Monday, November 29, 2010

3 Days 60 Miles 1 Cure

I experienced my first Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure walk earlier this month. I've always wanted to participate, but the fundraising has scared me away. Each walker has to raise a minimum of $2,300 to even be allowed to walk. And to be honest, walking 60 miles over the span of three days didn't sound too appealing either. I put it on my 30x30 list a while back, and this was my last chance to do it before the big 3-0, so I went for it. I'm so happy to have experienced the 3-day, and I would do it again in a heart-beat...with a few conditions: 1)$2,300 is a lot of money. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we met and exceeded our minimum goal this year, but if this were going to be an annual event, I don't think my friends and family would be able to donate that much every year, and I wouldn't expect them to. For this reason, I wouldn't want to do it two years in a row. 2)There were only two of us who walked. I would love to participate again with a bigger group. Again, this goes back to money. We held three big fundraiser events, all of which were very successful, but also a ton of work. And we only know so many people, and we've pretty much emptied their pockets this year. Fundraising with a large group would mean less work for each person, and a larger donation pool. 3)Most importantly, if I were to ever do this again, I will definitely do one of the following: a) bring an air mattress for my tent - seriously, we were like the only ones who didn't have one...stupid rookies! or b) skip the tent altogether and take the party to the hotel - I'm much more likely to go this route.




I took lots of pictures to document my experience...enjoy!




Here we are at the opening ceremony. We were among 2,800 walkers!
The survivor's circle. These ladies are amazing!



Double D Hooter Hauler. There were several of these "sweeper vans" that followed us around for 3 days, picking up people who were injured or too tired to continue. I am happy to report that I never saw the inside of these vans.



This was lunch on day 1. Pretty typical of all the lunches we had.

Day 1 - check! That's our new friend, Natasha, in the middle. We met her at the opening ceremony, and she was walking solo, so she walked with us the entire 3 days. She is a breast cancer survivor, and she was an awesome walking buddy!


Nothing like walking 20 miles to come "home" to this...our super luxurious tent. Not ideal accommodations when it dips below 40 at night. It goes without saying that I was miserably cold.



Our showering trucks. Nuff said.


Dinner - Day 1. The food was actually a lot better than I expected. Most importantly, they had
diet coke!! I got lazy with the food pictures after day 1, so this is it.


Nae's mom got us these cute shirts. Thanks, mama Kay!



Day 2 - check!



These ladies, and many more "walker stalkers" like them followed us around for 3 days, cheering us on the whole time.



The cheering stations rocked! Look what I scored!



This adorable little boy was handing out Oreos...he knows what the ladies love.


Another sweet "cheerleader" handing out tissues.

The crew members worked so hard to make sure we had everything we needed. They also dressed like fools to make us laugh.

Come on, like you could resist.



Sweet baby.



I ran (on day 3) to catch up with this guy so I could get a picture of his shirt. It says, "Mama, I'd walk a million miles to have another day with you." Such an emotional event for so many people.


The pink firetruck was parked at our lunch spot on the last day, and we all got to sign it.




Day 3 - check! Can you guess who I'm excited to see??


This little girl missed her mama! And mama missed her, too!


Oh, yeah...I missed you too, hubs. ;-)


Not everyone can look this cool sporting a fanny pack. I'm not going to lie. It's a talent.


My very own personal cheerleader. I must give hubs credit for thinking to dress her in pink. Good call, daddy!
Closing ceremony - all the walkers hold up their shoes to honor the survivors as they walk in.






Overall, this was an incredible experience, and I would definitely recommend that everyone do it at least once. The passion and dedication of the participants and cheering stations is enough to keep you energized and going for 60 miles. There was one point on day 2 when the back of my knee was killing me. I had to stop to stretch and take some medicine (pardon me while I sound like I'm 80). I started back up, but I was pretty well hating life, and at that very moment, a woman who was obviously battling cancer drove along side us in her fully decorated convertible, tooting her horn, and cheering us on. I thought to myself, "suck it up, sister," and suddenly my little knee issue didn't seem so important.


If you aren't up for the fundraising and the walking, then please consider going to a cheer station to show your support for the walkers. You wouldn't believe how much that actually helps. Each day, we had a card that showed us that day's schedule, including pit stops, lunch, cheering stations, etc. We looked forward to every cheering station, especially on day 2 when we were dragging. Suprisingly, you don't notice how bad your feet hurt when you're walking through tons of people who are cheering, clapping, singing and dancing for you. I will definitely be cheering next year.

If you are considering the 3 Day, I have a few tips for you:

1. Trust me when I tell you that even with all the walking you will do, do not expect to lose any weight. Everytime you turn around, they are feeding you. Not kidding. There is a LOT of food.

2. Do not trust the website when it says there will be no outlets for hair dryers or phone chargers. Lies!! They had a tent set up where you could drop off your phone to be charged, and there were electrical outlets for hair dryers outside the shower trucks. I know it's not a beauty contest, but wet hair is not fun when it's freezing outside. So, while I was standing under the heat lamp attempting to "dry" the frizzy mess on my head, I was not amused to see a seasoned walker with her travel size hair dryer and freshly blown-out hair.

3. Don't be afraid to skip the tent thing. It was like 38 degrees our first night, and it was miserable. I overheard a husband and wife in a nearby tent calling around to see if they could get a hotel room because they were too cold to sleep. Apparently a lot of people stay in hotels, or even at home if they live close. Trust me, you will still get the whole "experience plus a good night's sleep in a warm bed if you go the hotel route.

4. If you insist on "roughin' it" in the tent, take an air mattress. We must have been the only idiots who didn't bring one. We were going by the rules online that said your bags couldn't weigh more than 35 pounds, so we didn't even consider an air mattress. Nobody bothered to tell the rookies that the weight limit rules are not enforced.

5. Day 2 is by far the hardest. You'll be so excited and have tons of energy on the first day. Plus it's fun to walk into camp after the first 20 miles to check out everything. And you'll be so thankful to have a light at the end of the tunnel on the third day, but there is nothing to look forward to on day 2, except for showering trucks and a cold, uncomfortable tent.

6. The bigger the fanny pack, the better.

7. The more over-the-top and obnoxious your outfit, the better.

8. The best bit of advice I overheard all weekend was this: "It's not a race. It's a journey." With that said, take your time, have fun, and enjoy the experience!

2 comments:

  1. Have been meaning to ask about this so I enjoyed the blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing, inspiring, and fun pictures!! And I had no idea you could shower in a truck.

    ReplyDelete