The signs don't lie:

No one really walks the 3-Day alone. If you come to an event not knowing anyone, buddies will find you on the route, at the blister self-help station and at dinner. And trust me, nothing inspires a sense of closeness like showering in a semi-trailer -- or waiting in line for the semi-trailer showers with a bunch of tired, stinky people. Conversation happens.

But, I can wholeheartedly say whether you've already convinced one or two friends to join your 3-Day journey or whether you're the lone crazy person you know willing to walk 60 miles to help find a cure for breast cancer - it's worth it to find a team. I walked with a friend and coworker my first year (which was great; she's a trooper :) but last year I was blown away by the support and encouragement a team offers. Joining a team won't give you a break on the fundraising - each walker still must raise $2,300 - but team members can plan fundraisers together, pass donations onto each other (in some limited ways), and offer ideas and encouragement when you're running low.

The 3-Day team captain handbook says 79 percent of those who register on a team successfully complete the event, compared with the 56 percent of individual walkers to complete the event. The top reasons walkers aren't successful are: fear of fundraising, scheduling conflicts, injury and pregnancy.

Obviously, a team isn't going to do much about serious injury or pregnancy, but a team captain can help you plan ahead and set priorities, whether it be for training, reaching fundraising milestones or scheduling training walks. A team captain also can emphasize the importance of having good gear, stretching appropriately and/or attending a 3-Day clinic before the event.

Oh, and teams have better T-shirts and slogans.

So, if you've already signed up for the 3-Day, skim the message boards, get a share list or talk with a 3-Day coach about finding a team. More likely than not, walking and fundraising with others will take a load of your shoulders you didn't realize was there...

If you're walking in Chicago, check out Chicago Ms. America Tatas here. We're looking for more members.

Already on a team? Leave a comment with your favorite team name or slogan.
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4 Responses
  1. I've never done the walk before & really want to do it this year! Right now, I'm that lone wolf that you wrote about. Part of me thinks it's crazy that no one wants to walk with me. Hello? You're healthy, right? Then walk! Those statistics you shared about the percentage of individual walks completing the event is what's holding me back from registering right now. I'm afraid that I won't be able to do all of the fund raising without some support. I'm going to a getting started meeting this week and am hoping to be able to find a team so I can help make a stand! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Jen Says:

    Absolutely the BEST TEAM EVER!!! I miss them all.....Athena's Armoury... you can do it... I did... my hubbie told me I was insane & that I'd never reach it so not to get my hopes up ... well guess what that's exactly what I did, I got my hopes up , joined a team & asked every person I knew. It's the MOST AMAZING experience ever. I'm not doing it this year but I'm def. doing it next year, & I can't wait!!!!!

  3. I'd really like to do the walk this year, but I'm afraid either a: I wont meet the fund-raising goal or b: I'll be painfully shy and won't meet anyone and fail at finishing. :( I really don't know how to find a group to walk with or get started tho.

  4. jillianduch Says:

    @ mandie - e-mail me at jillianduch at hotmail dot come and I'll flood you with ideas for getting started. I'm crewing in Chicago this year, so you're more than welcome to join my team!