San Diego 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 didn’t need to dive quite so deep, since most of what we shared last year still applied to the 2016 routes. But updates happen every year, in every 3-Day location, so we definitely wanted to keep the 3-Day community looped-in with the changes that have been made to the 3-Day routes for 2016. We’ve also brought in members of the 3-Day Advisory Council to share their thoughts about this year’s route 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’ve been thrilled to have their insight on our route updates.

Here we are, at the last route update of the year! We’ve already shared updates for Michigan, Twin Cities, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth. That leaves San Diego, the finale of the 3-Day season and the star of today’s post!

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

New for 2016 – I spoke with Emily, the Event Planning Manager for the San Diego 3-Day, and she was happy to share some details about this year’s San Diego 3-Day route. She told me that Day 1 and Day 2 are the same as they’ve been the past several years, which means gorgeous time along the shoreline and in some of San Diego’s nicest neighborhoods. And yes, that also means there are still hills aplenty on the San Diego route, with each day featuring one significant hill (along with some other smaller ones along the way). Emily wanted to remind walkers specifically about Day 1’s hike: “On Friday, walkers climb the big hill through the Torrey Pines Nature Reserve, and this is a good time to remind walkers that certain things are strictly prohibited while in the Reserve: food/food wrappers; feathers (boas); balloons; playing music. We want to be able to return to Torrey Pines each year, so it’s really important that walkers respect this special, protected area.” Luckily, pit stop 2 is located right outside the Torrey Pines Reserve, just before the hill, so you will be able to drop any restricted items there and pick them up back at camp. (We’ll likely have some of our adored San Diego bike cops there to remind you about the restrictions, too). Emily added, “The Torrey Pines hill climb is definitely challenging, but that section of route is a great time for walkers to enjoy the beautiful, hushed surroundings while reflecting on their own journey or a loved one’s journey with breast cancer. Since you have to be quiet there anyway…”

As for changes to the rest of the 2016 San Diego route, there are a few updates in store on Day 3. “We heard your feedback and are bringing back the section of route that goes through Hillcrest on Sunday,” Emily shared. “We are also returning to Balboa Park, but a different part than past years (we’ll go through the west side of the park instead of the east side where we’ve walked before), and we will be doing a short loop through the quaint and unique neighborhood of Little Italy.” Walkers who have trekked San Diego before have come to know (and not exactly love), a certain tedious section of route along a riverside trail near camp, which in past years, we had to repeat on Saturday and Sunday. But no more! “We’ll still walk that section on Day 2, but for Day 3, I’ve found a way to get around and avoid walking the dreaded ‘riverbed’ section to Old Town.” Hooray! Beyond that, San Diego 3-Dayers will enjoy having the Participant Finish Area AND Closing Ceremony at beautiful Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego.

 

In Their Words – Here’s what Anthony, Tina, Marianne and Rainy, four of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 San Diego update:

Anthony (9-time crew member)anthonyAnthony, who lives in Arizona, has been part of the Route Safety crew in various 3-Day cities for nearly a decade, and he is excited about crewing in San Diego for the first time this year. “Since I’m new to the route, I did inquire with some past Arizona walkers who have done San Diego, and all the feedback has been positive.” Even for experienced veterans, it’s difficult to pick a favorite part of the beautiful San Diego route, and for newbies, anything is possible! “I can’t say personally what my favorite part will be, but looking at the pictures, it has to be the beach and of course all the happy walkers. I am SO glad I get to be on Route Safety in San Diego. I just got back from [crewing Route Safety in] Seattle and it was fantastic! Hopefully San Diego is ready for me. Let’s get this party started!”

Tina (16-time participant) komen_3day_seattle-milestone_tina-wave Tina will be heading to San Diego from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives the 3-Day life year-round captaining Seattle 3-Day’s largest team, Valley Girls & Guys. But second to Seattle, the San Diego walk holds a special place in Tina’s heart. “This will be my 6th time walking San Diego, and honestly, I just pinking love the San Diego 3-Day! Valley Girls & Guys has a team of 26 walkers coming to San Diego to walk this year and 2 kids doing Youth Corps. I love San Diego, the weather, the people and all the places along the way, and I welcome any new changes. My favorite parts are all the amazing walker stalkers and walking along Mission Beach on Day 2. I’m excited to share this experience with my youngest daughter this year as she is 13 and doing Youth Corps. My other daughter and husband will be there to cheer us all on.”

