2018 San Diego 3-Day Wrap Up

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The 3-Day headed back to the West Coast last weekend for our final 3-Day of 2018 in San Diego. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and better times for this final 60-mile journey of the year.

Friday was dawning as we began our Opening Ceremony, which started with a speech from our Bank of America partners, who emphasized how much the 3-Day has contributed to the fight against breast cancer. This fact was emphasized by our local speakers, many of whom had personal stories of connection and inspiration in the San Diego community. Their words were still ringing in our ears as the Circle of Strength led our walkers out of the Del Mar Fairgrounds to start the day.

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The inspiration and community support continued as walkers made their way through the city of Del Mar. There were local cheerleaders and businesses, the famous and beloved Toast Lady of Del Mar, and plenty of signs, flags and sparkles to keep our walkers smiling.

Then they conquered the Torrey Pines Hill, our longest hill of the weekend! They were greeted at the bottom by more cheers, and an amazing view of the California coastline. By the time they reached Pit Stop Two at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, walkers had already conquered 5.1 miles.

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Walkers made their way through the University of California, San Diego campus in the afternoon and lunched at Kellogg Park along the beach.

There were more cheering stations and smiles throughout the end of Day One, before walkers headed home to camp at Crown Point Shores. Our last walker was welcomed with joy! Then, after an inspiring camp show where we honored our Bank of America Top Fundraisers for the 3-Day, all our participants tucked in for a cozy night at camp.

Day Two brought our walkers through the city of San Diego, including ocean views at Pit Stop 1 along Ocean Beach. Susan G. Komen CEO Paula Schneider joined walkers on Saturday with her family, taking on the 19.9-mile day with them.

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The ever-present San Diego Police Department kept all our walkers safe and smiling as they walked through South Shores and Tecolote Shores in Mission Bay. The Route Safety Crew was also working hard, conquering hills and boardwalks alike to make sure every walker came safely home to camp for mac n’ cheese night! We also awarded a lucky winner of the Ford Warriors in Pink giveaway, played the Newlywed Game with two 3-Dayers who were just married last week, and met our amazing San Diego Youth Corps. There couldn’t have been a better way to finish the day.

And then, suddenly, it was Day Three! The final day of the San Diego 3-Day brought more stunning ocean views before walkers came to Pit Top 1 and fun animals from San Diego Sea World as they entered Pit Stop 2. With all that fun, it was a quick 6.9 miles!

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Then, after Mile 9.5, the walkers conquered the infamous Juan Street Hill. It was “Juan last hill” on their 3-Day journey, and the walkers made it look easy!

From there, they stopped for lunch at Pioneer Park and things were all downhill (literally) from there. Walkers came through downtown San Diego and arrived for their final Victory Walk at Waterfront Park. There was celebrating, smiles, dancing and lots of More Than Pink fun.

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The Closing Ceremony finished out the weekend and our 2,200 walkers and 300 amazing crew were shouting loudly and proudly that in this fight against breast cancer…WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, San Diego. We are so very proud of each one of you.

2018 San Diego 3-Day Route Preview

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Our final 3-Day of the year is this weekend, and we are so excited to be heading back to the West Coast for the 2018 San Diego 3-Day. As the date fast approaches, we are giving a sneak peek at our 60-mile route, which will immerse walkers in the beautiful sights of San Diego and celebrate the final walk of the year.

Event Manager Meredith Parker walked her first 3-Day in San Diego years ago, so she (along with our whole San Diego coaching team) is very happy to welcome all of our participants next weekend.

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It will all begin at the Del Mar Fairgrounds once again, which was just home to the Breeder’s Cup race, and is a source of great local pride and excitement. This Opening Ceremony site has become a favorite for participants and supporters alike, and we’re excited to once again kick off our journey here.

Meredith enthuses, “It’s a great, festive location that’s home to a lot of iconic events for the city. Such a big, open space that’s perfect for us!”

After the Opening Ceremony, we will be making our way through Del Mar, which is always so welcoming to our walkers! Make sure to keep an eye out for the Toast Lady! After lunch at the picturesque Kellogg Park, we will enter La Jolla and spend Friday afternoon walking through that area, including passing Pacific Beach.

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We will finish the day at our camp site at Crown Point Shores, which has been a wonderful location for the last few years.

Meredith says, “It’s along the shoreline of Siesta Bay so you’ll get beautiful views! The residents of Crown Point have been so welcoming us for more than a decade, and we can’t wait to bring our sea of pink back to the park.”

Coach Staci echoes that, saying the whole team works year-round to maintain “meaningful and cooperative relationships with all of our sites, keeping walker safety and enjoyment as the top priority.”

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It’s the perfect spot nestled in the nature of the park that will be excellent to celebrate at 3-Day Main Street (Who is excited for those Bank of America massage chairs?!), as well as being a great camping grounds for a restful night’s sleep.

We will spend Saturday in San Diego proper, including a stop at Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach South for Pit Stop 1. There will be lots of local cheering stations on Day 2, as well as calming nature walks through Tecolote Shores, Mission Bay Park and De Anza Cove Park.

Then on Day 3, we’ll be back in San Diego for stop at Fanuel Street Park and Bonita Cove before lunch. Coach Staci says all the lunch spots throughout the weekend are picturesque and relaxing spots, so walkers can look forward to that all weekend long.

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Day 3 only has 15.5 miles on the route, so it will be quick and fun for our walkers! Pioneer Park and Balboa Park will also be great spots for photos and fun!

Our 60-mile journey ends at our Closing Ceremony, which once again will be at Waterfront Park.

