2022 San Diego 3-Day Recap 

Our 2022 Susan G. Komen 3-Day series is officially in the books! We wrapped up the season with our final event in San Diego this past weekend, and it was truly a weekend we won’t forget. With 1,700 walkers and 325 crew members, $5.3 million was raised in the fight against breast cancer.  

Day 1 

The Pink Bubble was awake before the sun Friday morning, and gathered at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for our Opening Ceremony. Though quite chilly, there was no lack of excitement as we looked forward to the next three days and 60 miles we’d have together for the last 3-Day in our 2022 series. As emcee Kimberly Reinika and host Cati Diamond Stone kicked things off with some stretching, dancing and our Opening Ceremony, we were soon on our way to start the 60-mile journey. 

The first leg of the route was as special as ever, wandering past Del Mar’s Dog Beach into Del Mar Village, home to some of the best community support we have on the 3-Day. The Torrey Pines High School cheerleaders welcomed us into the heart of Del Mar shortly after our first pit stop of the day. 

Departing Del Mar, we headed towards the infamous Torrey Pines Hill. Though notoriously tough, walkers fueled up at the bottom at pit stop 2 and couldn’t help but smile as they were greeted with immense support and cheering at the top. Continuing on, walkers passed UCSD as they ventured into La Jolla and then towards Kellogg Park for lunch.  

After lunch, walkers further toured La Jolla before heading south into the quaint town of Bird Rock and into Pacific Beach, where our final pit stop and grab & go stations were located. We enjoyed the neighborhood streets of Pacific Beach before hitting Fanuel Park, the entrance point to Mission Bay where we walk along the boardwalk to reach camp at Crown Point Park.  

Walkers crossed the Mohawk Flooring Pink Carpet into camp and 3-Day Main Street where many of our sponsors set up tents to offer various services to our participants. Natura Bissé offered refreshing mists and samples, Bank of America provided massage chairs, and Amgen hosted a lounge with a make-your-own trail mix station and spin-the-wheel prizes aimed at providing knowledge about our bone health. 

We finished up our first day with our Bank of America Celebration of Champions, highlighting all our top fundraisers from individuals, rookies, crew members, youth corps and of course, teams! Stay tuned to the 3-Day blog for our posts about these amazing fundraisers, as well as our Crew Impact and Milestone Award Winners. 

Day 2 

On Day 2, walkers experienced some of San Diego’s great beach towns. After breakfast at camp, we crossed one of Mission Bay’s bridges into Ocean Beach for our  first pit stop of the day. As we ventured further into Ocean Beach’s neighborhoods, we encountered our Day 2 hill. Once reaching the top, walkers were rewarded with amazing ocean views and a cheering station comprised of local supporters and the Heartland Fire Department, who passed out water bottles and snacks to keep us going. 

We rounded our way through Point Loma towards pit stop 2 at Sunset View Elementary, a staple pit stop of the San Diego 3-Day with tons of space and great views. Perhaps even more famed than this great location is the next photo-op located at the bottom of the hill it sits on: Sunset Cliffs! Walkers stopped to take photos and enjoy the ocean breeze, basking in the beautiful weather that we had all weekend long!  

We made our way back through Ocean Beach, passing through pit stop 3 right on the beach and back over Mission Bay Bridge into Bonita Cove for lunch. Here we celebrated being halfway through 60 miles with two decorated arches and of course our halfway dance! Our dedicated sponsors were there, Mohawk Flooring providing their pink SmartCushions to sit on, and Natura Bissé offering refreshing mists. A DJ was on site, providing us with great music and vibes as the San Diego Police Department bike cops led the way for the “Cupid Shuffle” and “Wobble” before heading out.  

The community support continued with tons of signs, live music and face paintings as we headed towards Mission Beach to walk along the boardwalk. We then headed back up towards Fanuel Park for our final pit stop of the day and prepared for the heartfelt and emotional Memorial Mile. Signs dedicated to loved ones we’ve lost to breast cancer lined the path back into camp. That evening we loaded our plates up at the 3-Day buffet and sat down for our Honor Ceremony. 

The San Diego Youth Corps began our Honor Ceremony, telling us their “why” and what urges them to commit to the 3-Day and finding the cures for breast cancer at such a young age. We then heard from three different walkers who told their stories and reminded us all why we walk and why we raise money to fight this horrible disease.  

After the Honor Ceremony, walkers enjoyed a hot chocolate bar with mugs provided by Bank of America. We warmed ourselves up and basked in the last night together in camp, enjoying 3-Day Main Street and placing our luminaria bags near the Remembrance Tent. 

Day 3 

Walkers were led out on their final day of this journey by the Ultimate San Diego 3-Day Experience winner, Gemma G.! We left camp and headed back to the Mission Beach Boardwalk and over to Belmont Park for pit stop 1 . With just over four miles in, we refueled and headed towards our first cheering station of the day, a park path lined with family, friends and members of the community holding signs and waving pom-poms. Walkers stopped to dance at this cheering station, as the Wonderbus played music and offered words of encouragement to finish strong. 

