The 2016 Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day Honors Our Opening Ceremony Speakers

We began our 2016 Twin Cities Komen 3-Day with an inspiring and beautiful Opening Ceremony. Although the skies were gray, the enthusiastic spirit couldn’t be dampened by the weather. Walkers, crew members and supporters joined their hearts and hopes in the shared promise of bringing about the end of breast cancer, one footstep at a time.

As part of the Ceremony, we were honored to welcome some special 3-Day participants to the stage, where they shared their own inspirations—both heart-warming and heartbreaking—for being part of the 3-Day. Hear their compelling and touching reasons for being a part of our 2016 walk. #WeAreThe3Day

Kathy Pepski – My Sister

I am walking with and for my sister, along with her husband. My sister is a two-time breast cancer survivor and this is our second time walking. We are here to honor her strength and passion for beating this disease. She is my best friend and my inspiration. I’m Kathy and I AM the 3-Day.


Carley Cummings – My Mother

I walk in memory of my mother, Laurie, who fought breast cancer for 12 years. Cancer took her away from us in 2014, hours after my sister and I crossed the 3-Day finish line. Even though my mother lost her battle, it does not mean this war is over. I’m Carley and I AM the 3-Day.


Ellen Race – My Friend

I walk for my best friend Molly, who passed away just 3 months ago, after an inspiring 6-year struggle. While she was only 39, she was given more time with her 3 children thanks to a Komen-researched chemo. This year, Molly’s Army walks in our fourth 3-Day because we believe in a CURE! I’m Ellen and I AM the 3-Day.


 Rebecca Kalamen – Myself

I walk in memory of my great-grandmother Sophie, my grandmother Rose, my Aunt Vikki, my Aunt Sharon, and my Dad Gene. I walk for myself. I am a 5-time 3-Day walker and a 10-year survivor. I walk so that my 11-year old son Zach doesn’t have to. I’m Rebecca and I AM the 3-Day.


Abby Eystad – My Grandmother

We walk in memory of my Grandma, Louise, who battled breast cancer for 20 years before it took her from us.


John Schwartz – My Daughter

I walk for my daughter Cassie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24 years old. She passed away on May 2, just a couple months short of her 31st birthday. I walk for her and for all those who have breast cancer. Cassie and her best friend, Christi, started Cassie’s Cups and we’re in our 7th year to help find a cure. I’m John and I AM THE 3-DAY.

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The Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches Talk About…The Twin Cities 3-Day Coaches!

They’re the helpful cheerleaders on the other end of the phone call or email when you have questions or concerns. They’re the smiling faces welcoming you and your teams at meet-ups and workshops and building up community excitement for the 3-Day. They’re the guiding hands leading the crew captains and teams to greatness. That’s right, they’re your Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches!

As we get ready to return to each of the seven splendid 3-Day locations, we wanted to take a few minutes to catch up with the coaches from each event. You’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the past couple of years on the 3-Day blog and this year, instead of letting them talk about themselves, I asked their fellow coaches to do it for them!

The Twin Cities coaches—Stephanie, Eileen and Amy—are the stars of the show today! Click here to see what we knew about them already, and keep reading to see what they each had to say about each other.

Eileen and Stephanie

Eileen and Stephanie



Stephanie (Twin Cities Local Events Coach)

“Stephanie loves meeting up with new walkers and introducing them to our long-time participants. She is funny and a great partner to work with. I am not sure the rest of us will be able to keep up with her on the Twin Cities 3-Day this year since she is training for the Twin Cities marathon on October 9th. I am sure she will do wonderful in it!” – Eileen

“Stephanie is full of energy and excitement, and she’s the perfect example of ‘Minnesota nice.’ She is always ready for whatever challenge is presented to her and she has an easy-going personality that makes you feel comfortable instantly. Her enthusiasm for the 3-Day is contagious.” – Amy

Eileen (Twin Cities Participant Support Coach)

“Eileen is dedicated to the success of her walkers. Her ability to emotionally connect with participants really inspires me.  She is always looking for ways to introduce people to the 3-Day and give them the opportunity to experience its magic for themselves.” – Amy

“Eileen knows everything there is to know about the 3-Day and is my go-to gal for behind the scenes questions. Not only has she walked in the 3-Day several times, she has been a coach for the last several years. Participants LOVE Eileen! The first season I worked on the 3-Day as a coach, for three full days, participants kept coming up to me and asking me if I was Eileen because they couldn’t wait to meet her. She really spends time trying to get to know our participants on a personal level when they call in for questions. She genuinely cares for people and it shows when you are around her. And I love the quirky sense of humor that she brings to our team.” – Stephanie

Amy (Twin Cities Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“Amy is a real whiz when it comes to managing our crew and volunteers. There are many moving parts when working with crew on an event lasting a full three days (really four days for our crew members). She always remains cheerful, calm and ready to help her crew navigate their way through from start to finish. I love her positive, upbeat and laid back attitude, not to mention she’s cute as a button!” – Stephanie

“Amy is our little Tinkerbell with her own supply of magical fairy dust. She is extremely sweet and always full of sunshine. When a problem arises, she steps in and doesn’t quit until the problem disappears.  I am convinced that there are no issues Amy can’t fix with her special magical touch. Well, ok…maybe last year’s weather.” – Eileen


Do you know the Twin Cities coaches? How would you describe these fabulous ladies?

