Michigan 3-Day Event Preview

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The Michigan 3-Day is this week, and as you get ready for the event, we have a preview of what to expect on our first 3-Day of the year! There are some fun new updates this year, but for those who return to Michigan again and again… you’ll be happy to see some familiar sights as well!

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The first, and biggest update is that we will be camping outside this year at Novi Middle School! The Wildcats will be hosting our 3-Day camp on both nights, allowing us to take advantage of the great summer Michigan weather. We know the camp site is usually indoors, but even outside, you don’t have to worry about too much noise or brightness at the new camp site. The camp site is safely away from any noise or light that would interfere with your 3-Day beauty sleep.

Our Michigan Event Production Manager, Ann Love, previously Michigan’s Coach, is very excited about the new spot!

“We’re working hard this year to make the camp more festive! Hopefully you will notice how high energy it feels, and see that there’s plenty to do in camp. The sleeping area is tucked away in a nice, grassy park area. Once you see it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised and thrilled!”

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Aside from camp, each of the 60 miles will also be fun-filled!

Day One starts at Walled Lake Western High School and will walk by Walled Lake to kick off Day One. We have walked by the lake in past years, but you will see more of it this year, along with beaches and parks. The views will be great! After that, the route will take us in and around the city of Novi, and returning walkers will see lots of familiar places.

You’ll see Pavilion Shore Park, Novi Ten Shopping Center and Novi Meadows!

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Day Two will also feature familiar locations, with the highlight (and one of Ann’s favorite spots!) being the arrival into the city of Plymouth. That’s where we will all enter the park with the now famous “Pink Fountain,” an excellent spot for photos! After that, we will pass through the city of Northville, and if you’ve walked before, you will recognize portions of the rest of Day Two’s afternoon route. However, there will be plenty of new sites to see, too!

Spots to look out for are Cass Benton and Kellogg Park as well as Northville Downs.

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As in past years, Day Three starts with a bus ride (feel free to sing as we drive!) where we will begin walking at Livonia and then through the Dearborn neighborhood. This will include walking through the Dearborn Homecoming Festival, which Ann promises will be full of fun and great sights!

We will have new sights to see as we walk through Ford Field Park. This was on our route a few years ago, and since it was such a popular walking route, we are bringing it back this year!

Ann explains, “We are always trying to give everyone more of what they like!”

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We will finish, as usual, at Ford World Headquarters for our celebratory Closing Ceremony.

All along the route, you’ll be cheered on by the Michigan community, and get to stop by our festive pit stops every few miles. Ann says you can expect to see the Michigan BooBees (a honeybee theme) at Pit Stop One, as well as Wild West, Dr. Seuss, and more exciting Pit Stops all along the route.

For more of our favorite sights from the Michigan 3-Day, check out our photo slideshow!

What are you looking forward to most on the Michigan 3-Day? Tell us in the comments! And, if you have any more questions, your Michigan Coaches are here to help!

Meet Dennis Kirkpatrick, 3-Day Route Safety Crew Member

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“There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything was a miracle.”- Albert Einstein.

That quote lies below Dennis Kirkpatrick’s name as his email signature, and no quote could more perfectly sum up the impact he has made on the 3-Day. His official role is Route Safety Crew Member, but he also considers his job to be the “giving the walkers a ‘hard time’ person, hug giver and receiver.”

After greeting his wife at the finish line of her first 3-Day he knew he had to find a way to participate, too. He saw how much fun the crew was having together, all while keeping 3-Dayers safe and giving to a great cause. He decided to join the 3-Day as a crew member the next year.

Family time when Sandy and Carol were walking

The 3-Day is now a family affair as his wife continues to walk, and his daughter supports the walkers as well.

“I love to watch my wife figure out the route (before and during) the walk.  I love working with my daughter taking care of the walkers while making them smile! We are working together for a cause which helps to bring us closer as a family.”

For those who are interested in joining the crew alongside Dennis and his family, Dennis says,

“If you like having fun and meeting very interesting people, come join us.