We passed Sea World and were greeted with even more community support as we headed down the riverwalk towards Old Town, home of the infamous Juan Street Hill.  

Fueled by fresh tortilla chips and tons of people motivating us at the bottom, we marched up our last big hill of the San Diego 3-Day. Once reaching the top, more refreshments and even a garden hose mister were offered to cool us down and keep us moving. 

We made our way through the neighborhood of Mission Hills before reaching our final lunch spot at Pioneer Park, taking our time to rest before hitting the final stretch of our 60-mile journey. After finishing lunch, we ventured through Hillcrest and down Balboa Park, where our final cheering station and pit stop were.  

After three days and 60 miles, walkers crossed the finish line at Waterfront Park right next to San Diego Bay. Our Finish Line Festival included pink SmartCushions and the pink carpet provided by Mohawk Flooring, medals by Bank of America, and a giant pink inflatable tunnel from Amgen.  

Our last walker crossed the finish line around 4:30 p.m., initiating the start of our Closing Ceremony. We watched as she raised the “We Will Never Give Up” flag, and welcomed in the rest of our walkers, our crew, the SDPD Bike Cops, and finally, our survivors. A slideshow highlighting great moments throughout the weekend played, and we announced that together we raised $5.3 million. We finished off the event and the end of the 2022 3-Day series with a dance party, celebrating all that we’ve accomplished in the fight against breast cancer! 

The San Diego 3-Day was a great event to wrap up our 2022 season with. A huge “thank you” goes out to the city of San Diego for allowing the Pink Bubble to take over, the local businesses and walker stalkers (local and beyond) who came out to cheer us on, and to all the walkers, crew and volunteers who participated as we fight to put an end to breast cancer. We will see you all again next year! 

3-Day Superheroes

On this National Superhero Day, we wanted to recognize those in the Pink Bubble who continue to show their outstanding commitment, support and care as part of each 3-Day they participate in. We asked our 3-Day coaches and staff to highlight someone, whether walker or crew, who goes above and beyond the call to action. That is what being a 3-Day superhero is all about. 

Superhero Stephanie: 

Stephanie has a smile that is contagious. She continues to be one of our brightest lights in our 3-Day crew community, despite having one of the toughest and most challenging jobs: collecting ALL the trash out on the 3-Day Route. Stephanie embraces her role with grace, enthusiasm and determination. She is one of the last crew members to arrive back to camp each night and her job isn’t finished when she arrives home. She has to unload all the trash and recycling and transfer pounds and pounds of bags into the dumpsters. You will never see Stephanie without a smile on her face.  

What inspires you to go above and beyond for this cause? 

I don’t have any family that has been affected by breast cancer, but I know of many who either are fighting or who have caught their wings. In 2006, I was just looking for a way to up my volunteerism and the 3-Day had been in Kansas City the year before, so I signed up. Best registration EVER!!! Boston 2022 will be my 26th 3-Day, and this does not count the few Avon events nor the one-day Race for the Cure events held in KC over the years. I also tend to return to what I love and that’s route clean-up. There’s something about tossing trash bags, sometimes known as ‘juicers’ by the end of the day. I enjoy it! During the process of crewing, I’ve met many and have heard countless stories of the why’s and who’s and whatnot. I go above and beyond because there is another who cannot and the best reason I can really give is “why not?” 

Superhero Cliff: 

Many 3-Day veterans know this: Cliff and his team, “Cliff’s Crew,” model the heart and soul of the 3-Day in every way. Cliff leads with love and is as humble and as strong as anyone you’ll ever meet. Through all of life’s challenges, Cliff remains steady — a shoulder to lean on, a reassuring voice, a rock. Cliff, you are a Superhero in every sense. It is one of life’s great honors to know you and call you a friend. 

What inspires you to go above and beyond? 

Oh, so many things. On my first walk it was the walkers that came in on Day 3 with their shoes cut out by medical to relieve the pressure on their feet, or those that came in with ice bags taped to their legs as they limped across the finish line; never giving up. Hugging them in and crying with them in their pain as well as their joy. 

The longer I continued to walk, the more survivors I met, both men and women. Those who were walking for family and friends that had passed. 

Then I was inspired by my personal heroes of the 3 Day that have mentored me and taught me how to lead. People like Lee & Kathy Giller, Kathy D. of The Cup Crusaders, Larry R. and so many others. 

Lastly, the new walkers that contact me asking if they can do this and then later cheering them in on Day 3 when they realize what they’ve done and how they made a difference. 

What is your connection to breast cancer? 

It started with the loss of my dear friend Betty Lou, but over all these years it has become those walkers who were survivors and now we have lost them. In the Remembrance Tent, I have quite a few friends and teammates who I am honored to have walked with. My team members are my family and they always will be. 

As the saying goes, “not all superheroes wear capes.” Some wear pink. Thank you to all of you who show insurmountable support and commitment to finding the cures to breast cancer! Stay tuned for our future 3-Day Superhero blogs.

