Happy Halloween from the 3-Day Awarewolves

What’s that? Do you hear that howling? Is it Halloween? Or is it…The Awarewolves?!

This amazing team is a staple on the 3-Day, and their costumes keep them Halloween-ready all year long! They walked with us in New England in September, but their 3-Day journey began long before that. It began when Linda Lafragiola was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, when she and her sister Kathi Elliot decided that breast cancer would not beat them.

Linda explains, “Since being diagnosed, I decided to raise awareness about early detection and how important it is. Participating in the 3-Day allows me to share my story and experiences with any and everybody, year-round.”

What began as a promise, and a walk, between two sisters, has now grown to a whole team! That team includes their very own Awarewolf, Kathi’s beautiful Siberian Husky, Nika. Nika joined many of Linda and Kathi’s early training walks and quickly became their mascot.

After one of those such walks, the sisters started sharing possible team names with Kathi’s husband, David and her daughter Paige. They were talking about how everyone on the walks jokingly asks if Nika is a wolf, and right on cue, David began singing “Werewolves of London.” Suddenly, the group was singing “Werewolves in San Diego” instead, in honor of their upcoming walk in California.

From there, they all talked about how their team mission was about awareness and early detection, in honor of Linda’s own early diagnosis. So, David came up with AwareWolves. Paige created the team logo. Kathi coined the tagline, “Don’t be afraid — Early detection saves lives”. Linda found the amazing hot pink wolf ears. But they each came up with their own signature howls! And from there, a team was born.

More of how their story and team began, in Kathi’s own words…

“Linda learned that she had breast cancer in 2011. Fortunately, it was an early diagnosis and the cancer was limited to a small tumor. She underwent surgery that summer, followed by six weeks of radiation.

Mid-way through her treatment a friend asked Linda to join her at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in San Francisco in June 2012. She thought, ‘60 miles in 3 days…if I can survive breast cancer then I can do that!’

As a sister of someone who is going through something like breast cancer, you try to find ways to be helpful. Driving Linda to radiation appointments was something I could do. When Linda said she was walking, I said, ‘Why not me too?!’ From then on, the drives to radiation became a time to plan fundraisers and future training walks.

Linda’s last radiation appointment was on November 1, 2011 and the next morning, we laced up our sneakers and started training. Several months later, we had logged more than 1,000 miles and raised over $5,000 dollars each – enough for two 3-Day walks. So, we decided to register for the San Diego 3-Day in November 2012, as well.

Clearly walking 60 miles is no small feat, especially factoring in inclement weather and hilly terrain, but any 3-Day participant will tell you that the aches, pains and blisters are worth it.

Linda says her first 3-Day in San Francisco was emotional, inspiring and eye opening. It really hit home.

She told me, ‘I met so many women and men whose lives had been touched by breast cancer. It was mind boggling! It helped me to go from feeling like a victim — saying why did this happen to me? — to actually doing something about it.’

Not long after completing our second 3-Day in San Francisco, Linda and I officially started our team, cleverly named…The AwareWolves.”

But that was only the beginning of so many amazing memories for their team and their sisterhood!

Since then, they have walked in nearly ten 3-Days in different cities, and their team has only grown in number and recognition!

“The AwareWolves pack has grown, just by the people we have met along our journey,” explains Linda. “Some of them are veteran 3-Day walkers and crew members. Some are first-time walkers who have joined us to see what it’s all about. Everyone loves our signature ears and I swear some people have joined just to rock the ears and howl with the pack! 😄 And, we’re ok with that! Our team is made up of people from all over the US and although we walk at different speeds, we know we are there for each other. 💕 We are known for taking our time, enjoying the event and everything that comes with being in the pink bubble.”

Though in the past the Awarewolves have been in that pink bubble for a few Halloween weekend walks, this year Linda will be part of a group costume, which is a Pac-Man theme, instead!

She and Kathi are gearing up to walk in San Diego in November, and even though Halloween might be in the rearview mirror at that point, you can expect some AwareWolves on the San Diego 3-Day trails. Just keep a pink ear perked up for their howl!

The A to Z’s of 3-Day Teambuilding

No one ever walks alone on the 3-Day. Even walkers who start off solo end up being welcomed into new groups and paired with other solo walkers, so they are supported and loved every step of their 60-mile journey. The other, larger reason for that is we have so many amazing 3-Day teams on all our walks. Big or small, teams keep each other moving and motivated all weekend long.

So, if one of your goals for the year is to grow your team, or you’re having trouble getting some long-time walkers to come join you once again, we want to help! Here are our A to Z Tips for building your team, recruiting new team members, and making sure you’re surrounded by all your favorite people on the 3-Day this year.

  • ASK: We are starting off with the obvious one here because it truly can be something people struggle with. You won’t know if someone is interested in joining your team unless you ask them! Don’t be afraid! The worst thing that could happen would be that they say “no.” And then you’re no worse off than when you started.
  • Be a teammate as well as a team leader. Every team needs a captain, but never forget that you’re part of the team too! Take time to focus on your own 3-Day journey so that you can fully enjoy this process.