Twin Cities 3-Day – 2016 Route Update!

Last year on the 3-Day® blog, we shared some detailed “Insider’s Peek at the Route” posts with you. We pulled the curtain back on the overall process of planning and executing a 60-mile route, and then got even more in-depth with each individual 3-Day walk’s route.

This year, we don’t need to dive quite so deep, since most of what we shared last year still applies. But we definitely wanted to keep you looped-in with the updates and changes that have been made to the 3-Day routes for 2016. We’re also bringing in members of the 3-Day Advisory Council to share their thoughts about the 2016 changes. These participants stand as the “voice” of the 3-Day community and their input has been instrumental in strengthening the communication and camaraderie between Komen and the 3-Day family, so we’re thrilled to have their insight here on our route updates.

Last week, we shared the Michigan route update, and today, TWIN CITIES is in the spotlight.

Need a refresher about what the Twin Cities 3-Day route was like last year? Read our 2015 “Insider’s Peek” post here.3DAY_2016_Social_CityHashtags_LocalHashtag_TC2

New for 2016 – I got the inside scoop on route updates from Kiki, the Event Planning Manager for the Twin Cities 3-Day, who told me that there are not too many big changes from last year. Day 1 is the same, as is most of Day 2, though “we’ve tweaked the beginning of the route a bit to take walkers off of the Bruce Vento Trail and see a bit more of Maplewood’s neighborhoods.” Day 3 has a couple of changes, including a new location for pit stop 1 (changed due to construction at the old site). Additionally, about one mile of the Day 3 route was cut after lunch; instead of walking through the Battle Creek Trail (which is beautiful trail, but has very limited access for sweep vans), walkers will travel along a street to get to pit stop 3 at Indian Mounds. What’s great about this new route is that it eliminates a long, tedious stretch along a busy highway and a rather steep pedestrian bridge. Kiki shared, “The new route will keep us within neighborhoods which allows us to [have a more visible presence and] spread the word of breast cancer in the community.”

The Participant Finish Area and Closing Ceremony on Harriet and Raspberry Island were new sites to us last year. Kiki said, “There was a bit of confusion for spectators trying to find their walkers at these locations, so this year, we’ll simplify things by having the Participant Finish Area and Closing Ceremony both on Harriet Island. The Victory Walk will be shorter than last year and all walkers and spectators will all be on one site. The layout of the Closing Ceremony will be different than last year too, providing much more scenic photo ops.”

In Their Words – Keep reading to see what Maureen and Kim, two of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Twin Cities updates:

Maureen (13x 3-Day participant – 10x Twin Cities walker)image1“The stretch on the highway and the huge hill to get to the pedestrian bridge at the end of Day 3 were brutal in the heat, so I am a fan of that change! It’s also a good idea to have the walkers out in neighborhoods instead of on the highways. It’s great that we’re doing the whole Closing Ceremony in one area; Harriet Island is gorgeous so I am glad it will be utilized.

The Twin Cities 3-Day walk in general is such a gorgeous route. I love the fact that we can be in urban areas and then pass through amazing parks, then lake areas, then historic mansions all in the same day—three days in a row! A few years ago, we had a walker from out of state, Glen, who walked all 14 3-Days and he was randomly put on our team. He told us at the beginning of the walk that he was going to pick his favorite 3-Day route/team to come back to the following year. He of course chose the Twin Cities 3-Day to come back to. He said the people are the friendliest and the route is the most beautiful!”

Kim (7x Twin Cities 3-Dayer – Event Support Crew for 2016) 2015-c“I like that the route is changing up a bit.  Over the years I’ve heard several walkers mention that the route is the same. I’m sure the walkers will prefer the view of a neighborhood rather than a highway view.  For the Closing Ceremony changes, I had heard people had issues last year getting around and finding their walkers and parking, so I hope these changes help this year’s event go more smoothly for everyone. As for ‘scenic photo ops,’ yes please!  Participants love having these opportunities to create better memory books. The more the merrier!

“I enjoy having an event in my home town. I’m a Minneapolis girl, but it’s nice to walk through my city’s twin, St. Paul, and seeing areas that I’m unfamiliar with. Personal favorites: walking around the lakes, having lunch in Loring Park, walking past the Sculpture Garden (I’m bummed that the Walker Art Center in undergoing renovations so walkers probably may not get a chance to take a picture with the Cherry and Spoon Sculpture) and walking past my college, Metro State University.  And how could I forget…I loved having coworkers cheer me on in downtown Minneapolis.

“Since participating in my first event in 2009, I have met some really great people.  Some have become lifelong friends and I want to thank the Komen 3-Day for this!”


Keep an eye on the 3-Day blog in the coming weeks when we’ll continue sharing updates about all of the 2016 3-Day routes.