Marianne (7-time San Diego walker) 2013-me-and-cathy Marianne, who is the captain of team STRIDE, has six sisters, all of whom have had breast cancer (including one sister who was lost to the disease). She’s a pro at the San Diego 3-Day, and says, “The San Diego event is simply amazing! We have so much community support along the route all three days, and the walkers feel like rock stars. My first time walkers tell me that after the 3-Day when they hear a car horn honk they feel compelled to raise their arms in the air and give a woohoo! My favorite part of the 3-Day is when we near the end of Day 1 and Day 2 and walk along the bayside boardwalk before the end of the day’s route. The entire boardwalk is a cheer station! Our team has had a cheer station there every year and we are joined by family and friends when we are the most tired. And even better, we get to take a moment to stop and cheer on our fellow walkers at our cheer station stop. I can’t wait for the special surprises we have in store for this year and the Survivor Stretch on Saturday!”

Rainy (19-time 3-Dayer) rainy Rainy is a San Diego local and a fixture on the San Diego 3-Day: she has participated in every single San Diego event since it began (she walked her first year and has crewed ever since). She has also expanded her crew resume over the years to include San Francisco, Arizona, Seattle and the Twin Cities. This will be Rainy’s fourth year as the Senior Captain of Route for San Diego, so she pretty much knows every twist and turn of San Diego’s 60 miles. “Day 1 and 2 are the same as the past few years, which is awesome because they rock! The views and the overwhelming community support are my favorite parts of the San Diego 3-Day. Right before pit stop 2 on Day 1, you come out of a section of trees and there is the Pacific Ocean before you with Torrey Pines in the background. It is an amazing view and awesome photo opportunity. As you leave pit stop 2 on Day 2, you’re treated to another sweeping view of the Pacific. Day 2 also features several miles along the Mission Beach boardwalk, which is just a nice flat walk next to the sandy San Diego beaches.”

Rainy gives kudos to Emily and the event team for the updates made to Day 3’s route. “I had the opportunity to walk the second half of Day 3 recently and I think the changes are excellent. The long sections of the ‘dry riverbed’ are gone and I love that the route after lunch returns to Hillcrest and Balboa Park, and goes down through Little Italy.” Rainy is especially excited about the last stretch of Sunday’s route into the Participant Finish Area. “The final mile of the walk will be spectacular as we will have a ton of community support cheering us on. Having the Closing Ceremony at Waterfront Park will be a huge upgrade. We will have beautiful fountains on one side and be steps from the Bay and the Star of India on the other.” Rainy will be focused on supporting the crew teams on the route in San Diego, but she’s quick to remind walkers, “Take time to enjoy this route. It is the culmination of the incredible journey you have been on for the past year. Camp will be waiting for you no matter what time you arrive, so spend a little bit of extra time enjoying the views.”

The Insider’s Peek at the San Diego Route

Earlier this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early on will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and know what exciting high points to look forward to.

We’ve done one of these location-specific route peeks for every 2015 3-Day event. (Curious about the other 3-Day events’ routes? Click away for the Michigan, Twin Cities, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth routes.) Today, last but not least, it’s the San Diego 3-Day’s moment in the spotlight. Let’s see what Event Planning Manager Emily and Local Events Coach Kim had to say about this year’s San Diego route!2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0536

Do you know of any major changes to San Diego’s route from last year? – Kim shared that there are some minor changes to the route but, “It should pretty much be the same as it has been in the past. And in the past it has been AWESOME!” Emily added, “There will be a new pit stop on Day 1, after the Torrey Pines hill. It’ll be in the same area, but a slightly different location. It likely won’t change the route at all. The biggest changes come on Day 3. We’ve been looking at changing up the Participant Finish Area (formerly known as “Holding”), so this year it will be at Embarcadero Park South, right on the water. Some of you may recognize it as a former site of the Closing Ceremony from many years ago. The end of Day 3 will have an adjustment to the route through downtown, taking walkers closer to the waterfront, with the Closing Ceremony still taking place outside of Petco Park.”2014_3DAY_SD_JF_1337 2014_3DAY_SD_JF_1423

