On Friday morning of our Twin Cities 3-Day, we began our 60-mile journey at the Southdale Mall in Edina. This historic spot was actually the location of the original Mall of America, and it was the perfect place to welcome both local and out-of-town walkers to the 3-Day.
The day started with perfect walking temperatures as our 3-Dayers arrived at the Disco Boobie Diner at Pit Stop 1. Already with 2.8 miles behind them, the walkers danced and boogied with their first taste of grahamwiches and 3-Day crew love.
Pit Stop 2, at mile 6.8, was right along the water at Utley Park. Fittingly, the theme for the pit stop was Lake Minitata, and walkers could stop to “fish” for bras, or pose with floaties along the crew-created dock.
Lunch took place at Loring Park after 11.7 miles on the day, before our walkers made their way through more beautiful views at Father Hennepin Bluffs and B.F. Nelson Parks. The day ended on the University of Minnesota campus, before walkers were bussed to our picturesque camp at Harvest Park.
Camp was a celebratory affair on Friday night as walkers relaxed in the Bank of America massage chairs, picked up their mail and sweet treats from home, and cheered on the top fundraisers (team, individual and crew) and award winners for the Twin Cities. Then, it was off to their pretty pink tents for a good night’s rest.
Day Two started off sunny and warm, and our walkers made great time coming into Pit One at Thunder Bay Park for a quick 3.2 miles. From there, they walked by the iconic Jody’s Couch, and saw love and support from the local community.
From there, the walkers enjoyed time in Spooner, Acorn and Central Parks as they walked the next 8 miles (for a total of 11.2) to arrive at lunch! This lunch was hopping thanks to a fiesta theme, complete with salsa music, maracas, and lots of space to spread out and relax on the Mohawk Flooring pink mats. Walkers ate, relaxed, and even practiced yoga before heading back out on the route.
Just after lunch, there was an extra festive community cheering section led by the Boobettes, who danced and posed alongside walkers.
Grab & Go B at mile 14.2 was coffee and barista themed, which gave walkers that extra “java boost” to carry them through Vadnais Park and onto to the Treasure Ye Chest pirates at Pit 4. From there, they only had a few miles left before arriving back at camp, having completed 22.6 miles on Saturday!
Saturday night was Friends & Family night at camp, so walkers got to spend some time with their loved ones. They played putt-putt golf and got chair massages at the Bank of America tent, listened to local musicians as well as speeches by Susan G. Komen researchers, and even had a dance party! They also met our amazing Twin Cities Youth Corps Crew, who received a standing ovation from walkers after providing lots of support and cheers all weekend long.
Day 3 promised to be the sunniest and warmest of the weekend, so our walkers got right to work first thing in the morning. They reached Pit Stop 1 at Casey Lake Park in record time, and had already checked 3.5 miles off their list for the day!
From there, they passed Maplewood Middle School at mile 5.8 before breezing into lunch at the Conway Recreation Center. There was plenty of room to stretch out and relax in the shade, as well as a playground and even a fountain play area at lunch, making it a fun stop for walkers, as well as some of the community who came out to cheer them on. There was plenty to cheer for, as there were only 7 miles left to go before reaching the finish line!
After lunch, walkers made their way through Indian Mounds Park, which provided plenty of beautiful views and awesome photo opportunities. Pit Stop 3 at Mile 14.3 especially had gorgeous views of St. Paul spread out below. After that, it was all down hill to Closing Ceremony at Harriet Island.
It was a victorious final few miles for our walkers as they reached the finish area, and that feeling of accomplishment carried on through Closing Ceremony. Our 400 walkers and 175 crew members in the Twin Cities raised $1.1 million.
However, their journey does not end here, and is never truly done, as was evidenced in our closing ceremony. We are all still working, and walking, towards Susan G. Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.
As we hugged and celebrated and danced in the sun, one message rang loud and clear; that though our feet may ache, our spirit and dedication will live forever; through aches, and pain, and blisters. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP. Thank you, Twin Cities. We are so very proud of each and every one of you, and cannot thank you enough for each of the 60 miles you walked this past weekend.
If you’re ready to be a part of this incredible journey again in 2018, sign up now at The3Day.org/Register.