Congratulations to the 2017 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Dan Sinclair

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For the 2017 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® season, we’re pleased to be featuring the Local Impact Award. This award is being given to participants who have been instrumental in strengthening the 3-Day® community throughout the year. Local Impact Award honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts leading training walks, attending 3-Day community events, supporting the 3-Day staff year-round at meet-ups and workshops, and in general, making a difference by building lasting relationships and showing commitment to the 3-Day in all they do.

Please join us in congratulating the 2017 Michigan 3-Day Local Impact Award Winner, Dan Sinclair.

“My first ever 3-Day was in 2002 when I was a student of Massage Therapy and I needed 50 hours of civic volunteer hours to complete that part of my training at school. And I was told that I could complete all that time in a single weekend. Little did I know how much that weekend would impact my life. When the 3-Day returned to Michigan in 2004, I was ready! Only to find out that they no longer used a massage therapy team for the walkers. While the crew coordinator was explaining this to me he noticed I was wearing a “Harley” tee shirt and asked if I rode? I explained I’d been on motorcycles most my life and his reply was “Have I got a deal for you”. In 2005 my daughter was a walker and I was on crew. She quickly introduced me to her walking friends and suddenly, I had a 3-Day family and was given the moniker of their “3-Day Dad” and over the years that family has taken a special meaning to my life. In 15 years, I went from not knowing anyone that has had breast cancer to becoming close friends with so many people who live with it daily and then losing a lifelong friend to this monster. At age 60 I did my first walk in Denver with some of my Michigan Crew members and discovered traveling and seeing the country through PINK shaded glasses is one fine way to live. So now I crew everywhere I can and walk at one event each year.

My passion is the water, boating, swimming, scuba diving or just plain sitting at the beach. I taught safe boating classes during the Michigan winters and was off to the marina in the spring. I was fortunate enough to have a wife that shared my passion for boating and allowed me to follow my dream. In 1986, we came across “Luv-It”, a boat big enough for the family to be comfortable on and this year we are enjoying our 31st season on board her.

Being retired Navy, I’ve seen parts of the world that most people are not fortunate enough to witness first hand, some spectacular, some downright devastating and everything in between. So, when I came across the 3-Day Community, I thought, “If only the world could be like this”.

So, year after year I come back and add my “two cents” in hopes that it makes someone somewhere take their mind off their troubles, their sickness, their pain and smile just a little bit…

There is a cure out there and together we will find it.”

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What do some of Dan’s friends have to say about him?

“I have had the absolute privilege of working, and walking, side by side with Dan for 14 years now.  I’ve witnessed first hand the impact he has had not only here in Michigan but in the other event cities as well.  He is ever present and always smiling.  His willingness to help fellow crew and walkers knows no bounds.  It is not uncommon to find him using his massage therapist skills to help walkers stretch and work out kinks, sometimes right on the side of the road.  That always makes for a hilarious double take when one of the Medical crews drives by!  He makes a point of getting to know new faces, making them feel welcome and sharing his story.  Whether it is 30 seconds at an intersection or 30 minutes in the dining tent, you will always feel like you’re an old friend!” – Jenn Frederick

“I don’t know a 3-Day withOUT Dan – He took me under his wing at the opening ceremony of my very first 3-Day, many many years ago.  Made me feel welcome as a rookie route safety.  And has taught me everything I know about crewing and captaining.

He is our 3-Day Dad  (I’m probably not the only one who will say this)

Best. Hugs. Ever!

Passionate.  Caring.

A mentor.  A role model.

A shoulder to cry on

A friend to laugh with

A great storyteller

Loved by MANY!” – Jeanette Jones

 

 

Route Hours, Cabooses, and Sweep Vans, Oh My! Behind the Scenes on the 3-Day Route

If you’ve been out on the 3-Day route before, you’ve likely noticed a bike with a pink flag that follows the line of walkers along the route. The caboose is a 3-Day staff member who rides behind our last walkers to make sure that everyone gets to each pit stop and back to camp in a safe and timely manner. Each year, in our post-event survey we often get questions about route hours, route safety, and sweep vans.

