Meet Your 2018 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Coaches

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Coach Gayla at left

The Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day is tomorrow…can you believe it?! We are so excited to head to the Lone Star State, home of Susan G. Komen, for an amazing three days.

But no one is more excited than your Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day team! Your coaches Gayla and Liz, plus your amazing Crew Coordinator Gina and Event Planner Eileen have all been counting down the days to this weekend for a whole year.

Before we officially kick off the weekend, they are here to share their top tips and advice, toot each other’s horns, and get you pumped for your 60-mile journey.

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That journey includes a lot of new sights and spots to take advantage of this year! There are some not-to-miss route changes that Eileen and the whole team are looking forward to. Here are some of their favorite spots:

  • Our new Opening Ceremony site, Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star!
  • Specifically, the “Huddle” statue at The Star where we begin our journey (above). It’s made from aluminum pans!
  • The bronze cattle statues at Frisco Central Park
  • Walking through Dr Pepper Ball Park
  • Vitruvian Park Cheering Station just before camp
  • Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano
  • All the local cheering stations! There are lots to look forward to this year 😊
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Coach Gina at right

The coaches are also looking forward to welcoming all the participants to Texas. This is especially true for Coach Gina, a new (and very welcome) addition to the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day team.

“I can’t wait to meet and connect with the crew, Crew Captains and volunteers. I have gotten to know them virtually the past several months and I’m honored to work alongside these incredible people,” Gina smiles. “The energy of this whole weekend strengthens my spirit in the fight against breast cancer. The walkers have trained and fundraised, the crew and volunteers, especially Crew Captains, have put in their own preparations and the staff has been preparing for months to ensure a wonderful 3-Day experience. We can’t wait to see you all!”

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All your coaches are long-time 3-Day supporters, walkers, volunteers and more. Their More Than Pink love runs deep!

Coach Liz says, “The 3-Day is one of the most powerful and passionate communities I’ve ever been connected to. The participants become friends and more like family due to the time spent together on training walks and sharing the passion for finding a cure. The way everyone takes care of each other is so incredibly special, I honestly don’t know of any other community like this.”

Coach Gayla echoes that with her usual enthusiasm!

“We are all so passionate about the 3-Day and our participants, we hope it shows. It’s amazing that we GET to do this all year long and can’t imagine doing anything else. Another reason is that the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day is my home and I am a proud Texan ready to show it off to everyone!”

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Want to make the most of this Texas 3-Day weekend? Take advice right from the team! They advise you all to:

  • Savor the moments, every step, each interaction, because as the saying goes, “It’s the little moments that make life big.”
  • Take lots of selfies!
  • Save contacts. Become Facebook friends. Keep in touch. Seriously, you will make lifelong friends, we promise.
  • Talk to everyone! Ask someone you don’t know why they are walking.
  • Remember to stretch and hydrate. Then stretch and hydrate some more.

They want you all safe and sound and happy at the end of your 60 miles 😊

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That’s in part because they’re always happy when they’re on the 3-Day…and when they’re working together! Gina is the newest addition to the group, and she has provided so much kindness and thoughtfulness to the 3-Day, plus she was Coach Liz’s first 3-Day coach back in 2004. Talk about experience!

And she loves her Dallas/Fort Worth team right back!

“Beautiful, dedicated, passionate, hardworking, to name a few! Gayla, Liz and Eileen are such a blessing to work with, and together, we will rock the 3-Day!”

We will rock the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day, and that’s a promise. Rock on, coaches!

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2018 Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Route Preview

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Lone Star State, we are coming for you! We are so excited to be heading to Dallas/Fort Worth this weekend and know that Susan G. Komen’s home city is going to be a great spot for a 60-mile walk. Event Planner Eileen Barnick has been preparing all year to make this coming weekend the best 3-Day possible, and she can’t wait to share the route with all the participants.

But she can’t share everything….

“Throughout the weekend, there will be some surprises and exciting ‘wow’ moments, but I don’t want to give those away ahead of time. They will be a surprise that I know all the participants will love. You’ll just have to walk and see!”

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For example, Day One is almost completely brand new this year! We will be starting at Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star. This is Dallas Cowboys Headquarters, and Eileen can think of no better place to kick off the 3-Day.

“This is going to be so cool! In my unbiased opinion, it might be the best Opening Ceremony we have all year. The energy is just amazing and it’s going to be so fantastic.”

Our Opening Ceremony will take place in Frisco, which has been booming lately! As we leave the Plaza, we will be walking along the Star Boulevard. There will be lots of coffee shops along the way, so walkers can get their java fix as they leave the Opening Ceremony.

Walkers will then enter Hall Park, which is a sculpture park. It also has water sculptures, which are so cool! The first two miles of the day will have plenty of exciting sights to see and lots of opportunities for photos.

