia 3-Dayers to her town. “If you’re coming to Philadelphia for the first time, welcome! Don’t forget your camera and be prepared to feel the love. If you are a repeat offender, welcome back! I hope you are as happy with the changes to the route as I am.”

With regard to the Philadelphia route itself, Carol has some personal highlights. “I love walking by all the historic sites. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Constitution Center are all very wonderful places to see. The XOXO statue outside the Constitution Center is such a bonus and makes a really nice photo op. I also love walking by the art museum; the first year I walked, I ran up the ‘Rocky steps’ after walking 15 miles!”

As for the route features that are new for this year, Carol said, “I am really excited about the addition of the Italian Market. Just recently on a training walk, we talked about how fun it would be to walk through this area on event. I’m also excited to be going back to Manayunk. It is a great area for community support and beautiful scenery. Being local to the Philadelphia area, I was sad when I learned that they were taking away LOVE Park. It was a place that I not only visited on the 3-Day, but even as a teenager and many times over the years. I am very excited that the changes in this year’s 3-Day event will incorporate the new location of the LOVE statue.” Even though it will be her fifth 3-Day walk of the year, Carol’s enthusiasm for the Philly walk is contagious. “This is truly the City of Brotherly Love (and sisterly affection!) as you will see when you join us this year!”







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.