Love Letter to the 3-Day

Why do we participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day ®? Because we have an unfortunate connection that brings us together: we have been touched somehow by breast cancer. The silver lining is that out of that pain and struggle has arisen the community that is the Pink Bubble. Inside this Pink Bubble we support each other, we appreciate each other, and we love each other. This Valentine’s Day, we asked members of the Pink Bubble to write their own love letters to the Komen 3-Day. 

Every step together is an adventure, a journey towards the future of all who are fighting, will fight and have lost their fight against breast cancer. We walk together in love and hope for the future where this journey is no longer needed. —Shelly L. 

Dear 3-Day, we started dating in 2010 and I’ve never looked back on that decision! This year I’ll be doing my 21st 3-Day. Not only have we done some amazing things together in the fight against breast cancer, I’ve made so many lifelong friends along the way! My teams, Men With Heart and Friends With Heart have been incredible! Not to mention my two “Walk Wives” Cheryl and Jenn, who I couldn’t imagine not having in my life. My commitment to the 3-Day has certainly enriched my life more than I could have imagined when I started! Much Love, Frank M. 

Dear 3-Day, Thank you. You have lit a passion in me and inspired me to do more than I ever thought possible for not only a cause that has touched my family, friends and community, but for me personally as well. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”—Rikki Rogers. Love always and forever, Theresa E., 22-year cancer survivor. 

The 3-Day has given me the strength to stand up for others, see beyond my own problems and realize that we are stronger when we are joined together. I am more proud of myself when training and fundraising for the 3-Day than I am at any other time. —Liz P. 

Dear 3-Day, I never dreamed my love for you would grow into what it is today. Thank you for all you have brought to my life. When I feel like giving up, your love keeps me going. I look forward every day to our next time together. —Lia L. 

Dear 3-Day, thank you for giving me back a purpose to my life when I thought I lost all meaning. —Jennifer R. 

Dear 3-Day, they said I was crazy, we would never last. They didn’t believe me when I said you completed me. What do they know? —Sally P. 

To Susan G. Komen, with love:  

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received was to see that I was not alone in my grief, and that in my grief, I could make a difference. It is often said “we don’t remember days; we remember moments.” So it goes that I will always remember the love. I remember crying during the Opening Ceremony. An unexpected release of the sorrow I had held tight to when a stranger reached out to hold my hand in comfort and in unity, as so many around me remembered loved ones lost too soon or prayed for those still fighting for their lives. Tears dried, and courage was born. I won’t ever forget all the survivors fiercely determined to make the journey to make a difference, to not stop fighting, to never give up. 

Giving up is never an option. I will always remember the crew and their themed pit stops, lifting the spirits of the weary. Their goal is that all walkers’ needs are attended to, as they quenched our thirst and fed our bellies. They tended to our blisters and aching muscles, and still found the time and energy to entertain, bring smiles and laughter; a family outside of family. I could never forget all those who took care that we were safe. Police on bicycles slowing down to chat, checking in to see if we were okay. The kind and creative motorcyclists, embellishing their cycles with teddy bears, bras or flamingos. The safety crews who assured street crossings were as entertaining as they were trouble-free. The sweep vans artistically decked out with optimism that we can make it, “Go Walkers Go,” but there for us just in case we needed them.  

I still clearly remember the amazing support from communities big and small, offering home-baked goods at every corner. Families, cheerleaders and girl scouts clapping and shouting words of encouragement. There were dogs dressed in pink skirts, boys and grown men were wearing bras, pink wigs and fishnet stockings. There were signs that made us laugh, signs that made us reflect, and so many signs that said, “Thank you for walking!” There was a big guy in thigh-high white boots with six-inch heels, standing there handing out hugs and high fives. And I’ll never forget the small gray-haired woman standing on the sidewalk in front of her house, offering walkers to use her bathroom if they were tired of using porta-potties!  

I will most certainly never forget walking in on the last day of my first 3-Day as the “Tunnel of Love” loomed large in front of me: a greeting of hundreds of walkers standing shoulder to shoulder on both sides of the walkway, their hands held high in the air, clapping and cheering, welcoming us back as the music soared and my emotions shattered. Their congratulations and their thank yous, their screaming, “YOU DID IT!! WOOHOO WALKERS! WAY TO GO!” A hero’s welcome I will never forget, a moment I pay forward still.  

Mostly, I will always remember the love and the extraordinary people I met from all walks of life going through different but similar trials, losses and struggles. I remember the kindred spirit that arose from so many who know that we can’t quit, that we must keep fighting because every life matters and quitting is not an option. Mostly, I will always remember the love. Thank you, Susan G. Komen, for allowing me to see that I was not alone in my grief, for allowing me to be surrounded by so many good people filled with an abundance of love and kindness and a common cause to rid the world of breast cancer. Because of you, I will always remember the love. —Maureen W. 

The  3-Day® brings us together in so many ways with so much love in every step of the 60 miles. If you could write a love letter to the 3-Day, what would you say? Let us know in the comments.