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Later, we will walk by Dr Pepper Ballpark, which is where the RoughRiders play. There will be some special surprises there, but Eileen won’t give too much away! We will also pass the Bank of America headquarters in the morning, so look out for a cheering station there.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve will be the perfect trail to lead us into lunch at Timber Glen Park.

Pit Stop 4 on Day One will also be Pit Stop 1 on Saturday, so walkers can get nice and familiar with one of our favorite parks: Les Lacs Park in Addison. From there we will head into our cozy camp at Brookhaven College.

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The Day Two route is shorter (yay!) without losing all the beautiful spots in the suburbs around Dallas, like Farmer’s Branch and Addison. We will be walking through Addison over the course of the day, especially Addison Circle Park, which is just beautiful.

Eileen thinks everyone will love the walk on Keller Springs Road, which will take us towards lunch. And we will be arriving at lunch sooner, which is always great!

After lunch at Campbell Green Park & Recreation Center, the afternoon will take walkers through Vitruvian Park, which will have a cheering station and great photo opportunities. After a long day, friends and family (and those Bank of America massage chairs!) will be waiting at camp.23215792_10159599674780392_6172782628111656467_oDay Three on Sunday, we have left untouched and have made no real changes because we have had such positive feedback from walkers from last year.

We will begin the day with a short bus ride, dropping off at Walnut Hill Recreation Center and walk into Dallas through some gorgeous historic neighborhoods. If you love architecture and beautiful homes, you are going to have so many pretty sights to see!

After lunch, we will head into downtown Dallas and see historic sights like Dealey Plaza, the Giant Eyeball sculpture (great for photos!), the Omni and more. Eileen promises lots of photo opportunities all day long!

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The Participant Finish Area and Closing Ceremony will once again be at The Lawn at Reunion Tower. We got such great feedback on this last year, so we had to come back!

If you hang around after the Closing Ceremony as the sun sets, you might see some last bits of Dallas pink support for us, too! It will be the perfect finish to an amazing 3-Day weekend.

 

A Family United: Julie G. and the “Trekkers for Tudy’s Tatas”

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I Walk For: My Daughter. My Sister. My Niece. Myself.

On the 3-Day, we hear that people are walking with and for family members all the time. They walk alongside them, in their memory, and with their family cheering from the sidelines. What we don’t always see, though, is four sisters all walking together, alongside their daughters and nieces. All as one, walking for seven years!

That’s the story of Julie G. and her “Trekkers for Tudy’s Tatas” team in Dallas/FortWorth. In 2017, she walked with her sisters Kim, Lori and Chris, along with her daughter Lindsey and her niece Morgan.

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Julie’s sister Chris first brought the family into the 3-Day bubble, walking for two years as a part of another team. Then, in 2010, Julie’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, all three sisters signed up for the next 3-Day walk, and have walked ever since in her honor.

Julie says they have all walked together simply for the “sheer joy it brings our mother. She is so humbled by the fact that we fundraise, train and walk all in her name.”

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Since that first year, their team has also added Julie’s own daughter Lindsey, and her niece.

“Walking with family members is by far the most special part of the walk. It started out with just my sisters and then it has grown to my daughter and my niece. We are a family of 18 including husbands, sons and other nieces, and to see that whole group standing with matching t-shirts along the route screaming our names and holding up posters bring tears to my eyes.

It really is a family effort. My husband and son are so supportive when it comes time to train and when the walk actual takes place. They are there every day driving around making sure to hit every cheering station along the route. But the most special part of the walk is the finish line and seeing my mother there. She knows it’s for her. We include her in the closing ceremony because she is the reason we walk.”

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Each member of the family approaches the walk differently, although they all swear by the 16-week training program. They try to train together on weekends, and Julie recommends early morning walks for quality time and cooler weather. Also, Julie says to be sure to get your walking shoes EARLY so you can break them in. All of this will have you ready to go when 3-Day weekend arrives and let you just take time to enjoy your 60-mile walk.

That is what Julie says she and her family loves most about the 3-Day: all the small moments of happiness that happen throughout the walk. Her daughter is a fan of “the silly outfits teams wear as well as the signs that husbands hold up along the way,” while Julie can’t get enough of our puppy supporters. The rest of the family loves seeing all the pit stop and cheering station themes, and they will even be hosting their own cupcake-themed cheering station this year.

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It’s a family affair from start to finish for Julie and her family, but it always comes back to the matriarch.

“My mother can’t put into words what it means to have us walk year after year. She knows it’s a sacrifice for us financially and physically and that proves to her more and more how much we love her and how proud we are to call her our mom.”

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