Saturday's 22-mile journey began with a walk up and over the mile-long Golden Gate Bridge. We got a "Rah-Rah" welcome at Pit Stop 2 from the New Balance cheerleaders. It turned into a pretty hot day, but thankfully the local community came out to offer everything from misters to strawberries to lemonade. Just after Pit Stop 5, we faced a grueling switchback hill, then headed to the footpath to get a unique glimpse of the underbelly of the Golden Gate Bridge. We emerged on the other side and headed across the (windy!) bridge back to camp.
I woke up around 5:30am totally refreshed and ready to go for the day. The trail didn't open until 6:45am. It was early enough when I woke up that I didn't have to wait in line for the showers. So I relaxed in the shower, got dressed, and went to eat breakfast.
We got to watch the sun rise over the San Francisco Bay. There was almost no fog which is very rare.
About 7:30am I found the rest of my team. My new walking partner, Angie, and I decided to start out at 7:45am. I was a little nervous about walking across the bridge because I hate bridges. But I was not about to get on the bus to take me across and give up the chance to walk the Golden Gate.
The Golden Gate is over a mile long and then we walked underneath the Golden Gate where there was a maintenance road. At the first pit stop we had the "Hookers for Hooters" singing and dancing for us. We ran into our "Hotties" also.
We walked through Marin and then Sausalito along the water front and through downtown with all of the shops. We had a long walk across an open paved path with no trees. Then we went through Mill Valley. It ended up being about 90 degrees outside (or at least that was how it felt to us).
We still had our "groupies" following us and cheering us on. We had so many people holding up signs and keeping us motivated. There were people at different corners giving out candy, bags of ice, lemonade, strawberries, tissues and even ice cold baby wipes.
After lunch we started back on the trail to return to base camp. We knew we were going to have to go along the walking path that had no shade, bathroom, or water for 3 miles. This was now getting to be early afternoon and the temperature was around 100 degrees.
A few blocks before we got on the path there was a group of about 6 people giving out sandwich sized Ziploc bags full of ice cubes. They warned us that it was going to be very hot where we were going and we needed to stay cool. They had a big cooler full of these ziploc bags of ice for us. They had also gone and purchased 6 flats of strawberries to give out to the walkers as we went by.
We had several crew members posted along this long path to give out water and to call for help if anyone couldn't go on. They took such good care of us.
I realized I was starting to get a blister so at the next pit stop I want to "medical" and got it taken care of. At this point my goal was to just get to the next pit stop. At each pit stop I decided to keep going just until the next pit stop.
Towards the last pit stop my walking partner, Angie, needed to get a blister taken care of. She wasn't ready to give up though so we continued on. Before long we came to the base of the Golden Gate and we made the 1.7 mile trek along the Golden Gate. By this time it was very windy and cold, we couldn't hear each other talk with the traffic noise.
There were a lot of tourists to walk through also. Once you start across the Golden gate you can't give up. We finished the bridge and turned left to make the hike down to Crissy field.
About 50 feet down I saw Jeremy, my 3 kids, Mary my mother-in-law, and Jeremy's aunt Rachel waiting with signs, passing out lollipops, cheering everyone on, and playing the song "Pretty Woman" on their radio. As soon as I saw them I ran towards them (I did not know I had the energy to run until I saw them.)
Cassie, me, Kenny, Jeremy, Alex and Mary. Rachel's taking the picture.
I introduced them to my new friend Angie and just held them close. I then stayed with them for probably 30 minutes and helped them to cheer on the other walkers. Kenny and Cassie wanted to see "Tent City", which was the nickname we had given Crissy field. The three of us walked into tent city and they both looked up at me with tears in their eyes and said, "Mommy, we are so proud of you. When we are 16 can we walk in the 3 Day with you?"
There was a small tent store set up to buy supplies. They had kids shirts that said "Somebody I love walked the 3 Day" Alex didn't want one so I just bought them for Cassie and Kenny. They also had pins so I bought 2 pins, one was for Mary that said SF 3 day 2008. Mary has both walked and crewed the 3 Day event in the past. There was also a Survivor pin, I bought that one for Jeremy's aunt Rachel because she is a 9 year survivor of cancer. Not long after it was time to say good bye to my family.
I walked Cassie and Kenny about ¼ mile up to where Jeremy was. I then had to walk back down and there were about 100 steps that I had to make it down one last time.
I checked into camp with more energy than I thought was possible. Seeing my family really helped me a lot. I ate dinner, showered, and watched a movie that they had about Susan G Komen Foundation. I couldn't find my team mates so I just talked to the people around me.
Pretty soon they had the finalist for the karaoke contest. The person that won was this guy that changed the words of the song Uptown Girl to My 3Day Girl. He was a crew member that had helped at the pit stops.
After that was done they had music and dancing. After walking
more than 22 miles that day I got up with the other walkers and crew members
and danced for about half an hour. By 9pm it was time for lights out. I went
to sleep fast but I kept waking up because my calves were starting to spasm
and my knee was having a lot of shooting pain. Maybe dancing was a little much,