This past weekend I travelled to San Diego to participate in my third Breast Cancer 3 Day. I was really looking forward to walking with my team again. From our team in Chicago we had 8 people travel to San Diego. We had 3 on crew and 5 walkers. And even though we were in a different City, our teammate Jacky still took care of us and made us name tags like she does for Chicago. She does a great job and we always get compliments on them on the route.
Thursday night we had our traditional team dinner to get ready for the weekend. Our special guest for Dinner was our teammate Stacie’s sister. Sheila was celebrating 5 years of being Cancer free and this trip was a special celebration for her and her sister. It’s always an honor to have Survivors on the team and joining us.
Opening Ceremonies on Friday were very similar to what we are used to in Chicago just with a bigger crowd. It did take a little longer to get going because of the large group. It was not long into the day before we were greated with the sites of the Ocean. Walking along the coast just never got old. The biggest challenge on Day 1 was the hilll going into Torey Pines State Park. That hill just seemed to go on forever. We did finally make it to the top and I was very glad that was early in the day. We had nice lunch down on the beach and then a long walk into camp in the afternoon. Day 1 seemed to end differently than we are used to because of the early sunset and the late getting back to camp. Thanks to the young ladies who were helping setup tents at camp. It was great to be able to rest a couple minutes before having to unpack.
Day 2 was a little bit of a blur for me since I was really not feeling good. I was really nauseous all night and got very little sleep. We still had nice weather for walking most of the day and we were really glad that we did not get the drizzle that was forecast for that morning. The walk along the Ocean on Tuesday afternoon was awesome. There were some beautiful homes and awesome beach to be seen. We actually got back into camp before dark this time so we had a better sense of where we were this time. It was a pretty nice area.
Day 3 always starts early because you have to repack everything and take down your tent. I also had to head over to Medical after Breakfast to have the wonderful volunteers there bandage up my blisters before heading out. I had quite a few this weekend but thankfully they were mostly small and not serious as many others that I saw in Medical. A couple hours into Day 3 we came to the Hill for the Day. The San Diego 3 Day has at least one good challenging hill each Day. This was one of those hills that could have used stairs. It was not as long as Torey Pines but it was steeper. It was a relief to reach the top of that one. From there out it was a pretty smooth walk into holding.
Holding is the area at the end of the 3 Day were the walkers rest and gather before we all go to Closing Ceremonies together. Holding in Chicago and San Diego are like night and day. In San Diego they actually do mean that holding is for Walkers only and they don’t let in Friends and Family. They also have a DJ and Volunteers who keep up the enthusiasm of the walkers until all of us are in and we are ready for Closing. The support for walkers coming into closing and cross the finish in San Diego was simply awesome.
Closing in San Diego was also much different since it was being held downtown and they actually closed off streets for this near Petco Park. I don’t see that happening in Chicago.
There were a number of other differences between the two cities also. I have never had anyone offer me a Beer or shot of tequilla in Chicago while walking but got several offers in San Diego. I can’t drink like that while walking but I think that is all part of the more festive athmosphere in San Diego. Chicago has larger cheering stations but San Diego has more people everywhere on the walk. Community support for the walk is top notch.
I have enjoyed walking in both cities and will again in the future. I can’t wait to get back to San Diego again. It was an awesome experience and I am sure that this does not do the experience justice.
I owe many thanks to people that have helped me with this walk. I want to thank my teammates who were there to share the experience. Thanks also to my co-worker Jeff who picked me up at the Airport and helped get the weekend off right. Thanks to the people of San Diego for being supportive of this walk. The final thanks goes to all of the people who donated to this walk. With your help we raised over $9.5 Million to help prevent and fight Breast Cancer. Thanks again and God Bless each of you.