What a cold start. In my six years of walking the 3 Day I have never shivered so much waiting for the opening ceremonies to get underway. Of course, I wasn't alone. Over four thousand of us, including all the wonderful volunteers, were anxious to get moving. But once we did, things warmed up in a hurry. It wasn't so much the weather - that took a while. It was the people. I took my time walking the sidewalks of beautiful Del Mar this morning and really enjoyed seeing all the people out supporting the walkers in a number or ways. Some had tables set up at the end of their driveways where they gave out coffee and bagels. Others played music, handed out candies, sticks and buttons and cheered us on. The cold just can't put a damper on that.
I met up with my friend Tommy Sablan at the first pit stop and we headed off to Torrey Pines together. Walking with a friend just makes the experience of the 3 Day that much better. And Tommy is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Before we knew it we had arrived at lunch at Kellogg Park. Picnicking on the grass overlooking the beach at La Jolla Shores is a fabulous reward for completing the first 11 miles. After doing a live shot with the always charming Kimberly King for our 11 o'clock show and putting a voice track down for a story to run at five o'clock, I hit the pavement once again. Tommy had gone ahead so I walked most of the second leg alone. But you're never really alone on the 3 Day. Everyone talks to each other and each corner brings more support from cheering San Diegans offering us everything from home baked treats to frozen yogurt and pink beer.
Before turning on to the walkway around Mission Bay we come across a large cheering section. Two clowns paint pink ribbons on my arms and a group of ten-year-old boys wearing nothing but shorts and bras (you had to see it!) applauds as we pass. On any other day this would make absolutely no sense. But today it sums up the whole experience... I a realize once again how truly blessed I am to be a part of it. I finally catch up to Tommy just before the finish line and the cross together. Day one is done and I'm feeling good.
I know the weather tomorrow might bring new challenges of the wet variety but after today, I'm confident once again that it won't dampen our spirits. For now, I'm only thinking about sleep...