2018 Philadelphia 3-Day Route Preview

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The Philly 3-Day is coming up this weekend, and it’s going to be an amazing three days for walking, having fun, and making memories. Our whole 3-Day team can’t wait to host our walkers, crew, volunteers and supporters for a wonderful weekend together! This year will be full of changes for our Philadelphia 3-Day family and Event Manager Melanie Toner is giving us a sneak peak of what to expect!

“All three days are brand new! Their order is new, and most of the routes are new as well. We’re thrilled about the changes!” Melanie enthuses. “We’ve tried hard to highlight new areas of the city with this updated route. You’ll see different parts of the city each day.”

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Those route changes start on Friday morning with the Opening Ceremony, which will take place at our home hotel: the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing.

Melanie says, “We’re taking what is normally an outdoor event and putting it in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel. There will be elements unique to Philadelphia because it will be our first-ever indoor Opening Ceremony.”

After the Opening Ceremony, walkers will head west across the city through historic Philly to University City. We will pass Independence Hall early in the day, which will be a great way to start our walk. Walkers will then go through Rittenhouse Square; which Melanie promises is gorgeous!

From there, the new route takes walkers out to Fairmont Park, with the “Please, Touch!” Museum which will be fun for all. It’s also a great place to recommend to family members who might be coming into town to support their 3-Dayer and looking for something extra fun to do.

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From East Fairmont Park, walkers will head back towards the Hilton and go into Penn Treaty Park along the river. They’ll also cross Strawberry Mansion Bridge, a beautiful location and Melanie’s favorite photo spot of the day!

After Day One, walkers will return to our new 3-Day camp at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. Camp is indoors this year, and the extra comfort that provides will be the perfect end to both Friday and Saturday’s walks.

“We will still have the 3-Day Lounge, the massage chairs and all those camp elements that everyone loves! You can expect to have communal dining and all the magic of 3-Day Main Street. You will have everything you love, but with controlled temperatures and all the perks and comforts of hotel life,” says Melanie. “We think our walkers and crew are going to love having the hotel showers, cushy beds and TV options to come home to after enjoying all of 3-Day camp.”

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You might not want to leave your comfortable bed on the morning of Day Two, but it will be worth it!

There will be lots of similar sights to those in years past, including walking from the Hilton across the city, with a stop right in front of the Philly Museum of Art. That means you can kick off Saturday with a photo op at the Rocky statue!

Walkers will then head along the Schuylkill River with a lunch stop at Bala Cynwyd Park. This was our past lunch stop in 2016 and will be a beautiful and relaxing spot. Plus, it gives a sneak peek of the Philly suburbs.

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After lunch, walkers will make their way back towards the Hilton through Belmont Plateau, where you’ll see some of the best views of the city skyline! 3-Dayers will also walk through the Philadelphia Zoo, though it will be along a different route than in year’s past, so you will make lots of new furry friends!

After another cozy night back at your hotel, Day Three will begin with a walk through Elfreth’s Alley, which has some of the oldest homes in Philly – and even the country. It’s very historic and beautiful! Franklin Square will be another stop for more American history, which you can find all weekend long.

Melanie advises, “Look out for blue placards on buildings and statues! Those denote a historical site. They make it easy to brush up on your American history as you walk!”

There will be a pit stop at Clark Park, and then walkers will loop back across the city, enjoying the Italian Market, plus both Pat’s and Geno’s Philly Cheesesteaks. Choose your favorite…or have both!

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The second half of Day Three is very similar to last year and the Closing Ceremony will be in the same location at The Navy Yard. From there, we will be celebrating three glorious days, and 60 difference-making miles under the Philadelphia sun!

2018 Michigan 3-Day Route Preview

Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3day walk in Novi, Michigan on August 4, 2017.

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! We can’t believe the weekend is almost here!

After getting great feedback on our route from last year, you’ll be happy to see some familiar sights, but we have taken extra effort to make this year even better than the last!

Camp will once again be at Novi Middle School after we received such a warm welcome from the Wildcats last year. This outdoor camp allows us to take advantage of the great Michigan summer weather, and since the camp site is safely away from any noise or light, that won’t interfere with your 3-Day beauty sleep.

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New at camp this year will be Bank of America photo booths so you can get that perfect 3-Day photo, and toiletry bags from Hilton Hotels.

Our Michigan Event Production Manager, Ann Love, previously a Michigan 3-Day Coach, is very excited about these new camp amenities!

“I want one of those toiletry bags for my everyday life! They’re such a great addition!”

Bank of America will also be providing more massage chairs than last year, and Mohawk will once again be providing padding to make your tents as comfortable as possible. We want our 3-Dayers to experience a full night of glamping!

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We also listened to feedback from last year and have created a more compact camping layout. It’s more intimate, people will be a little freer to move around and have fun with their 3-Day pals!

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are also in the same locations as last year, with the Opening Ceremony taking place at Walled Lake Western High School. The ceremony itself will be slightly different from last year but Ann and our 3-Day team want all the updates to be a surprise for our 3-Dayers. So, follow along with us on Facebook to see the grand unveiling!

“Walled Lake School loves having us! We will walk by their administrative building, so they have a big cheering station and have the whole district of student staff, teachers and everyone there. It’s a great start to the 3-Day!” Ann promises.

Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3day walk in Novi, Michigan on August 4, 2017.

After the Opening Ceremony, walkers will start their day along the Walled Lake Trail, which was a hit last year and is one of Ann’s favorite spots on the route!

“We always love the opportunity to walk along the water. Surprisingly, we don’t always get to walk by a lot of lakes, even though we have so many of them in Michigan!”

Other highlights from Day One are Pavilion Shore Park, Novi Ten Shopping Center and Novi Meadows!