If you like to hear good stories of fun and encouragement, come join us.

If you like to hear about bravery and why supporting the 3-Day is so important, come join us.”

Dennis on his motorcycle heading to next stop

Dennis says he loves the combination of working with and seeing the same, familiar 3-Day faces each year, while also adding new faces to the walk! The 3-Day is “tiring, fun and inspiring,” but that’s what keeps him coming back year after year.

“It takes a lot of people behind the scenes to make big events work.  We are a team that works together!”

Dennis and Sandy (Daughter) going for a ride

If you want to join the 3-Day crew alongside Dennis this year, you can find out about all the opportunities on our website. We’d love to have you!

Now tell us, what are some of your favorite Crew memories from 3-Days past?

Meet Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain

 

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All photos via Ian Glenn

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to make sure to recognize all the men, whether they are fathers or not, who make up our 3-Day family. One such amazing guy is Ian Glenn, Twin Cities Route Safety Captain, husband, father and all-around super 3-Dayer.

When Ian began dating his now-wife Missy in 2005, she was already a 3-Day walker, and she brought him into the 3-Day family. Year by year, Ian became even more involved.

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“After a few years of being the Day 1 chauffeur, I joked with Missy that the only way I’d seriously consider participating was if I could ride my motorcycle on the event as a crew member. She didn’t miss a beat when she told me that the safety crew had bicycles and motorcycles on it. I knew that she was always excited leading up to the event, and had nothing but good things to say about it after, so I had no choice but to try to get on the route safety crew.”

After Ian joined the safety crew, the whole family started getting involved, beginning with their oldest son Gaven and now including their daughter Alex, both of whom are in the Youth Corps.

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“I think it’s fantastic that the event is accessible to all ages, and we can include our kids in something that is bigger than us, and bigger than our family. It has been a good lesson for them that working for the greater good, and giving of themselves in service to others, is incredibly rewarding. I think too, that it has gone a long way for us to have something shared amongst our family, something that will continue to bring us together year after year, no matter how old the kids get.”

Whether they are walking or volunteering or crewing, Ian and his family know the true value of the 3-Day crew, and want others to join them this year!

“As a longtime crew member, I can say that volunteering your time on the crew is vital to the success and atmosphere of the event. Having crew members smiling, and cheering, and being there to support the walkers when they’re tired, and their feet hurt, and they’re hot, it just makes their day. We’re there to support the walkers on their journey and let them know that they’re appreciated, and we support what they’re doing. The can-do attitude of the crew makes the hard work not so hard, and even fun.”

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If you want to walk those 60 miles though, the Glenn family won’t be the only ones cheering you on. Ian says that no one should be nervous about starting their 3-Day walking journey.

“I think making the leap as a walker is scary, but incredibly rewarding. There are lots of resources in your participant center on training, and packing, and general help. If you reach out on social media, you won’t find a more caring, supportive group of people to meet and go on training walks, or fundraising tips, or even shoe recommendations.”

That support and community have extended beyond the online community and into their lives.

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“Many of our longtime friends we’ve met on the 3-Day and continue to have contact with them all the time. It’s a physical and mental challenge, there’s no doubt, but with the right support, a new walker can do it, and have a great time too.”

It’s more than just fun and family for Ian. Though his three days and many miles of service are an investment, he does them gladly, to make a difference for his family and beyond.

“It’s a satisfied feeling that is hard to put into words. After the long weekend, and the work is over, I find myself renewed every year, and I am reminded that despite everything that is going on in the world, there are lots of great people who care about big causes, and have committed to support them any way they can.

The walkers and other crew give me way more every year than I feel I give back, but I think the feeling is mutual, and that’s why I keep coming back.”

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Don’t count the Glenn family out of their involvement anytime soon either! There are more Glenns to come as 3-Day volunteers and walkers.

“Our almost 9-year-old is practically counting the days until he can apply for Youth Corps. It’s rewarding  to see that enthusiasm from all our kids for something that doesn’t directly benefit them.”