My Top 10 Tips for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

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I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure as an Energizer Keep Going Blogger. Those three days were eye-opening and the memories will stay with me forever. I was proud to be a part of this and I’m excited to share my top tips for those who will be walking in the 3-Day this year or in years to come. .

3 Day For The CurePrior to participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®, I was full of questions. Even though there were lots of tips of online, I still wasn’t sure what advice to take – especially when it was conflicting. So to ease the nerves of others I’ve compiled a list of what I feel are important things to know about the 3-Day for the Cure®.

10 Tips for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

#10 Hidden Mickeys

3 Day for the Cure PicturesOkay, I know that aside from being out in the hot sun all day the 3-Day for the Cure is nothing like Disney World. However, just like that famous theme park be sure tokeep an eye out for “Hidden Mickeys” on your walk.

No, they are not actually silhouettes of Mickey Mouse, but instead they’re messages of support from local community members. It may be a sidewalk chalk drawing, a dixie cup of lemonade, a handful of frozen grapes, a crayon-colored sign tacked to a 3-Day for the Cure arrow, a pink ribbon tied to a mailbox, or even a car blowing it’s horn as it drives by.

No matter what it is, these “Hidden Mickeys” will help keep you going. If your feet are hurting or the heat of the day is catching up to you, keep your eyes peeled and more than likely within the next 500 feet you will be inspired by something someone has done to show how much your walking means to them.

#9 Befriend Solo Walkers

Susan G Komen For The CureAs a solo walker this past weekend, I met a lot of other wonderful people. Everyone was extremely friendly and nice. I know that as a solo walker I was a little nervous about meeting others and walking alone, but really had nothing to worry about. There almost always seemed to be someone to talk to.

While this was the case for me, I just wanted to put out there to all of you walking with partners or on teams, take a minute to befriend that solo walker nearby. We don’t want anyone to feel alone on this incredible journey and it will mean so much to them. You never know you just may form a new friendship.



3 Day For the Cure ClevelandI may have stumbled across the ultimate must-have for those 3-Day for the Cure walks that take place in the hot summer months – COOL OFF Wipes. They are incredible! They resemble baby or hand wipes and come in small packages that are easy to toss into your backpack or fanny pack.

You open the package, take out the wipe, shake it, and the coolness is instantly activated. It was such a breath of fresh air to have these wipes along when the afternoon sun was hitting it’s peek. They stayed cool for 20 minutes or so and were so luxurious to rub on the back of my neck, place against my forehead, or to simply hold in my hands.

At one point, on Saturday after I returned to camp, I grabbed a bite to eat, showered and came back to my tent. The sun was even stronger at this point and my tent quickly became a greenhouse. I started to get a little woozy and grabbed a COOL OFF Wipe. Almost instantly as I held it to my face and put it on my neck, I started to feel better. I then guzzled a lot of Gatorade and the dizzy feeling passed.

If you will be on a 3-Day for the Cure walk and the weather is expected to be warm, pick-up a couple of COOL OFF Wipes or maybe bring along a pack of baby wipes. You’ll be thrilled you did.

#7 Take Your Time On The Last Day

The 3 DayOn Sunday, I got up early to pack and fold-up my tent so I could leave when the route opened. I didn’t hurry while walking and even stopped at every Pit Stop, Grab n’ Go, and Lunch and still got into the Holding area (where you hang out before Closing Ceremonies) with more than 3 hours to spare.

When I arrived I was greeted by an enthusiastic group of 10 or so people, which I thought was great, and I loved them for it.

However, if I had waited another hour or two I would have been able to walk through lines of hundreds of people all high-fiving and congratulating me – which would have been an amazing memory. Also, there wasn’t a lot to do for those 3 hours. Some music was played, there were slushies to eat, and a slide show to watch, but that could have all been done with an hour to spare

#6 Comfortable Clothing

3 Day For the Cure T-Shirt

While this tip may seem like common sense, this weekend I saw walkers adorned in all sorts of outfits. What may be comfortable to you, may not be for me, so to each their own on this one. However, be sure to wear something that fits appropriately and breathes properly as it will be essential in helping you not overheat. has an online store where they offer a selection of wonderful products where each item purchased generates funds for free mammograms for women in need.

