1 = inspirational banners along the entire journey.
2 = the starting line of Day 2 (22.7 miles that day)
3 = cheering station in Vadnais Heights on Day 2
4 = Jody's Couch (see link) at the St. Paul overlook on Day 3
5 = At the finish line, in the Holding Area waiting for all walkers to arrive, before the final procession to the capital and the waiting crowds
6 = Getting ready for the procession into the closing ceremony
7 = Walkers raise a shoe in honor of the survivors arriving at the stage
8 = Final ceremony with all walkers (white shirts) and volunteer crew (blue shirts) and survivors (pink shirts) celebrating our amazing accomplishments
The event was AMAZING ... well organized with over 400 volunteers who worked tirelessly and always with a smile.
... Inspirational ... as I met survivors along the way, and others who had done the walk before and plan to do it every year that they are able.
...Challenging ... as 60 miles is a LONG way to go, no matter how well-prepared you feel after a summer of training. I logged in over 300 miles in training, and thought that I was ready and would be able to complete it without too many problems. I was amazed at how challenging it was, and how so many people including myself struggled. A reminder that fighting breast cancer isn't easy either.
... Emotional ... the spectators that lined the streets along the way and crowded the cheering stations were truly an inspiration. I could tell that so many survivors were there, and loved ones of those who have fought the disease, and I was moved by their smiles and 'thanks' and high-fives. Even the very young children, who probably don't quite understand what was going on, were there to hand us candy along the way.
... Fulfilling ... Ever since I heard of the 3-Day a few years ago when Duffy redesigned the logo during our partnership with Komen, I was intrigued by the event and had wanted to do it. Finally this year, with some encouragement by co-workers, I took the plunge. I agreed to raise at least $2300 in order to be allowed to participate. I trained as much as I could over the summer, sacrificing weekends of playtime for many hours of walking.
... Rewarding ... I made a few new friends along the way, other first-time walkers like myself who I met at the times when I needed encouragement and a friendly soul to talk to and walk with. And I'm proud to say that I walked every step of the way.
I am glad I did it. It was a very difficult and challenging endurance event, one that I will never forget.