The 2013 Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day began on Friday morning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with a gorgeous sunrise. The walkers and crew came together for an inspirational Opening Ceremony as the Survivors' Circle gathered on stage to the cheers of the crowd. Friday's 20-mile route led us through beautiful Del Mar, where stores changed their displays in support of the Komen 3-Day. We were accompanied by the San Diego Police Department throughout the entire route, and they showed their support by dressing in pink costumes and decorating their bicycles. We continued our journey oceanside in cool, windy weather, and then headed up the hills into Torrey Pines State Park for a walk through the beautiful natural setting. We journeyed through La Jolla and ate lunch seaside before heading through the neighborhoods of San Diego and arriving at camp on Crown Point Shores in Mission Bay. Presenting sponsor Bank of America provided some much-loved massage chairs, and we enjoyed "glamping" at the 3-Day lounge, which included a make-your-own trail mix bar, tasty gourmet desserts, iced teas and comfortable lounge chairs. We showered and dined, and then sat down to enjoy the world-famous Camp Show which included games, tributes to top fundraisers, and a moving speech by Grace Ramirez, a breast cancer survivor. We slept well, despite a few overnight rain showers.
Saturday started with another beautiful sunrise as the route opened onto an 18.9-mile course. The day was filled with fun community involvement, including New Balance-sponsored cheerleaders at pit stop 2, numerous pop-up cheering stations and a lot of fun at Bonita Cove, where everyone enjoyed the swings and special therapy dogs. The route looped through San Diego with excellent views of the water. Thousands of pink and red gerber daisies were donated again this year (anonymously) by a local flower shop. The Camp Show included more games from Bank of America and moving speeches by Eden Becker, a young survivor, and John Shinar, a co-survivor, who is participating in all fourteen 3-Day events this season to honor his wife Martha. Dr. Jennifer Ehren spoke on behalf of the San Diego Komen Affiliate. The Youth Corps presented the reasons why they were participating to the delight of the crowd, and the ensuing dance party keep many of us moving into the night.
Sunday's 16-mile route was a fun tour of San Diego with a beautiful walk through De Anza Cove, Mission Hills Park and the Veterans War Memorial. Our path was dotted with walker stalkers and locals who cheered us on. The kids of Francis Parker School sang to us. We were met at the finish line by the cheers of spectators around PETCO Park; they filled the sidewalks and public spaces. The Closing Ceremony at PETCO Park was a dramatic finish to the San Diego 3-Day and to the 2013 3-Day season, as the crowd of thousands of walkers, crew, volunteers, family and friends gathered to celebrate a successful 60-mile walk and to encourage each other on the journey to find a cure. The Survivors' Circle gathered to raise the flag: "We Will Never Give Up!" and participants danced to "We Are Family" as we wrapped up another exciting event for San Diego.
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