What, if any, geographical challenges does San Diego’s route present (i.e., are there hills? Poor sidewalks? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?)? – The San Diego 3-Day event does have some notorious hills, but nothing our tenacious walkers can’t handle. Emily summed it up: “There’s a big hill on each day, and general hilliness on all three days.” Kim added some detail about the big three hills: “There’s the Torrey Pines hill on the first day, which is a gorgeous walk up a large hill. Day 2 has one short but tough uphill on Narraganset Street. On Day 3, there’s a long portion along the canal, which, thankfully is flat, but can be hot if the sun is bright that day, and then we end up in Old Town for the Juan Street hill, which is a tough one. So YES, train on hills!”2014_3DAY_SD_JF_1170 With some unique sections of route, Kim and Emily have a few added notes: “Torrey Pines is a protected nature reserve, so there are certain restrictions: no boas, ribbons, balloons or music are allowed in that area, so there will be a drop point for those prohibited items prior to heading up the hill (walkers can pick their items up back in camp). Extra sweep support will be at the bottom and top; no vehicles are allowed in the reserve, but our route safety crew members and the San Diego PD will be on bikes keeping an eye on everyone. There’s almost always a stop right before those big hills or before big stretches of no sweep access.”2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0270 2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0322 And while you might be quick to assume that the weather in San Diego will be perfect (and it usually is pretty darn close), Emily reminds walkers, “Walking in November could be overcast and drizzly along the coast, and it does get cold and damp at night, because we will be camping right on the water. But to walk by the coast for the majority of the route and feel that clear, crisp ocean air is a really a unique thing about the event.”2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0935 2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0398

Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? – Like we’ve seen on every other route peek, the local coaches are always very eager to brag about what their events have to offer. 2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0363 2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0841Kim shared, “Every day is amazing in San Diego. Some of my favorite highlights are walking through Del Mar Village with their HUGE several-blocks-long cheering station. Walking along the coast heading up to Torrey Pines is so picturesque, as is La Jolla Cove (don’t forget to look for the sea lions!). And that is just Day 1! On Day 2, I would have to say that Sunset Cliffs is by far my favorite part, and on Day 3, the highlight is walking through Old Town and all the amazing support going up Juan Street hill.” Emily confirmed and added why she loves the San Diego 3-Day route: “The Del Mar community cheering station is amazing. They decorate everything pink and hundreds of people come out to support. The uniqueness of each beach community is so much fun. There’s time on the boardwalk, so you get a real taste of the surfer beach culture. Sunset Cliffs is spectacular. You go through Mission Park and get a great stroll along the waterfront and through Seaport Village. The neighborhoods are all so unique in their own way!”2014_3DAY_SD_JF_1075

Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of the San Diego route? From Kim: “There are hills and you should train for them, but most of the walk is relatively flat. Be ready to take lots of pictures of our gorgeous coastline and fun towns. San Diego is known for the community support and 2015 will not disappoint!” Emily added, “Overall, the route and the event experience itself encompasses such a great variety of everything San Diego stands for and has to offer. From North County, down to the beach communities and the Bay, to downtown…it just really captures the essence of what San Diego is all about. The ocean, the history, all the key spots you would want to visit anyway while you’re there. You just hit all the cool spots, you couldn’t really do much better.”2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0417 2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0252

The Bottom Line – San Diego, being the final 3-Day event of the year, is always a big celebration with a great, fun vibe from start to finish. The hills can certainly be challenging, but if you’ve worked hills into your training, you’ll be fine. And while it’s unlikely that we’ll experience bad weather in beautiful Southern California, we did have the infamous storm of 2010, so anything can happen. As always, keep an eye on the weather in the days prior to the event, and prepare accordingly.

The Insider’s Take – San Diego was one of the first 3-Day events I walked, and is the one I have participated in more than any other (walked there four times, crewed there twice). There’s a good reason why the amazing California coastal locale draws more walkers every year than any other 3-Day: it’s breathtakingly beautiful, and the community support is second to none. San Diego is one of the most fun and lively 3-Day cities there is.2014_3DAY_SD_JF_0930

One Final Friendly Reminder – Don’t forget to keep that lively, celebratory San Diego attitude alcohol-free. Consuming alcohol during a long-distance walk can be dangerous, and alcohol is prohibited at all 3-Day sites, including pit stops and camp. If you do leave the route while you’re walking, for any reason, make sure you don’t get left behind. If you see the “caboose” (that’s a 3-Day staff member on a bike), that’s the end of the line of walkers, and once she has passed, we can’t guarantee that walkers behind her will be supported. Keep your hydration choices to water and sports drinks.

The Insider’s Peek at the Dallas/Fort Worth Route

Earlier this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early on will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and know what exciting high points to look forward to.

