Meet Your Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches

It’s here! The Twin Cities 3-Day is tomorrow, and we can’t wait to take this 60-mile journey with all our Minnesota 3-Dayers. As our staff and crew gather today to make final preparations and plans, no one is looking forward to tomorrow more than our Twin Cities 3-Day Coaching Team.

Meet Coaches Stephanie and Tisho, along with our amazing Crew Coordinator Kiki and Event Manager Eileen. They make the 3-Day magic happen year-round, working every day towards this weekend.

Stephanie has an infectious laugh and an upbeat attitude about everything. Tisho is full of knowledge on the widest range of topics, is a great advice-giver and has a heart of gold. Kiki is hilarious and oh so productive, remaining calm no matter what problems come her way. Eileen is the “complete package” of 3-Day information and support, always seeing the good in people around her. What a group!

These compliments and accolades don’t come from thin air, either! These are straight from the mouth of their fellow coaches.

With that kind of support, it should be no surprise that Coach Tisho, who is new to the Twin Cities 3-Day, describes this 3-Day with one simple word: family.

“I’ve been a part of the 3-Day for 10 years now and it is the most amazing group of people. The participants and my colleagues have made this literally a life-changing event for me. That’s why I’m most excited for my first Twin Cities 3-Day and meeting all the participants with whom I’ve been speaking since last year!”

Other things they’re looking forward to? The whole team is very excited for the latest changes to the route this year and can’t wait to hear feedback from participants.

Some of their favorite spots (both new and old) along this year’s route include:

  • All the beautiful lakes on Day 1
  • Stone Arch Bridge on Day 1
  • Downtown White Bear Lake on Day 2 (Hint: this is new and it’s fabulous!)
  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • The St. Paul Water Utility Trail in Vadnais Heights
  • Day 3’s view of the downtown St. Paul skyline after you pass through Pit 3 and walk into Indian Mounds Park. This is definitely a photo op, so get your cameras ready!
  • Closing Ceremony at Harriet Island

“I am giddy with excitement for them to see our brand-new Day 2 route which will take them through White Bear Lake and its charming downtown area!” says Coach Steph. “I’m also really excited that on Day 1 we’ll be back walking down Nicollet Mall. The last two years the mall has been under construction and now it looks beautiful. This is the heart of downtown Minneapolis and features a lot of great restaurants and all the hustle and bustle of downtown Minneapolis.”

The whole team is full of Minnesota pride, with Coach Kiki saying the whole weekend will be full of “beautiful scenery and the nicest people on the planet.”

Don’t miss a minute of this fun and beauty! That was the #1 piece of advice from all the coaches. Take your time and enjoy the whole weekend. Make new friends, reconnect with old ones. Try new experiences and be open to the joy of the weekend.

“Be present! Those two simple words were part of the Opening Ceremony a few years back and they really hit me. Don’t just follow the pink parade. Don’t let it all pass you by. Stop and take photos, pay attention to what’s around you and the people next to you. Soak it all in because even when you come back next year it will never be the same event twice,” promises Coach Kiki.

You’ll be surrounded by your 3-Day family, led by your local coaches. They can’t wait to welcome you in!

3-Day Michigan Coaches: Favorite Parts of the 2018 3-Day

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The countdown is on to our first 3-Day of 2018, and no one is more excited than your Michigan 3-Day Coaches. Jennifer, Heather and Gina have been preparing, planning and getting pumped up for this coming weekend since Michigan’s Closing Ceremony in 2017. They can’t wait to welcome all our 3-Dayers back into the Pink Bubble!

What are they most excited for this year?

Coach Jennifer is looking forward to “meeting all of the new folks that I have been talking to on the phone and via email for the past several months and reconnecting with our amazing veteran walkers.”

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The coaches with Event Production Manager, Ann Love

Crew & Volunteer Coordinator Gina echoes that statement saying she can’t wait for to welcome “those returning and meeting the new faces on the event,” especially when it comes to the Crew and Volunteers.

Crew, Youth Corps and volunteers are all a huge part of the 3-Day experience after all!

“I must give a shout out to our all-volunteer and all-around amazing Crew. You will find Crew around every turn, and at camp, making sure walkers are fully supported,” Coach Gina promises. “Youth Corps, our friends in yellow, are youth who commit to serving the walkers throughout the weekend. Be sure to “high-five” a crew or Youth Corps member!”

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You can also high five your coaches because they have some great advice for you! How should you make the most of your time on the Michigan 3-Day? Their top tips are all very similar:

  • “Enjoy every single moment the 3-Day has for you. Do not be in a rush to get to the next pit stop, don’t worry about what “number” you are! Enjoy it and soak it in. Take a lot of pictures, talk to your fellow walkers, not just those you may be on a team with. Trust me, these three days will fly by.” – Coach Jennifer
  • “Savor the moments, every step, each interaction, because as the saying goes, ‘It’s the little moments that make life big.’” – Coach Gina
  • “One step at a time. Soak it all in! Don’t get so lost in “just getting it done” that you miss all the awesomeness that comes with every minute.” – Coach Heather

While you soak in these moments, also remember how much the 3-Day matters to walkers, Crew and coaches alike.

Coach Gina says, “My 3-Day ‘why’ became much more personal in the past year and has renewed my energy in this fight. My own breast cancer battle brought surgeries, chemo, radiation, and more…but I am blessed because I had my 3-Day community around me, who lifted me up when I needed it most. The 3-Day to me is a family, a family bound together by their passion, enthusiasm and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.”

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Every step you take on the 60-mile route makes a huge difference. And of course, no one knows the route better than these three ladies!

Here are their favorite spots to look for over your Michigan weekend:

  • Walking along the water early on Day 1
  • Camp! All the coaches promise that camp will be cozy and full of fun things to do
  • All the local cheering stations!
  • But especially the Plymouth cheering station on Day 3
  • Kellogg Park
  • The cheerleaders on Day 3
  • York Street in Dearborn
  • Any place along the route where there are dogs! (Good point Coach Jennifer 😊)

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This team works hard, but they also love to work together and support each other!

Gina is the “calm, cool and collected” one of the group who “always has a kind word for everyone.” Heather and Jennifer describe themselves as two peas in a pod; they even finish each other sentences!

Coach Heather sums it up nicely when she says, “If I had to use one, all-encompassing word, it would be FRIENDS! We are there for each other in all aspects of our lives. We cheer each other’s victories and we show love and support during our times of struggle. We are blessed to be part of this tightknit team and we are so excited to share an amazing 2018 3-Day with our awesome walkers and crew!”

With excitement and love like that, you know this weekend is going to be one for the books!

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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!