On Friday morning, a crowd of people adorned in pink gathered at the Southdale Center in Edina, ready to kick off the Twin Cities 3-Day.
After an inspiring opening ceremony, the parade of pink headed out on the route.
Our first pit stop was at mile 3.1 at Utley Park, where walkers rehydrated and grabbed some snacks for the remaining miles of the day. The weather was balmy with a light breeze, and the sun was shining. We headed onwards around the beautiful Lake Harriet, enjoying public cheer stations where spectators passed out treats, and posed for pictures by the scenic bandshell. From there we walked on towards the fiesta (also known as lunch) at mile 11.8 in Loring Park, first passing by the famous Minnesota Sculpture Garden with the iconic cherry on the spoon.
As we enjoyed “Cactus Water” (just water with a cute name), our festive crew donned sombreros and rattled maracas. There was no shortage of photo opportunities as we ate our salads and sandwiches, enjoying the downtown feel before we headed onwards.
We were treated to a stunning view of downtown Minneapolis, and again, we pulled out the camera as we walked through Father Hennepin Bluffs Park and cheering stations at B.F. Nelson Park.
From there we strolled into more Pit Stops, enjoying the Crew’s clever themes and encouraging smiles. Pit Stop 3 was at Chute Square, near the historic 1848 Godfrey house, the oldest frame house still standing in Minneapolis.
With just a few miles left in the day, we walked into mile 19.2, where busses were waiting to whisk us back to 3-Day camp, where Bank of America massage chairs, dinner, and cozy pink tents awaited us. We awarded top fundraisers , got to know some of our fellow participants, and then laid our heads down for sweet dreams of Day 2.
Day two started with a brilliant pink and orange sunrise. We fueled up on delicious danishes, blintzes, bacon, and eggs, and then began our first steps heading out into White Bear Lake. We walked through beautiful shaded neighborhoods, and then into Pit Stop 1 at White Bear Arena. Pit Stop 2 was set at Lions Park against a beautiful lake where our Camp Minnetata was set up, complete with the pink SS Minnetata boat, water skiing, and knee boarding for walkers to pose with.
After Pit Stop 2, we were treated to the adorable downtown and harbor views of White Bear Lake, where local businesses came out to support us, including free strawberry ice cream for all walkers.
The ice cream helped us put a spring in our step as we charged on toward Railroad and Podvin Parks, and then into lunch at the Calvary Church parking lot, where we were treated to an awesome drum performance by the Women’s Drum Center.
After lunch we worked our way through Vadnais Heights and Little Canada, finally, winding up in Maplewood where we walked home to camp.
We heard from inspiring survivor Catherine, got to meet the Youth Corps, and then finished off the day with a 3-Day Dance Party before saying “Nighty Night” to 3-Day Camp.
Before we knew it, Day 3 was fast upon us and we were grateful it was the shortest day, because the sun was shining extra strong for we triumphant 3-Dayers. We started in North St Paul at Casey Lake Park and then through Northwood Park before ending up at Pit Stop 2 at the Maplewood Middle School. Then, it was onwards toward Beaver Lake Park, and then lunch at the Conway Recreation Center, where walkers decided to shake off some soreness with extra stretching and playground fun.
Three miles out of lunch we ended up in the fan-favorite part of the Twin Cities 3-Day, Indian Mounds Park. As we walked through the beautiful green park and admired the historic mounds, we posed for pictures against the striking skyline.
The humidity joined us the whole day, but when we walked under the pink arch at Harriet Island, the feeling of victory and pride took over.
As we danced and welcomed our last walker home into the Closing Ceremony area, we lined up, marched into the Closing Ceremony, and held our shoes up high in solidarity for our incredible survivors. Megan from Komen Minnesota shared with us how the $1m dollars raised are making a difference in our community, and then, we watched as the tribute flag was passed onwards to be carried to Seattle.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this unforgettable weekend in Twin Cities — from the determined walkers, to the hard-working crew, to the donors, the volunteers, and the spectators. Thanks to you, we’re now 3 days and 60 miles closer to the end of breast cancer forever.
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