We’re publishing one of these location-specific route peeks for every 2015 3-Day event (we’ve already enjoyed peeks at the Michigan, Twin Cities, Seattle, Philadelphia and Atlanta routes) and today, it’s the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day’s turn to shine. Let’s see what Event Planning Manager Kiki and Local Events Coach Gayla had to say!susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide

Do you know of any major changes to the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day route from last year? – Veterans of the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day will notice quite a few changes to the route they’ve been familiar with for the past few years. Kiki shared that there are some adjustments to the route on Day 1 and Day 3, and that we’ll be using some new parks for pit stops on all three days. “These are places walkers haven’t seen in the past, which is exciting. We’re definitely showing walkers some trendy new neighborhoods in the Dallas area.” She added that the most significant changes will be seen on Day 2. “We heard feedback about how particularly rough the big blue bridge in Addison was for the walkers. So it’s gone! We will get to see more of Addison (I love that city!) as well as see parts of some other charming Dallas neighborhoods.” Gayla added, “You won’t be disappointed! We’re visiting some areas we have walked through in the past and some new neighborhoods, so expect awesome support from new residents and cheering stations along the way.”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide

What, if any, geographical challenges does the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day route present (i.e., are there hills? Poor sidewalks? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?)? – Kiki and Gayla agree that, while Dallas/Fort Worth is the one 3-Day route that is seeing the most changes in 2015, it is still the least demanding route, in terms of geographical challenges. “One thing walkers don’t have to worry much about on the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day is hills.” There are some inclines (impossible to avoid completely), but no major mountains to climb. Both Kiki and Gayla mentioned that a fair amount of walking will be done on sidewalks (as opposed to trails or soft road shoulders), so walkers should prepare by training on curbs and sidewalks with driveways. Gayla, who joins training walks with Dallas/Fort Worth walkers on a regular basis says, “Believe it or not, those tiny little repeated steps and inclines can do a number on you, so be prepared for them. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the path for those sneaky tree roots trying to make their way to the surface. Sweep vans are readily accessible, so have no fear.” North Texas in November shouldn’t see terrible heat, but Kiki did point out that there’s not a lot of shade on some parts of the route, so hats and sunscreen are a must.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guidesusan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide

Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? – The event planners and coaches love when I ask them this question, and are always ready to brag about their locales. Gayla, a North Texas native, said, “Get ready for some very cheerful elementary students to greet you on Friday. They LOVE it when the walkers pass by their schools, so get your high-five hands ready!” She continued, “There are several ‘BIG’ statues around Dallas promoting Big D’s ‘Big Things Happen Here’ celebration, and walkers will have great opportunities to pose as the ‘I’ in these statues all over town. susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guideThe last stretch in Downtown Dallas you’ll be smack-dab in the middle of a cattle drive (bronze cattle statues that is). Get your cameras ready for some cool pics on the last few miles before the finish.” Kiki, on the other hand, is not from Dallas/Fort Worth, so she offers a different perspective: “While I’m not new to the 3-Day, I am newer to the production side of things with the Dallas/Fort Worth event. What I have loved about my visits to the area and my work on planning the route is that I feel I get a real sense of all that Dallas and nearby cities have to offer. And I think my perspective as an ‘outsider’ has allowed me to find some really great new spots for the route.”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide

Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day route? –Kiki loves that “Everything here feels spread out, but not in a negative way. It doesn’t ever feel congested with lots of crowds or traffic. All three days will feel like a casual Sunday stroll showing the best of the best of what the Dallas/Fort Worth communities have to offer.” Our Texas gal Gayla adds, “Dallas/Fort Worth is ‘urban meets wild-wild-west.’ Being born and raised here, and having participated in the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day many times, I can say with no exaggeration that there’s never part of the route that I don’t love.”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide

The Bottom Line – The Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day is a wonderful slice of the great American west, with a healthy dose of slow, friendly southern charm. While walkers don’t have to worry much about hill training, the demands of walking long distances on flat ground peppered with small steps and curbs is still something to prepare for.

The Insider’s Take – My first experience with the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day was last year as a staff member, and while I wasn’t walking the 60 miles or working on the crew alongside the participants, I did spend a lot of time out on the route and in camp, taking in the Texas experience (including one of the most gorgeous 360-degree sunrises I’ve ever seen in my life). I can say that the people in and around Dallas/Fort Worth were some of the nicest folks I’ve come across in my years with the 3-Day, and the sites along the route were one lovely location after another. I’m excited to see the changes in store for this year and have no doubt that the wonderful people who make up the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day family will continue to be the most beautiful aspects of this already-beautiful route. I’m convinced enough that I’m already registered to walk there next year!susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles dallas fort worth route insider's guide