3-Day Besties, Tracie and Kristen

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We say it often, but the 3-Day truly is better with friends. It’s a journey that we all take together, but having your bestie by your side for the 60 miles makes the journey even more fun. Sunday is International Day of Friendship, so it’s the perfect time to ask a friend to walk with you this year! If you need more reasons to convince your best friend to walk with you, we have two: Tracie Audifferen and Kristin Naour Duvall.

These two ladies have been walking the San Diego 3-Day for five years, and, after meeting on a training walk, they’re now also best friends!

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Tracie began walking years ago, after a sorority sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.

“I had always seen the commercials, but this was someone who made it real for me,” she says.

In her second-year walking, she joined the Powered by Optimism team, where she met Kristin.

Previously, Kristen’s connection to the 3-Day came from supporting her mom, aunts and cousins who all participated. She began walking in 2012, initially planning to only walk for one day. She joined Powered by Optimism and changed her mind one hour into her first training walk.

“It was the most fun day and most fun walk ever! I knew I couldn’t miss out on this, and immediately changed my status from walking one day to all 3 days!”

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From there, both she and Tracie were hooked members of the Powered by Optimism team. So much so that they were both, separately, driving 25 miles each way to the team’s training walks. Until they met each other…

“We were commiserating about the drive to the walks, and both were looking for someone to carpool with! And all this time we were driving the same streets!” Tracie explains.

“We really got to know each other through driving to our training walks!” Kristin echoes. “It was early mornings, and we were all exhausted on the way there, and then on the rides back we would pop a couple Pepsis and be goofy and fun!”

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From there, the friendship grew. Tracie credits her friendship with Kristin for bringing her out from the sadness of losing her sorority sister.

“Kristin is just a light, and I am like a moth to that light. She was instantly engaging and joyful and spirited. It took me out of the sadness of why I was walking to be with this person who is just joyful!”

Tracie continued, “I was blessed to find a brand new friend in the midst in that sadness! Over the past almost 5 years, our friendship has just grown. Komen was always the hub, but outside of that, our friendship grew. Everything else were just spokes to that hub.”

That hub is reinforced every year that they walk the 3-Day together.

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“You have over 2,000 people in San Diego, but if you’re walking with a friend, you can allay any fears and concerns you might have about this journey. And on the other hand, you get to experience everything with someone else who knows you!” Tracie says.

“You’re also celebrating! You celebrate in the evening in your pajamas and in the mess hall tent and when it’s 6 am and you’re crawling out of this pink tent but you’re already laughing. You celebrate dealing with blisters and meeting new people, and getting stickers and treats and fun from people along the route. Those memories are so clear, and you get to experience them with friends!

It also makes the fundraising easier, and those days when you don’t want to train easier. Your friends get why you’re involved, and they understand what you need to keep pushing yourself to be better.”

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It also gives their personal friendship new depth, per Kristin.

“Our friendships because of 3-Day are deeper. We share so much on walks that has transferred into our personal friendship off the walk. Those deep connections that you make on the walk, it makes those friendships so much stronger because you have shared the deepest parts of your soul. You share things that you wouldn’t normally share when you’re out walking and you’re tired and vulnerable.”

Both women are looking forward to continuing to share these emotions with each other, and their team mates, on this year’s 3-Day. One team mate will be especially important for Kristin: her new husband!

“This year is really special for me. My mom’s first year, I had just started dating someone, so his first experience with it was my first experience of the 3-Day. Two years ago, right before the 3-Day we got engaged, and last year we got married! He’s been a pseudo member of our 3-Day team for years, and this year he’s walking with us! This is the coolest thing ever! Our team has been on this journey with us.”

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Of course her husband is a special case, but Kristin says this feeling of inclusivity is at the heart of her 3-Day experience.

“That’s my favorite part of the 3-Day: Sharing it with new people. Seeing them see it for the first time is just amazing.”

Tracie agrees, and invites every San Diego 3-Dayer to join their bestie crew this year!