There will be minimal route changes as we walk in and out of camp, due to construction, but Ann and the 3-Day team are working hard to make those changes extra special.

“We’re doing our best to fill that area with cheering stations and make that part of the walk exciting and welcoming as people get closer to camp. We want the route to feel different every day!”

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After a fun night at camp, Day Two will take 3-Dayers through the city of Plymouth. That’s where we will see the now famous “Pink Fountain,” which is an excellent spot for photos! After that, we will pass through the city of Northville. Spots to look out for though the rest of the day are Cass Benton and Kellogg Park (a favorite spot of Ann’s!) as well as Northville Downs.

Day Three will again be a similar route to last year’s because it was such a hit in 2017! Much of the day takes place in Dearborn, including a pit stop at the Dearborn Historical Museum. Ann loves this spot, which is a fun destination right in the heart of the downtown of Dearborn.

Ann says, “The whole city of Dearborn in general loves having the 3-Day there. They’re so excited that we are once again hosting our Closing Ceremony in this hometown. The hosts of these Sunday locations are so awesome and supportive. They’re so excited that we come there and always are so thankful.”

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

Ann promises for a truly inspiring and personal 3-Day experience this year.

“We really worked, especially in Michigan, to make things feel as intimate and personal as possible. We want people to be surrounded by their friends and 3-Day family.”

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She can’t wait to welcome all the 3-Dayers “home” to Michigan in just a few days.

“I’m always excited to get started! It’s so nice to see everyone and be in the Pink Bubble. I love kicking everything off in Michigan for a fun season!”

Creating the 3-Day Route: What goes into planning those 60 miles?

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Planning a 60-mile journey is no small feat, especially for hundreds of people in different cities across the country. That is the magic of the 3-Day! For three days, we take over major metropolitan cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle, and more, to walk 60 miles towards a cure for breast cancer. One of the many benefits of spending 60 miles on your feet is in how the 3-Day route is a showcase of the amazing host cities we call home for a few days each year.

Planning that route goes on all year long, and involves many people, working to get our 3-Day routes ready. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes!

This applies to all our 3-Day cities, but we asked the Seattle Coaches, Gayla and Liz, our amazing crew & Volunteer Coordinator Libby, as well as our Event Planning Manager, Ann, to give us an in-depth look at how they work to make every step of the 60-mile journey challenging but fun, all while showing off the best of our host cities.

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Planning the Route

Every city is different, and that’s why the elements of the 3-Day route look and feel different in each of our host cities. We base our route on the natural scenery, beauty, and attractions of the host city, but we also must be ready for the route to change based on factors like construction and local events. Can you imagine if we didn’t walk through Gas Works Park in Seattle or stroll past the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia?

What about those parts of the route that aren’t exactly scenic, but unavoidable, like hills? We work very hard to eliminate and minimize hills along our route. This is especially true in hilly cities like Seattle, which is nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Cascade mountains, surrounded by water, islands and bridges. These features provide for unique challenges in the planning process while attempting to achieve the flattest possible path. The beautiful terrain doesn’t provide many flat options in and around Seattle, however, in cases where we cannot go entirely flat, we work with the terrain to the best of our ability. Whenever we are designing the route in any city, we look at different options to get from one place to another, and try to always choose the least hilly or steep path.

However, when a hill is unavoidable because we need to get out of a valley or our route options are limited by construction, sidewalk availability, or city requirements, we look at ways to break the hill up as much as possible. This can include employing a “switch back” technique that breaks the hill up into several smaller, less steep hills whenever possible. Essentially, we try to stair-step our way up the hills.

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No matter what 3-Day city you are walking, proper training is always essential. As we work to plan the best route possible, you should do prep work as well. Try to find a route with some hills and stairs to help prepare for the possibility that they will occur during any event.

Also, check the website for training walks that are being hosted in your area. They are a great way to get ready for the event while meeting and talking to other walkers!
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Involving the Community

Our local teams are already working hard to get businesses along the route to cheer our walkers on, so everyone will feel the constant support from the community. If you have any recommendations or connections along the route, send contact information to your local Coaches. And if you have friends, neighbors and longtime donors who are local, talk with them about setting up a cheering station. The work with communities is continual throughout the year and we have dedicated volunteers (some of them walkers and crew members) who work on community involvement year-round, but while we do our best to line the route with all the support we can, we cannot do it alone!

You can also help by sharing these documents with local businesses, neighborhood associations, clubs, teams, church groups, etc., and by contacting your local coaches at 800-996-3DAY, (Hey, Seattle! Liz and Gayla are at Option 7) or on their coaches Facebook pages to volunteer to help so we can get an early start on lining the route with support.

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Leading the Way

Our Route Team works tirelessly to make sure the route is as clearly marked as possible. We never want a 3-Dayer to feel lost! However, because we mark the route the day before, the signage is vulnerable to changes. That’s why we are always on alert during each 3-Day weekend, and why we also make changes every year based on walker experiences.

For example, last year, Seattle signs were removed and altered by the public in many places, especially along trail sections, which caused confusion and frustration for walkers — and hey, we get it! That’s a huge bummer, especially when it means being on your feet for any longer than you have to be.

To address this problem, this year we will rely on staff members to confirm placement of all signage in the early hours before we open the route for walkers. We will also utilize Route Safety crew members to check each section of the route before the walkers pass through and increase our Route Safety presence and signage along foot paths and areas of high traffic.

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If you have feedback on any part of your 3-Day route, community involvement, or anything about your experiences, please make sure to include those in your post-event surveys! We work hard to make sure every aspect of your 3-Day experience is the best it can be, all year long.

We are putting in that work now, and always, because we know how important your 60 miles are. Every step you take is important to us because every step is another one towards a world without breast cancer. Thank YOU, participants for walking with us, for giving your time and energy, and for being the best part of the 3-Day experience.