Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Team Julie Survived the Breast Cancer 3-Day

We’re back from our wonderful 3-Day weekend. I want to thank you all for your tremendous support during our training and fundraising. I managed to complete all 60 miles with zero blisters or injuries. I feel very lucky as I was one of the few on day three who was walking without the aid of an ace bandage, ice pack, or blister dressing. The other half of Team Julie flew through the 60 miles with nothing more than a slightly sore ankle!


Day one began with a beautiful sunrise on Clearwater beach. Opening ceremonies were emotional and invigorating, setting the tone for our phenomenal weekend.

We were on the road shortly after 8:00 am. It was slow going at first, with 1,700+ walkers trying to make it down one sidewalk. We were entertained by gracious passersby who greeted us with horn honks, waves, thumbs up, and shouts of support and encouragement. This road-side support continued for all 60 miles!

Walking 60 miles in three days is made much easier by the many pit-stops along the way. Every 2 to 3 miles you can stop to “Refuel, Relieve and Rehydrate!” There were several slogans repeated all weekend to make sure the walkers took care of themselves. We heard the phrase “Drink and Pee, no IV” many, many times.

The 3-Day would not be the amazing event it is without the fabulous staff and volunteer crew. If you ever want to participate in a 3-Day but don’t think you can walk 60 miles, consider volunteering to be a crew member.

Day two took us back to the beautiful gulf beaches. The weather was prefect – not too hot and not too cold. The highs topped out in the mid-80s and the overnight lows in the mid-60s. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

Part of the 3-Day experience is camping out with your fellow walkers and crew. I am not a camper, but the 3-Day camp was a blast! One side of camp housed the sleeping tents, port-a-potties, mobile showers and mobile sinks. The other side of camp held all of the social activities, such as our meals, the evening entertainment, the 3-Day gear shop, the foot massage tent, etc.

On the course each day we were amazed by the tremendous community support. They don’t call this walk the 60 mile buffet for nothing! You cannot walk a quarter mile without being offered cookies, popsicles, candy, fruit, etc. by cheering supporters. Girl Scout troops handed out Girl Scout cookies. One man was even handing out free beers to walkers while holding a sign that read “Beers for Boobies.” Fortunately, no flashing was required.

Closing ceremonies in St. Petersburg wrapped up our prefect 3-Day weekend. The Tampa Bay walkers alone raised over $4.6 million for breast cancer research. Near the end of closing ceremonies every walker removed a shoe in honor of the breast cancer survivors who participated in the walk. It was an amazing sight.

Thank you again for your support. I know I will walk in another Breast Cancer 3-Day and I encourage everybody, women and men, to walk or volunteer to be a crew member in a 3-Day near you. They have already announced the 2007 dates, which you can find online at www.the3day.org. I guarantee it will be a wonderful experience you will never forget!