A Warm Walker’s Welcome to New Members of the 3-Day Family

We love our new walkers and do everything we can to make sure they feel welcomed! Some veteran participants go above and beyond to bring newbies into the 3-Day Pink Bubble, whether that is by encouraging them in the 3-Day Facebook Groups, helping with fundraising tips, or, in Betsy’s case, getting even more creative.

How did you first become involved in the 3-Day?

A friend from Washington State met me for dinner one night way back in the winter of 2005. She was in New Hampshire on business. She said she was interested in doing “something special” and wanted to know if I was interested. I said, “Sure, tell me about it,” and the conversation went something like this:

  • FRIEND: I want to do a fundraising walk for breast cancer. Do you think you’d like to join me?
  • ME: Sure! Where and when?
  • FRIEND: Seattle…in August
  • ME: Okay!
  • FRIEND: It’s 60 miles. It’s three days.
  • ME: Oh.
  • FRIEND: And you have to raise over $2,000
  • ME: Oh…Okay…

I agreed to do this walk before I talked it over with my husband and my employer. Luckily for me, they both agreed to the plan. I was nervous and excited about this endeavor. I am not an enthusiastic exerciser, but I trained according to the schedule. I went outside my comfort level and asked everyone I knew (and some people I didn’t!) for donations. I have exceeded the minimum for fundraising each year I’ve participated since 2006.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day has been a life changing experience for me. Although I have not been personally touched by breast cancer, I have had my share of abnormal mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs. Becoming involved with the 3-Day has been the most empowering thing I have ever done. After finishing the Seattle 3-Day in 2006, I set a goal for myself to walk in all of the cities at least once, no matter how long it took. Back then, there were 14 walks.

You have a special place in your heart for first-time 3-Day walkers. Why is welcoming them into the family so important to you?

That first year, I was a stranger to the 3-Day. I traveled from New Hampshire to Seattle by myself to meet a team of 14 women, of which I only knew one. I was unsure if I could really do this. At first, I felt alone in the crowd, and I didn’t have family to see me off. We hadn’t trained together, so I didn’t know what my team’s pace was like. Would we all stay together? Would we spread out and never see each other on the route? I was really scared. Then I started to meet other walkers, and we started sharing our stories. I made friends that weekend who are still near and dear to my heart.

Since 2006, I have traveled to one 3-Day a year. For my first seven walks, I was a solo walker. I gathered friends as I walked and talked. I laughingly say my Christmas Card list grows exponentially with every walk I do! I became better at meeting strangers, at reaching out to those who looked unsure or alone. I knew what it was like to be that “stranger in a strange land.” I don’t ever want anyone to feel the way I felt that first walk. Every so often, newbies can get the feeling that they don’t quite belong there. I don’t ever want to be the reason someone feels like they are on the outside looking in.

I also want them to come back next year! I know that we are still trying to grow participation. In order to do this, we need new faces, and new energy. I’ll be 60 this year. I’ll be walking 60 miles in Chicago for my 60th birthday. After not gathering in 2020, I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again!

How do you welcome them into the family?

I simply say, “Hello,” and smile! I ask them about themselves: Where are they from? How many walks have they done? Is this the first? What made them decide to commit? If it is their first walk, I give them one of my First Timer Goodie Bags as a token to welcome to the Pink Family! It is a small pink organza bag with a pink ribbon on it, filled with little tokens…pink band aids, a smiley face pin, a pink ribbon rubber duck, a couple of mints, some temporary tattoos, a 2006 Canadian Quarter with a pink ribbon on it, and most importantly, a business card with my contact information on it so they can reach out if they need ANYTHING! I remember how much fun it was collecting goodies along the way…stickers, beads, pins from Sweep vans…all mementos I treasure.

What is your favorite moment at the 3-Day?

Hearing stories…crying together…laughing together…camaraderie…welcoming the Last Walker home for the night. Knowing that all of our Pink Family is safe under the same roof…seeing faces from last year’s walk at the Opening Ceremony…spending some quiet time in the Remembrance Tent.

If you could send a message to everyone in the Pink Bubble family, what would it be?

I love you all and can’t wait to collect my hugs!!!! And all the love!!!! I miss you!!!

Thank you, Betsy, for going above and beyond to welcome new walkers to the 3-Day family! You are the reason this community is so incredibly special. And a huge welcome and Pink Bubble hug to our new 3-Day walkers! We are all here cheer you on for your very first 3-Day event. On the 3-Day, you are never alone.

