Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk day 1
September 12th: If I had to summarize my experience with the 2008 Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk I would say I felt honored to have joined such a compassionate, stand-for-something group-well, I suppose that should be walk-for-something group!
Bless Kyle's heart-he had drop-off duty again. But this time we knew the system a bit better and avoided waiting in a lot of long lines. The first thing I noticed was the sheer number of people! Apparently there were around 3500 people ready to walk-more than 1000 MORE than last year! Opening Ceremony got the crowd whipped into ecstatic enthusiasm just wanting to begin. And then we were off....
Rather than going over I90 like last year, we headed to various areas of Bellevue, skirting the expansive Microsoft Campus, and in towards our camp site, Marymoor, via the trail along the slough. The same trail Nanette and I, and my 3 Day Walk Trainees, used in many training walks.
We get such fabulous encouragement and support all along the3 Day route. We draw strength from survivors, courage from those battling, and have hope that breast cancer will be brought to an end. I think humor-and the bawdier the better-is brought in to keep the atmosphere lighter because, of course, it's an emotional gathering.
Family support and pride in their walkers is apparent, but they cheer on others as well. I appreciated my sister and cousin coming out...it just gives your spirit a boost. Nanette and I finally came to the end of the first day's route...some controversy-our trail cards said it was 20.7 miles, but a fellow walker had GPS capacity(I don't know how) and apparently IT said we did 22.8. I don't recall the Day 1 backdrop last year, but I could have just not noticed I guess. Nanette and I got a photo to celebrate our day's accomplishment.
Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk --Home Sweet Home for the 3 Day
I keep trying to move past my Crossfire days, but the Breast Cancer walks keep bringing me right back! Last year our camp was at Mosier Field-an oft-used site for games; this time round, we camped at Marymoor. OMG-the very heart of my Crossfire days. In fact, Nanette and my tent area was located in the very spot of Kyle's first soccer practices-not to mention many practices and games over the years! Nanette and I got in fairly early and were the very first walkers to put up a tent in our section.
This year there were four tent areas....
four pink seas.
We were near the Velodrome and facing the climbing rock. Actually, I thought our placement was perfect-not too far from the village, but far enough to be more quiet and away from camp lights. Soon pink tents popped up all around-some being decorated more colorfully than others-whatever it takes to be able to find your way home!
Last year the tables for our meals were out in the open-luckily we had fabulous weather. This year we had great weather again, but they must not have been so sure and covered the tables with a huge tent-a la Cirque du Soleil. It really added a touch of coziness and seemed to keep any winds at bay.
We were really given a treat-fabulous dinner shows! John Cooper from the 5th Avenue Theatre sang many showtunes for us. Apparently his wife was walking and he wanted to contribute something to the event too. Oh what a contribution! I would have paid money to hear that!
I had every intention of getting enough sleep this time around-yes a BUT's coming...BUT it was SOOOOOOOOOO cold I woke up at 12:15 and shivered the rest of the night. Even if I could have warmed up I wouldn't have been able to sleep what with all the snoring!! There were a lot more men on this walk-walking for their wives, sisters, mothers, friends and that was great, but OMG the snoring!!!! So, I guess I might have begun the second day with a bit of an edge to my mood. I don't like being confined in any way, shape or form and I wanted to bust out of the crowd in a big way. It wasn't necessarily what Nanette had in mind and we parted company fairly early...I didn't expect to walk with her all the time, just share a tent :-) I got into a groove and kept on going. It was great to see our Boys' Coaching Director, Bernie James, and some players out near the trail at 60 Acres with water and granola bars for the walkers. There were other fabulous supporters on the second day's route too.
Things were going well until I was in Kirkland somewhere-must have missed a sign or something because I started feeling I wasn't going in the right direction. Called the hotline and discovered-sure enough, I was heading inland rather than going towards the water. I'd continued walking while I was talking to the hotline lady and I only overshot the checkpoint by a block or so....dumb! My defense...oogling at the view!
Soccer memories associated with camp; soccer memories associated with 60 Acres and still more soccer memories at one of the Grab and Goes: Grasslawn Park.(The layout of the field is such that if one cheers, lustily, it reverberates like an echo back and forth, back and forth, etc...you can guess who the cheerer was I imagine) The second day's route ended as the first and I came back into camp.
I was so happy to get visitors this day too. My Dad, Mom and Aunts came up.
I wouldn't be surprised if my Dad ended up doing a3 Day sometime. And if Daddy does it, my Mom will be right there too-there's a reason why I am as competitive as I am and it's spelled M-O-T-H-E-R...no joke.
