What can you expect when you walk in a Susan G. Komen 3-Day event? Laughter. Tears. Camaraderie. Possibly blisters. But most of all, an incredibly unforgettable experience.
As three-year veterans of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, we know firsthand just what a deeply meaningful, important, and enormously fun event it is. But there was something extra special about walking in the Atlanta 3-Day here in our home state of Georgia! On a balmy Friday morning, our employees gathered at the base of Stone Mountain before dawn to offer their support to the walkers and crew members participating in this year’s event.
Brian Carson, President of Mohawk Flooring North America, took the stage to kick-off the morning in recognition of Mohawk’s 16-year partnership with Susan G. Komen.
It was an emotional opening ceremony, punctuated by poignant speeches from participants who spoke passionately about their reasons for taking part in the Atlanta 3-Day.
The husband with a recently diagnosed wife.
The daughter who lost her mother just months prior.
The best friend.
As the crowd raised their hands in unison, each person paid a beautiful tribute to the friend or family member they were walking in honor of.
“I walk because I still can,” declared a breast cancer survivor.
And then it was time.
As the sun rose over the towering gray, granite hill, our team set off alongside the 475 walkers to rousing cheers and a round of high-fives. The energy was contagious as walkers trekked the first 20 miles from Stone Mountain Park to the Georgia World Congress Center, forming friendships forged on sharing the same goal: a world without breast cancer.
Along the way, the community rallied with a huge show of support. Cars honked, people cheered, signs were waved, and volunteers passed out drinks and treats to keep spirits high. And as if the day couldn’t get any sweeter, walkers turned a corner to find themselves greeted by rows of cheering preschool and elementary school students. Decked out in pink attire and waving homemade banners bearing the words “No More Cancer,” they lined the sidewalk holding out their tiny hands for enthusiastic high-fives.
When it came time for lunch, pre-cut squares of our pink SmartCushion were the perfect place for the walkers to picnic. Not only do our carpet cushions make a comfortable spot to sit, but a portion of proceeds from SmartCushion sales help fund Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer research as part of our dedicated efforts to support the organization.
Even four-legged friends love to cozy up on our SmartCushion!
The route wound around Sycamore Park and took walkers over the Jackson Street Bridge before striding through Centennial Olympic Park to reach the first day’s campsite at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Favorite memory from Day One? Jim, a veteran of the 3-Day participating in his 52nd walk, showed off that famous southern hospitality when he stopped to treat a group of first-time walkers at Atlanta’s favorite local popsicle spot, King of Pops!
Atlanta 3-Day, Saturday
Saturday morning started off bright and early at the CNN Center as the walkers pressed on to the second portion of their sixty-mile journey. Their walk would wind them through the city, in front of the Governor’s Mansion, past the High Museum of Art, and finally ending at the World of Coca-Cola.
Fall in the south means the air was sticky and the weather hot but the incredible, dedicated crew kept walkers hydrated and happy. (And we kept them comfortable for long days on their feet by providing carpet cushion to stand on!) Over 225 people made up the Atlanta 3-Day crew and were they ever an animated bunch! Decked out in whimsical, pink attire the crew worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of the walkers while warmly cheering them on.
We’d heard tell along the trail of the legendary 3-Day mac n’ cheese and it did not disappoint when they served it up as “Crackin’ Cheese” for dinner on Day Two. It may have even inspired a dance party or two.
At camp, our SmartCushion made another welcome appearance when strips of it were passed out to tired walkers to provide an extra measure of comfort underneath their sleeping bags. After chalkboard art and some life-size games of Jenga, it was lights-out to rest up for the last day!
Atlanta 3-Day, Sunday
On Sunday morning, with forty miles down and just twenty to go, walkers set off from the Georgia Aquarium to conquer the last leg of their Atlanta expedition, the city skyline a striking backdrop behind them.
Cheering stations lined the route and the walkers were ushered through their final few miles surrounded by shouts of encouragement and support. As they strode toward their final destination, the feeling in the air was one of triumph. They set out to conquer hills and conquer hills they did, in every sense of the word.
A little rain couldn’t put a damper on everyone’s spirits and the atmosphere at the finish line was electric.
Altogether the 475 walkers and 225 crew members raised an impressive $1.4 million dollars for breast cancer research.
A personal favorite? Rolling out the Mohawk pink carpet for the big finish each day. Who deserves a
red pink carpet reception more than these dedicated participants?
Step by step we are getting closer to Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal of reducing the nation’s over 40,000 deaths from breast cancer by 50 percent by the year 2026. We are honored to help #CushionTheFight .
3 days. 60 miles. $1.4 million dollars. Congrats on an amazing event, Atlanta!