Expert Tips for 3-Day Newbies

We LOVE welcoming first-time walkers to the 3-Day! What don’t we love? Blisters on our newbies’ feet. Our veteran walkers swear by their tips to make the 3-Day experience amazingwhether that be with special socks, shoes, or gear, or with training tips to ensure they’re ready to tackle 60 miles. To make sure our first-time walkers feel supported, we asked the expert members of our Facebook groups for New England, San Diego, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chicago to share their top tips for newbie walkers.

Tl;dr: Don’t skimp on socks and footwear, train in your chosen shoes, and get ready for three days unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Clothing and Gear
Learn which items our veterans say are indispensable on the 3-Day.

  • “Don’t forget socks!” Carol B.
  • “Underwear. I forgot that ONCE.” Alisen D.
  • “Cancer sucks T-shirts for my new teammates.” Tina H. P.
  • “Bring shoes! Don’t ask how I know this🤦‍♀️ Also flip flops for camp or hotel.” Julie J.
  • “A heating pad for the end of the day! 😁” Elizabeth S.
  • “Water bottle, extra socks to change each day at lunch, rain poncho, and Vaseline® or Body Glide®.” Gretchen E. B.
  • “Don’t forget your ID! I packed so light that I left my license at home last year and missed my flight to Boston. I won’t do that again. 😆” Belen C.
  • “Blister care items, water bottle (two for sure), an extra pair of tennis shoes, and comfy shoes for the end of the day.” Malagni M. M.
  • “My pink YETI® and my cinch sack with all my buttons I’ve collected over the last 12 years!” Jeanne G. M.
  • “Blister care, favorite snack for bedtime, and something small to give to other walkers so that you engage with others.” Elaine G. S.
  • “Hairbrush. It’s not on the 3-Day packing list. I forgot it the first year I walked and always remember it now!” Debby M. R.
  • “I like my pink horse wrap, pink duct tape, and pink kineseo tape. It all works for me.” Marilyn W. G.
  • “HikeGoo to prevent blisters, two pairs of socks for each day so I can change at lunch, and comfy recovery shoes for the end of the day.” Kate P.
  • “Love my toe socks. I rarely get blisters wearing them and then only on my heels one time.” Shirley B. E.
  • “Comfortable sports bra! Find one that fits well and doesn’t chafe.” Janna F.
  • “Good shoes and socks!” Jacki P.
  • “I wear socks with my Keens. No blisters!” Roxanne L.-V.
  • “Besides the right shoesbring sunscreen, and sunglasses.” Terri L.
  • “Layers. A wicking shirt if it’s hot, cotton if it’s cold. All clothing should be non-chafingtest it out ahead of time.” Terry B. B.
  • “A great sports bra!” Sara M. G.
  • “Good and big shoes with NON-cotton socks.” Nataly T. P.
  • “Toe socks.” Elizabeth S.
  • “Sunglasses.” Alisen D.
  • “For the ladies…a good sports bra.” Julie L.
  • “Socks and good shoes!” Donna T. W.
  • “Good shoes. Then socks.” Lori L.
  • “Extra socks for midday and a bigger pair of shoes for day three. My feet are always swollen by day three.” Wendy C.
  • “Toe socks and foot lube🤣” Mary M.
  • “Compression shorts under my regular shorts (keeps my thighs from rubbing together, causing sparks and catching my underwear on fire).” Sherry P.
  • “Good shoes and good socks WHICH YOU HAVE TRAINED IN. You need to test everything you wear.” Kat C.
  • “Toe socks, and use HikeGoo before you put them on! Alisen D. has a great video of it 😂” Lisa B.
  • “Toe socks and good shoes.” Patricia A.
  • “Compression socks.” Julie L.
  • “Excellent shoestwo pairs.” Pam B.
  • “Good socks, double-layer Wrightsocks™.” Suzanne J.
  • “Make sure you have the right shoes. Right fit and support.” Michelle S.
  • “A smile! Toe socks…no blisters.” Julie J.
  • “Socks are everything. High-end running socks.” Nancy P.
  • “Don’t skimp on shoes and socks.” Sally P.
  • “The names of everyone for whom you walk. Sunglasses! Your credentials printed a few times.” Sandy K.

The weeks and months before the 3-Day can set you up for an enjoyable, pain-free three days. Our veterans tell you how.