#5 Backpack versus Fanny Pack

3 Day For the CureThe debate rages on. This one is completely a matter of personal preference. You have to use what is most comfortable for you.

I chose to go with a drawstring backpack and loved it. It distributed any weight I had in it well and was easy to carry. I know others prefer fanny packs because their back sweats and this makes wearing a backpack uncomfortable for them.

I have two suggestions, however, for backpack carriers. The first is to find one with a zipper pouch on the outside or at the top to keep items you may need to reach frequently. The second is to attach a small bag or drawstring pouch to a strap on your backpack because you will be passing a lot of neighborhood residents who want to give you candy – if you want to be polite and take some, but don’t want to eat it right away you can slip it into the small bag dangling from your backpack strap.

I didn’t do this and for every peppermint, Starburst, or piece of licorice that I didn’t want to eat just then, I had to take off my backpack to put it away. It doesn’t sound like much, but after all that mileage extra motions and movement aren’t very welcome!


#4 Bring a Small Camera

3 Day for the Cure

I was amazed at the number of walkers I saw and spoke with that didn’t bring a camera. They felt it was too awkward to carry and didn’t want to worry about leaving it somewhere. But you just can’t miss moments like the one above.

One walker showed me her perfect solution – attach your camera to a lanyard around your neck. Obviously this would only work if your camera is small enough, but it was such a great idea. The camera dangled from her neck and she could just grab it and shoot on the spur of the moment. She also never had to take it off when using a port-a-potty so there was no worry about forgetting it or of it falling in -yikes!

#3 Wear the Right Shoes

The 3 Day

You may have read this advice multiple times in multiple places, but it’s extremely important. The right shoes are essential on a event like this. I walked in my New Balance 760s and got away with only one small blister. I loved them throughout training. And during the walk they were not only very comfortable, but I also had no issues with my feet perspiring.

I heard stories of others who really struggled with their shoes on the event. One woman even lost her big toenail due to an ill-fitting shoe. And I saw one walker shuffling along on Day 2 in flip-flops because her feet were so badly blistered she couldn’t get her shoes back on. I still cringe just thinking about it.

I like to think I’m pretty resourceful and even frugal, but shoes are definitely an area I would spend money on if you are walking 60 miles in 3 days. The New Balance 760s are the official shoes for the 3-Day for the Cure and I think they are worth every penny.

#2 Don’t Set Your Alarm

The 3 Day Tents

On Saturday and Sunday morning, please don’t set your alarm to wake you up. You are sleeping within inches of one another and it will only aggravate those around you.

One of my tent neighbor’s alarms went off at 4:30 am, another neighbor’s at 4:45 am, and yet another at 4:50 am – at that point I was wide awake and annoyed. Not how I wanted to start the morning of such an amazing experience.

There is enough movement around camp from 4 am on, that you will wake up with plenty of time to make the opening of the route. On Sunday everyone in camp is up around 5 am packing and folding up their tents,  so there is never a worry that you will oversleep.

#1! Sweet Dreams

3-Day For The Cure Camp

There is a lot of advice out there about what to sleep on. Air mattresses, cots, pool floats, etc. I opted for the pool float which I thought would be easiest to pack and no problem to blow-up.

Problem #1 was that I couldn’t find a cheap pool float anywhere. I ended up at a pool supply store where I paid $6 for my float.

Problem #2 was blowing-up the pool float. I didn’t realize that after it sat in my bag on the hot gear truck and then that same bag sat in an open field in the hot sun, the plastic pool float would melt together!

I had to peel it apart and blow it up in 1-inch increments. It was awful and it took me 45 minutes. After walking 20 miles, you are not going to want to spend 45 minutes inside your toasty tent blowing up a pool float. Unless you have an alternative method for blowing it up, spend the extra couple of dollars on an air mattress and compressor – I’ve heard once the mattress and compressor are out of the box they don’t take up much room in your bag.

Those are my top 10 tips. I hope they helped a little. If you have any questions at all about the 3-Day for the Cure please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy help!