Meredith explains, “It’s right on the harbor, across the street from Embarcadero, which is a waterfront area that hosts the Maritime Museum and the Star of India full-rigged sailing ship.”

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The park is relatively new to the San Diego landscape and is close to Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter, which are perfect places to celebrate with friends and family after your 60-mile journey! There will be plenty of amazing photo ops so get your selfie smiles ready 😊

We are so excited to celebrate with San Diego all weekend long and end our 2018 3-Day season making bold strides together towards a cure for breast cancer. We have had Bold Goals for 2018 and beyond, and all of you are helping us take important steps towards achieving them.

 

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Honoring the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Lifetime Commitment Circle, as told by Burt L. 

In June 2018, we brought together participants who have shown leadership in fundraising and team development with Susan G. Komen’s mission team and Scientific Advisory Board for an inspiring appreciation and mission-focused event at Komen headquarters. We not only celebrate this group of participants, but all of our participants as the 3-Day is forever emblazoned on the wall at Komen headquarters. This wall will be replicated this year on all of our 3-Day events. If you’re a registered 3-Day participant, learn more about the Lifetime Commitment Circle here. We’re thrilled to share more about the Lifetime Commitment Circle experience by fellow Michigan and Dallas/Fort Worth walker, Burt Lipshie (now in his 15th year participating and 28th and 29th events).

What a weekend! Together with some 40 other people from around the country — including two from Alaska — I was flown to Dallas to participate in a “celebration” for those of us 3-Day walkers who have, over their lifetimes, raised more than $100,000 in the fight against breast cancer (one of the Alaskans is the all-time champion, with more than $400,000 raised). It was an unforgettable couple of days.

After checking in to our hotel, we gathered at Komen headquarters for dinner, and a talk by, and with, Komen’s CEO, Paula Schneider. Her focus, despite the strides and advances being made in this struggle, was on how much we still have to accomplish. There are 154,000 women in the United States today living with metastatic breast cancer (and we cannot forget — the widow of one of our lost walkers reminded us — about the number of men, as well). And we saw a film clip of an interview with one of them, a 39-year old mother of two, made last fall, that left us all teary-eyed — even before Paula told us that she lost her fight in March. And she was not alone. We still, again just in the United States, lose 40,000 women (and some 500 men) each year to breast cancer. The bold goal that Komen announced last year is to cut the number of deaths in half by 2026.

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On a lighter note, earlier in the week, one of the group circulated an email asking, “Who’s up for meeting at 5 am in the hotel lobby for a little training walk Friday morning. Seems fitting for this amazing group to walk together.” And, so, some 13 of us got up before dawn on Friday to do about 2 1/2 miles together, talking and laughing, before Friday’s programming. I’ve attached a picture of the group.

Then back to headquarters to spend the morning with Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board. These are some of the top folks in the breast oncology field who, among other things, guide Komen on making research grants. One of the members of the Board is not a doctor of medicine at all. She is a Doctor of Psychology, a therapist, and a 35-year breast cancer survivor. Her role on the Board is to be a patient advocate. Indeed, we learned, there must be a patient advocate on every team that Komen funds.

After our talk with the scientists, we had one of the powerful highlights of the event. The agenda called it simply an “Office Tour.” It was much, much, more. We piled into elevators to go from our large conference room up to the Komen offices. As each elevator door opened, we were greeted by a roar of cheering. All of the Komen employees were lined up on either side of a long hallway, cheering and waving pink pompoms.

And that wonderful moment led to the end of the hall, where, on a long wall, all of our names were inscribed. We all stood and gaped. We cried. We took a million pictures. No one wanted that moment to end.

But, somewhat behind schedule, we needed to go back downstairs, for a meeting with the heads of Komen’s various sections — Public Policy and Advocacy, Community and Network, Health Equity Initiatives, and Education and Patient Support. There are important things being done besides the scientific research.

The advocacy team is working on obtaining more federal funding for breast cancer research through the NIH and CDC. And, a big issue is insurance coverage and access to clinical trials. The various Komen local Affiliates provide more than $23,000,000 in grants each year, dealing with local issues, including the Treatment Assistance Programs. Komen’s recent 3-Day fundraising goal for the Treatment Assistance Program was $500,000. It raised some $650,000.

One of the major focuses going forward is the Health Equity Initiative. The death rate among African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer is 40% higher than white women. The rate of triple negative breast cancer — one of the most aggressive and deadliest — is dramatically higher in the African-American community. Why? Research is being done on whether there is a genetic cause, and if so, how to combat it. But, also, the statistics show that African-American women get diagnosed later, when the risk of death is greater, as is the cost of treatment.

Sadly, by Friday afternoon, the celebration had to end. With promises to each other to keep in touch, the group slowly dispersed. Many back to the airport. Lucky me, since I was down there, I got to spend some quality time with my Texas cousins, who are the reason I got involved with the 3-Day after we lost their mother Judy (my cousin) to breast cancer.

Now I am back. And more energized than ever. We have accomplished so much. There is still so much to do. The monster must be slain.

I hope you all know that I know that while it is my name on the wall at Komen headquarters, the honors belong to all of you who have walked, crewed and supported so many of us. Together we have gotten this far. I know we will not stop now.”

Thank you, Burt, for your vivid and poignant recollection of the honoring of our Lifetime Commitment Circle and for sharing it with the whole 3-Day community. Please join us in honoring and recognizing our Lifetime Commitment Circle members and all of our participants and crew members for their passion, dedication, and commitment to Susan G. Komen. We are proud to work alongside you in our fight to end breast cancer forever. Please visit the 3-Day Lifetime Commitment Circle replica wall while you are on-site at the 3-Day events in 2018.