“My goal for our team is, I want us to be the most joyful and magnetic team! I want people who are walking alone or just walking with one friend, I want them to join us. I don’t want to be a team that’s exclusive of itself.

I want our team to be what Kirstin has been to me. To be that light that others are attracted to.”

Kristin and Tracie are both sources of friendship and light for each other, and all they meet on the 3-Day. We can’t wait to see them out on the trail again this year!

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Learn More About the 3-Day Host Cities

We are about a month away from our first 3-Day of 2017, and all our coaches and staff are getting ready to welcome our walkers, crew members and 3-Day supporters in all seven of our host cities.

To spread our excitement, we have made photo slideshows of some of our favorite spots you will see on the 3-Day route.

Whether you’re walking in your own home town, or traveling to a 3-Day city far away, take a look below! Also, click on the city you’ll be walking in to link to our coaches’ Facebook pages. They are a wonderful resource for everything you’ll need to know about the 3-Day.

Michigan

Twin Cities

Philadelphia

Seattle

Atlanta

Dallas/Fort Worth

San Diego

What are you most looking forward to seeing on the 3-Day? Tell us in the comments below!

Not to Miss 3-Day Cheering Stations

The 3-Day is sixty miles of fun, excitement, and friendship, all of which make a big difference in the fight against breast cancer. Part of that excitement though, doesn’t just come from our walkers. In addition to the camaraderie of teams and walkers and crew members all coming together, there are also cheering stations along the route to give an extra boost of energy.

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We asked our social media community, coaches, and the rest of our 3-Day team which cheering stations have given you an extra special boost! You all had your favorites from 3-Days past, and we highlighted some of them below:

Michigan 3-Day

Rebecca Fox on Facebook: The line of what seems like 100s of cheerleaders in Livonia on Day 3 in Michigan. Also, Plymouth on Day 2.

@amybray1 on Twitter: The Michigan 3-Day. Best cheering station is the hundreds of cheerleaders on Sunday morning. I get all choked up, every single time!!

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San Diego 3-Day

Marianne Masterson, San Diego Coach: In San Diego, my favorite is ‘Lilly the Golden’ the kissing dog!  She hangs out in her RV and walkers can approach the window and sweet Lilly will give them a little dog kiss. Lilly’s RV is called The Mothership and she is associated with the team Save Areola 51. The team has a large following and the RV can be found each day on route. The group started giving out stickers a couple of years ago because Lilly has become famous! Last year she had some special doggie friends helping her out as well.  It’s got to be tiring to have to give so many kisses, so I guess they had to call in some support!

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Michelle Anne Crago Buessing from Facebook: Team Michelle Lemonade stands in San Diego with the CUTEST kids!!

Alyssa, 3-Day Social Media  Manager: The “pickle people” have been providing pickles to walkers for about six years, now.

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“Pickles have potassium, they help leg cramps, and it helps prevent more cramps.

“We come out all three days and hand out pickles – they love ‘em!” said Bill, one of the head picklers. He got involved when his granddaughter started walking. He now passes out pickles every year along with his wife Kathleen, sons, daughters, and grandkids. They set up at the top of San Diego’s infamous San Juan Street Hill on Day 3.

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Philadelphia 3-Day

Heather VanDyke from Facebook: Always a good year walking in Philly when you get to see the Determined Divas & Dawgs … music, high fives & big smiles exactly when you need them along the route (rain or shine) 💕

@phillywalker from Twitter: City Avenue on Day 2 in Philly outside the Chili’s, but the absolute best is Day 1 and the kids at the school about a mile in.

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Twin Cities 3-Day

Stephanie Mayer, Twin Cities Coach: The Drum Heart group you’ll find every year on Day 2 at beautiful Lake Josephine Park, right along Mile 10.

There are sure to be some great cheering stations, new and old, on the 2017 3-Days. While all these cheering stations might not be back for another year, we can guarantee that all walkers will feel the love and excitement from our supporters.

Which cheering station do you have great memories of? Tell us in the comments! Or, do you know somebody that wants to set up a private cheering station along the 3-Day route? Contact your local coaches today by calling 800-996-3DAY!