  • “Train. Do it… lol… and don’t skip. 🙂 (I learned my lesson my first year)” Valerie K.
  • “Have a training plan. It’s not a race. Soak in the event, enjoy each station, don’t walk alone, buddy up, hydrate, stretch, most importantly have fun. This is my 5th walk.” Donna R. L.
  • “Train! Find what works for YOU: shoes, socks, sports bras, etc. What works for some may not work for you. Embrace every moment!” Sara M. G.
  • “Make sure to train with your gear and break in your sneakers!” Jennifer R.
  • “Stretch, hydrate and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t keep to the suggested training walk schedule. Keep on going, gradually increasing your miles each week.” Beth W. N.
  • “Start slowly and work your way into higher mileage.” Alisen D.
  • “Get some hills in, even if they are small, even if you hear there are no hills on the route. Hills will help you gain strength. Also wear pink or your team shirt. You never know who you’ll pass, and they may donate. Julie J.
  • “Train.” Susan K. T.
  • “Practice as you mean to go on. Set a pace that is consistent, potty every 3 miles, hydrate, smile, walk, walk, walk…and enjoy your journey!” Teresa O. H.
  • “Find a buddy to train with and STRETCH!!” Mary Jo A.  

Here are a few final tips on how to have the best 3-Day ever.

  • “Start earlier than suggested and stick with it! Warm up, and STRETCH! Oh, and eat, drink and pee!” Patti N. H.
  • “TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET 🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻. Pink shoes are not always the best shoes. Use petroleum jelly on your feet at every pit stop or when you feel a hot spot. Change socks at lunch.” Glenda F. Y.
  • “Dry socks, and use petroleum jelly or Body Glide for feet. it’s not a race, so take it in, plan and prep.”Terri P. S.
  • “I’m super excited for the upcoming New England walk! I did my last one in San Diego, but it was a few years ago! Moleskin and good socks are key to a less painful day!” Suellen P. T.
  • “Be in the momentit’s not a race. The fun and memorable moments are in the thick of the pack of walkers!” Elizabeth S.

Veteran walkers, what did we forget? Share in the comments!

Flash Sale for 20-Mile Walker! Register for Only $20!

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After the Fourth of July holiday, we could all use a pick-me-up to add some excitement to the rest of our work week. Luckily for you, we have one!

Today only (Thursday, July 6, 2017), use the code 20FOR20 when you register as a 20-mile walker for the Michigan 3-Day, and your registration will only be $20!

Every action―big or small―makes a difference in our fight. So even if you can’t walk all 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, you can still make an impact as a 20-mile walker! Walk for one day, 20 miles and meet the people who are ending breast cancer. Use code 20FOR20 through 11:55 p.m. CT tonight at The3Day.org/20mile.

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This is the perfect opportunity for new walkers, or for those who can’t make the full 3-Day walk this year. Come and join our 3-Day family in 2017!

But you don’t have to take our word for it! Our Michigan coaches and the whole 3-Day team love our 20-mile walkers, too! Here’s why they want you to join us for this 1-day, 20-mile, amazing experience.

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“The 20-mile walker program can be just the beginning for you,” promises Gina Guerreso, Michigan Crew and Volunteer Coordinator. “The beginning of your own fabulous 3-Day journey, the beginning of taking part in the magic of this event. Every mile counts and makes a huge impact in our fight against breast cancer. I guarantee that once you experience the 3-Day, you’ll be back for more!”

Michigan 3-Day Coach Heather Snyder seconds that.

“This is the chance to get in on this inspiring event. A 20-mile walker can experience the 3-Day magic in a condensed manner, while still enjoying so many of its greatest moments.  I equate the 20-mile option to a day at an amusement park. From start to finish, that is totally possible!”


Philadelphia 3-Day Coach Tisho Jessop also sums it up perfectly.

“I’m a huge fan of the sampler platters of life (buffets, cruises, drink flights) so what I love about 20-mile walker is the ‘test drive’ nature of it. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out the 3-Day. First, you get to learn how to fundraise and train. Then you get just a taste of the support we have out on the route, the fun we have in camp, the emotions in our Closing Ceremony and most importantly you get to meet our amazing 3-Day participants. All in 24 hours! It’s an awesome way to dip your toe in and see how remarkable this event really is.”

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“The 20-mile walker option is great for many reasons. For people who work or have unavoidable commitments on Friday or Saturday, they have the freedom to join us on Sunday and experience the final stretch of the 60-mile journey amidst a very determined community of walkers,” says Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Coach Gayla Cruikshank.

“Some people don’t realize that they can walk 20 miles in one day. This feat gives their feet the chance to prove they can! Also, fundraising $750 for a one-day event isn’t as daunting as raising $2,300 for three days. Either way, telling your donors you’re walking 20 miles in a day, whether it’s for one day or three days in a row, will inspire them to give generously.

“Once you walk your first 20 miles, you’ll be HOOKED and ready to sign up for all three days.”

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Are you signed up as a 20-mile walker? Tell us in the comments!

And don’t forget to register today for the Michigan 3-Day as a 20-mile walker using code 20FOR20 through 11:55 p.m. CT tonight at The3Day.org/20mile. $20 for 20 miles, and you can make a world of difference in the fight against breast cancer.