We wanted to take this opportunity to explain why we have some of the route procedures that we do, and also let you know about a change to our sweep vans and busses this year. We had some questions for two of our seasoned cabooses, Coach Gayla of the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day, and Robin, the 3-Day Crew & Volunteer Operations Manager, to get the inside scoop on why the caboose and our pit stop and route hours are such an important part of keeping our 3-Day family safe on the route.

Coach Gayla poses on the 2016 Michigan 3-Day with football team members who did an awesome job cheering on our walkers.

Is it “bad” if you end up near the caboose?

Of course it’s not bad to be walking near the caboose! We love company, but we don`t want walkers to lag along the route and get behind schedule. If we ride up behind you while you’re walking we’ll let you know that you’re the last walker and how we’re doing on time. If it looks like your pace won’t get you to the next pit stop before it closes, we’ll present you with options: to pick up the pace (we know this isn’t always possible) or to get in the next sweep van once it arrives. They will gladly give you a lift to the next pit stop so you can rest, refuel and rehydrate before the stop closes.

Have no fear if the caboose is near! Photo graciously provided by walker Robin Collison.

Why do pit stops close at a specific time?

We are required by the city to set up pit stops along the route during certain times of the day. We are not allowed to have them open 24 hours a day for all three days or even the 8-12 hours it takes you to walk the route. So we need to make sure that the walkers move along the route at a comfortable, but continuous pace, so that no one is on the route after dark, or after the pit stops have packed up and left or even after the police and route safety are scheduled to be done for the day. We also want to respect the time of the crew members out on the route so that they can get back to camp to enjoy dinner and festivities, too. You may not know it, but they’ve been out at that pit stop for hours before you came through, setting up and getting ready.

Our amazing crew members need breaks, too!

Why does the route open and close at specific, set times?

The route opens after sunrise and closes before sundown so that the walkers and crew will not be on the route in the dark. These times will vary from city to city, as daylight hours vary during the year. And there are other factors, like in Twin Cities on day one, the route is short so we close the route early, to keep the pace consistent across all three days. In San Diego, we keep the route open after sunset from the last pit stop into camp because it is partially lighted and we hand out flashlights.

A beautiful and balmy morning greets San Diego walkers as they leave camp for Day 2 of the 2016 3-Day.

I don’t like feeling rushed on the route. Can’t we just walk at our own pace and arrive when we want to?

I know it’s no fun to feel like you’re being tailed, but there’s a reason we keep the walkers on a schedule. We ask walkers to average a pace of 3 miles an hour in order to complete each day’s route before dark. In addition to safety reasons, remember, it’s not just you out there―from Pit Stop crew, Route Safety, local police, to Sweep and Route Marking, the volunteers are out there supporting you. We want to respect their time and energy and allow them to get back to camp to enjoy dinner and the festivities, and start again bright and early the next day.

Robin smiles with some of our energetic route support cheerleaders!

I worry that if I take a sweep van, it means I didn’t really “do” all 60 miles. What do you think?

While we know the most important thing is the funds we raise, we totally understand it can be disappointing to you personally if you don’t walk all 60 miles you set out to do. For your own safety, you may need to catch a lift on a sweep van for just a bit here and there, and then get back on the route and walk what you can. We want you to walk in to camp and the Closing Ceremony to experience the joy of the event, so don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion or injury. Your overall event experience will be far less enjoyable if you do.

We’ve also got a helpful hint for you! New this year: the Lunch and Camp Shuttles will be passenger vans instead of busses. If you can’t walk anymore and you’re done for the day, make your way to a pit stop, then catch a Shuttle van to lunch or camp. In the past these shuttles were large busses that used to wait at each route stop until the stop closed. Rather than waiting at each stop until it closes, the Shuttle vans will now leave each stop on a regular schedule. This will allow you to move forward to lunch or camp and keep moving forward more quickly.

There’s no shame in letting us sweep you off your feet.

We hope that helps clear up any questions about why we enforce our route and pit stop hours, and why the caboose and sweep vans are here to help. But if you do have any more questions, ask them below, and we’ll have our friendly coaches reach out to you with a response. Your safety is our number one priority―and we know that working together for a safe and incredible experience means we’re 60 miles closer to ending breast cancer forever.