If you found these tips helpful, check out my other 3-Day posts:

Thank you to Energizer® for partnering with me as the Cleveland’s Keep Going® Blogger. Thanks to COOL OFF,, and New Balance for providing products for review. No compensation was received.

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  1. kristen mcclary says:

    #3 is my favorite tip

  2. I haven’t done the 3 day walk, but I’ve volunteered at the one day walk.

  3. Michelle Washburn says:

    Amazing information, my sister is battling end stage breast cancer right now, I’m looking for ways to get involved.

  4. Robin Wilson says:

    What can I say except “Thank You”! I appreciate so very much ppl like you doing what I want to so badly and cannot. I would love to walk in memory of my mom, but my health prevent it. What a great day!

  5. Nicole Dz says:

    Seeing all these woman and people participate in this is so inspiring. Its so awesome how everyone comes together to do this. The best tip I see is wear the right shoes, those gel inserts help too.

  6. Maralea says:

    Thank you Tesa for joining in this cause. I am certain that one day there will be a cure. They have come a long way in their research!

  7. Cheryl Reinhardt says:

    I loved all the pink tents !!! What a great cause ! I love all the support and volunteers that walk and join in this amazing organization.

  8. alena svetelska says:

    Me and my mom were talking about join in to next walk and support such a great lad to cause.Glad u r one of supporters.

  9. Christina Sparks says:

    One of the local High schools hold an annual walk for this and I try to participate every year.

  10. Thanks for all of the tips, I’m hoping to walk next year.

  11. Kelly Freeman says:

    great cause!

  12. Tammy S says:

    What a wonderful experience you must have had. I have done the one day walk and it is a lot of fun. I would love to try the three day walk. Great tips! I really like the don’t set your alarm clock. It must have been very frustrating :)

  13. Priscilla S. says:

    Thank you for the great tips. This is such a great cause! I’ve wanted to participate for a few years now.

  14. Good job to all of you for walking for the cure!

  15. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    great tips! This is such a great cause!

  16. chelsea r says:

    The shoe tip is so important, I cringed at the thought of all those blisters. The right shoes make the difference!

  17. Sarah L says:

    I need to get some of the COOL OFF Wipes. Handy for hot weather and hot flashes.

  18. Natalie F says:

    I love all your tips, especially the idea of friending solo walkers. No one should be alone on this walk. Great post, thank you!

  19. Megan Cromes says:

    these are great tips!ty ;)

  20. Mary Happymommy says:

    Our family dentist passed away from breast cancer a year ago. It would be great to participate in her honor.

  21. Julie Wood says:

    This sure is a great way to help others by walking for a cure against breast cancer. We have an event and donations are collected in my City and I participate and have fun doing my part.

  22. Birdiebee says:

    What a great “walk” and way to raise money for the cure. I donate every year as I am a 4 year survivor to-date.

  23. ellen beck says:

    That looks so amazing and is a super thing to do! I bet it was a very neat experiece and one with many stories.

  24. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    I think that this is such a worthwhile event. I have several friends that walk this and admire them for doing so.

  25. sherry butcher says:

    I didn’t know you camped out. It really must have been an great event and a good cause that can affect any of us! TFS.

  26. Linda Bradshaw says:

    I wish I had a chance to walk this. I know family and friends who have died and we need a cure!

  27. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    Great Tips, Looks Like Such A Fun Event For A Great Cause!

  28. saminder gumer says:

    thanks for the great tips. i try to do most of these when i go on these types of runs and activities.

  29. Great tips! I might walk with one of my friends who lost his mom to cancer. He walks in honor of her.

  30. Congratulations! Being from Columbus, OH , the Susan G Komen cancer foundation is something I am familiar with. Thank you. Vicki

  31. These are great tips. Such a good cause to walk for!

  32. Tracie Vandermeulen says:

    So many reasons to participate!

  33. Very interesting. I didn’t realize you camped out too! It really must have been an event! Thanks for sharing. What a great cause that can affect any of us too!

  34. Robin Wilson says:

    Thank You and God Bless You for participating in this! I lost my mom to cancer, but due to my own health issues am unable to participate in the walks, much less a 3 day event. Your tips are sound and useful! Keep pink!

  35. Maralea says:

    What a great cause to participate in. Love all the pink!

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