  • Co-Captains (Lean on them!): Coach Sharyn says that as a Team Captain of her team, “A String of Pearls,” she makes a point of making sure everyone knows who their teammates are. She also introduces her co-captains and leans on them when she is most busy. When everyone knows each other, everyone always has a good source of information and a support system.
  • Delegate: You can’t be expected to do all the teambuilding all on your own! Work with your other teammates, or even ask your local coaches to help find people who might need a team.
  • Encourage bonding between your existing teammates. This will create friendships that are sure to last long past the 3-Day weekend. This will also increase the reach your teambuilding efforts have.
  • Family and friends: They’re the most likely to want to join you on a 60-mile walk so if you haven’t asked them yet, now is the time! Also, remember that just because you’ve asked them in the past, it doesn’t mean their answer is final. It might not have been a good year for them, or they might have been previously unavailable. 2019 could be their year!
  • Go slow: Don’t feel the need to recruit 10 new team members in a single week! It will only leave you frustrated. Take it slow and grow your team as you can.
  • Have a plan: Give yourself small deadlines and tasks that you can easily work into your existing schedule. Making a long-term plan will make it easier to hit your teambuilding deadlines.

  • Include Crew and 20-Mile walkers in your teambuilding efforts, too! Coach Tisho loves recruiting ALL members of the 3-Day family to her teams, so she wants to remind other teambuilders not to forget the Crew and 20-Milers.
  • Just keep at it! It’s all about the follow-up and the reminders. In a busy world, staying in touch with potential teammates will keep the 3-Day top of mind for them.
  • Know the details about the event so you can share with your potential teammates. Talk to your coaches and find out where the ceremonies and camp are as well as any details that are available. It might just spark more interest to get someone registered!
  • Leverage every contact that you have. You never know who might want to join the 3-Day! Your tax accountant could be a breast cancer survivor or maybe your kid’s swim team coach loves long distance walks. Everyone could benefit from a little 3-Day love in their lives ❤️

  • Make teams within a team! If your team gets larger, break your people up so they can focus on what they do best. Have the super fundraisers on call to help other teammates or tap those with big social circles to recruit new team members.
  • Never stop sharing your passion about the 3-Day. It might just be the inspiration someone needs to join you. Coach Gayla swears by passion and enthusiasm to help you achieve all your 3-Day goals 😊
  • Organize happy hours and social events with friends, then talk to them about ways they can be part of the 3-Day. As a 3-Day walker, crew member, 20-mile walker, volunteer, private cheer station, or even as your walker stalker. Even if you don’t add any new team members, you’ll have a fun night out with your pals.

  • Personal connections are great, but you can also take recommendations from other people! Your best friend’s mom might want to walk, or your neighbor’s sister. Expand your reach!
  • Questions are a great way to start a teambuilding meeting! Coach Gina says that for a “welcome meeting” she asks people to give one word that describes their leadership or one word that describes what the 3-Day means to everyone at the meeting.
  • Rock on 🤘 Coach Gayla recommends painting rocks with words like #Commit3Days and The3Day.org and leaving them along trails and sidewalks as you do your next training walk. Add your team name or Facebook group so other walkers can find you! People will see them as they pass by and you might get a new team member you never even knew.

  • Social media is a simple way to stay connected, especially if you have team members in other cities. Create a team Facebook Page (Coach Liz loves this idea) and keep in touch all year long.
  • Training walks are key for making lasting connections. Coach Gayla says that for every training walk you host; you should ask your teammates to bring someone who hasn’t walked the 3-Day before.
  • Understand that “not right now” doesn’t mean “no.” Keep people on your radar for future years or other opportunities to support the 3-Day in the future.
  • Vacations are fun, so make it about that! Reach out to your out-of-town friends and family and invite them to spend a long weekend with you on the 3-Day.

  • “Why” is important! Coach Gina encourages her team captains to find out the reasons why their team joined the 3-Day. What is your “why” for being part of the 3-Day?
  • X-plain your mission and the difference the event has made in your lives and the lives of others. Showing the impact that the 3-Day has not only had on your community, but your own life, will encourage people to join your mission.
  • Yearly Events help make a big difference in your team’s fundraising efforts and are also a rallying cry for new members to join. Coach Sharyn’s team throws a big fundraiser on the four days of the Memorial Day Weekend every year and invites her whole team (now up to 26 people!) to participate if they’re able.
  • Zero to 10 Questions. Coach Liz asks every knew team member to provide a question or two that they want to know about their fellow teammates. Then she starts a chain email so everyone can get to know each other and find common bonds. It’s all about making new friends and expanding your 3-Day family 😊

What are the best ways you’ve found to recruit new team members? Tell us in the comments!