I mentioned last year of my affection for the Crossfire Thomas team. It still is as strong as ever and I was so touched that a couple of the players came out to see me...thanks Vaun and Davis!! I wish I'd had my camera then-I hadn't known they were coming and was totally surprised.
The fabulous dinner shows continued with a local country rock band (the Posse?) They did a great job with Mustang Sally and had some walkers as backup singers that actually were part of their own group-the Divine, a gospel group. They did a phenomenal job. After the 'professionals', the final night of karaoke competition between very talented walkers. Great entertainment-great show.
Food had been an issue with me last year and I must say the dinner was greatly improved (lunch-especially the 2nd day and those funky wraps-was still a meal I passed up though) However, I do have one bone of contention. Yes, there were a lot more men as walkers this year but it was still overwhelmingly made up of women. Can you believe they didn't have a chocolate option for dessert for ALL dinners? DUH!!! I was a junkie in need of a fix Saturday night.
Worrying about another night freezing I went to the 3 Day Gear shop and bought a very thick fleece pullover (pink naturally). I was still concerned and I called Gregg to see if he could bring a blanket out to me...got a drive-by and was SO happy to have one of my fleece soccer blankets AND a chocolate bar dropped off-a husband that knows the break-the-camel's-back situation of his wife. I ended up having a pretty good night's rest AFTER making sure I had on my long underwear under my pj's; topping that off with my new fleece jacket; tying a long-sleeved tshirt over my head like a scarf (it's AMAZING how much heat we lose through the head); putting my soccer blanket on my mattress like a piece of insulation; AND turning the head of my sleeping bag 180 degrees to get the furthest away from neighboring snoring tents-not all that much trouble :-)
Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day day 3
You might recall that last year I noticed a big difference in the number of cheering fans that lined the course coming in. That AND the freezing temp the morning of the 3rd day convinced Nanette and me to bide our time a bit...and stuff the clothes we were going to be wearing in our sleeping bags to get some warmth to them. The course began with a bus trip from Marymoor to the Arboretum. The first bus was to leave at 6:15. That made lining up for the bus 5:45-not difficult for us to decide to catch a later bus. Remember how I said this year's number of walkers was substantially more than last year? Well, my picture can't do justice to the sheer number of people ahead of us and the length of the line snaking around the perimeter of the camp towards the buses.
We emerged from the bus ready to go at 8:35!!! a couple hours after the first round of buses. I'm not overly keen on being boxed in or having my paced altered-once I get into a groove I want to keep it going. There were a lot of walkers ahead of us we had to weave around "On your left" We proceded through the Arboretum and crossed the Montlake Bridge. I thought we were going to go pick up the Burke-Gilman Trail, but we went right onto campus instead. UW definitely showed itself well...GO DAWGS!!!
Nanette and I got separated at the fountain and checked in with each other for the rest of the day via cell phones. This particular Sunday was a big day for sororities.. Apparently Rush was ending with the girls finding out what house they would be in...all kinds of celebrating and music as we walked along 17th. Of course, I just pretended they were all out for us and most of them did cheer us on once they realized just what was going by. Probably the biggest cheering section, apart from the end, was at Greenlake.
We walked a heavy third along the lake's edge with fans cheering the whole length. Lunch was at Gas Works Park-and there wasn't a more beautiful setting to be had...the perfect place for a lunch setting-that is, if you eat their lunch. I did, however, scoop up a big bunch of grapes. They tasted great and I kept on walking. I'd heard we were supposed to go in to Memorial via 'the water' so imagine my relief when we went along Westlake and I saw the Space Needle. YES! Almost there!! But my elation soon turned to disbelief-instead of turning right and going toward theSpace Needle, the route made a LEFT turn! We headed west and then made our right turn heading north and north and north with the Space Needle receding in the background more and more and more util I couldn't see it at all!! We were almost to Pioneer Square before we turned toward the waterfront (ahh!that water!) I did enjoy going through Sculpture Park since I hadn't gotten out there yet-fun concept for an 'art gallery'. I'd hoped to take more pictures, but my camera was rnning very low on battery power. You know my vision isn't the best-I thought the tree was real but then I heard bits of conversation from others at the Park alluding that it was fake...if it is fake it's a good imitation. I would recommend everyone take a trip dow to see this unusual art experience.
And then, cheered all along-even by the Marines, in pink!
(Remember: REAL men wear PINK)
I was there!
Thanks for all the encouragement and support!
ps. You can see more photos in the Gallery
Seattle Remembrance Tent
I felt this needed a separate page. Looking at all the tents is sobering, but also empowering knowing walkers are doing something.
Seattle's tent is inside this larger tent.
At night, the Remembrance Tents were even more touching in their simply beauty.
Honoring those lost to breast cancer.
This year, I inscribed: