The 2013 Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day opened with great weather on Friday, October 4, with stretching and Zumba led by local instructors at the Willow Grove Mall. More than 1,200 walkers, supported by 350 crew members, started the 21.5-mile route on the streets of Willow Grove. The heat index was high, but so were the spirits as Enfield Elementary School and Willow Hill Elementary School allowed students to come out and cheer on the walkers. Several other private cheering stations dotted the route, including Springfield High School, families of walkers, and past walkers. The route continued through Glenside, Oreland , the Philadelphia waterfront walks and, finally, around the art museum to downtown Philadelphia's Convention Center. The camp show included games as well as music from walker Riley Weston to liven the crowd. The top fundraisers were announced and breast cancer survivor Vivian Vega Schoch concluded the day of festivities with an inspiring speech. Walkers and crew retired to their pink tents in the Convention Center.
Saturday's 22.3-mile route started with beautiful weather in downtown Philadelphia and passed north and west out of the city into the beautiful parks of the suburbs. The course was dotted with private cheering stations, many with a family or supporters from the local communities. The walkers were treated to the Garden Valley cheerleaders, a New Balanced-sponsored group who entertained and pumped up the participants at pit stop 2. Besides Philadelphia proper, the walkers moved through Bala Cynwyd, Nerberth, Haverford, Penn Wynne and Wynnewood. With the heat index high for the day, the participants were happy to see the cheering station on Bryn Mawr Avenue. The Girl Scouts, past walkers and crew, and the famous Balloon Guy, all provided treats and water for the hot and humid day. The camp show capped a great day with moving speeches by Ellen Gunther, co-survivor, (for her sister Liza Welch) and Sharon Slosarik, a young survivor, from the Breast Friends of Pennsylvania. After a dance party, the group retired to the lower level of the Convention Center for some much-needed rest.
Sunday's 14.4-mile route opened with excitement as almost all the walkers lined up in the Convention Center and burst out onto the streets of downtown Philadelphia. Walkers wound through the historical architecture of the city in relatively cooler temperatures and enjoyed the cheerleaders and cheering stations at Passyunk Square, University of the Arts, and FDR park on their way to the Navy Yard. The Philadelphia Eagles Drumline was a highlight just before arriving to an excited crowd of family and friends who lined the road to the finish. The Navy Yard provided an excellent backdrop for the Closing Ceremony as the large crowd paid tribute to the walkers and crew of the Philadelphia 3-Day.
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