 

20 Reasons to Join the 3-Day in 2019

The reasons to join the 3-Day are endless. Truly! Everyone gains something different on this amazing journey, and everyone comes back year after year for their own reasons. If you need a bit more motivation to join our 3-Day family in 2019, we have a few all-encompassing reasons to #Commit3Days and join the 3-Day NOW!

(Hint: Make sure to read to the end for a special discount code 😊)

  1. Meeting new people: One of the best parts of the 3-Day is the “Pink Bubble” made up of every member of our 3-Day family. Even if you’re walking on your own, you will finish the weekend with scores of new friends.
  2. Outdoor camp: Glamping in pink tents. Sleeping under the stars. Being super close to to all your teammates. There is also so much to love about our outdoor camps in Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego! There’s really no wrong choice (except not joining at all).
  3. Hotel camp: Air conditioning. Charging plugs galore. Real beds and pillows and showers. There is so much to love about our new hotel camps in Michigan, Twin Cities, New England and Philadelphia! (New England 3-Day registration is closed, but you can still register as a 20-Mile walker!)
  4. Seeing all the sights: 60 miles is quite the distance. So, even if you’re walking in your own home city, chances are you’ll get to see some new and unique parts of your hometown on the 3-Day weekend.
  5. Tons of treats: You will be active and moving all 3-Day weekend-long, which makes it very important that we keep you hydrated and fueled. Pit stops, water stations, lunches and dinners are all full of delicious bites like Grahamwiches and the famous 3-Day Mac n’ Cheese.
  6. The 3-Day coaches: We must give a shout out to the people who make it happen. Your 3-Day coaches are here to encourage, advise, support and be there for you every step of your 3-Day journey. From the moment you sign up until you cross that finish line, they will be your champions.
  7. An excuse for shopping: You’re going to need some new gear to display on all those training walks, and especially on the 3-Day weekend! People go all out with their 3-Day outfits, rocking everything from feathered wings to our very own 3-Day T-Rex. You better start shopping now!
  8. Get moving: Many people have the goal to get more steps in, move more in their everyday lives or get in better shape. While we have walkers of all shapes, sizes, and ages, you can use the 3-Day to help fuel your next fitness goal.
  9. Finding new tunes: While you’re out moving and grooving away, you’re going to need some music to fuel your journey. The 3-Day has its own Spotify account to get you started on musical inspiration, but you can also make your own! You’ll be surprised how much good music will improve your mood. Just remember to keep it safe and don’t wear earphones on the 3-Day or our official training walks.
  10. Getting some quality time: If music isn’t your jam, don’t worry. The 3-Day is also a great chance to get quality time with the friends and family who are walking with you…or with yourself. Make sure to take some time on your walk to reflect. Check in with yourself and acknowledge what an amazing thing you’re doing.
  11. Testing your limits: It’s important to remember the whole journey, not just the final destination. This walk will test you emotionally and physically, but also give you such a feeling of accomplishment at the end.
  12. It’s tutu-friendly: And not just tutus! We also love wigs and bedazzled bras and team t-shirts and more! You will be smiling all weekend long thanks to all of the extra special flair. 😊
  13. For the gram: It seems that more and more people are doing things “for the gram” these days, and while getting a good photo shouldn’t be your sole motivation for joining the 3-Day, we can promise some epic photos for your social media feeds.
  14. To spice up your Bucket List: If the 3-Day isn’t on your bucket list yet, it should be! Not many people can say they’ve walked 60 miles in one weekend, after all.
  15. Re-connecting with nature: The 3-Day route will take you through all sorts of cool sights, including some amazing parks, trails and watersides. Don’t miss them! Our host cities are all unique and wonderful in their own special ways, so take in everything they have to offer.
  16. That feeling of accomplishment: There truly is no feeling like crossing that 60-mile finish line and knowing that your commitment has made a HUGE impact in the fight to end breast cancer. You have trained, fundraised, volunteered time and energy, and it all comes to a peak in that moment. There is nothing like it.
  17. Be inspired: As we said before, there is nothing like this experience. Hearing from our breast cancer survivor speakers, meeting those who have lost loved ones or been saved by Susan G. Komen-funded research; all these experiences will leave you feeling motivated and inspired.
  18. Make a difference: Since its founding in 1982, Susan G. Komen has funded more than $988M in research and more than $2.2 billion in education, screening and treatment. The net proceeds raised by the 3‑Day help Susan G. Komen build a world free of breast cancer through research, community, care and action.
  19. Join the family: Being a part of the 3-Day makes you a part of our family, and an integral part of the fight against breast cancer. You will become part of something that is larger than yourself and make a true difference in the world around you.
  20. You can do this! More than 500,000 participants have supported the breast cancer community, including those living with metastatic breast cancer, since the 3-Day began. You can be a part of all that! Yes, walking 60 miles is hard, but it’s not as hard as breast cancer. Come walk with us. You can do it.