day three theme: in it to win it!
on day three we were not messing around. we were going to walk the entire day.
the route for day three was the same as both the other times i've walked. so as hard as day three was, it was also rather comforting, like walking with an old friend. it was helpful to recognize places along the walk and to know what was coming around the bend. there were also many fun opportunities for repeat photo-ops, so i hope you'll forgive me for a few trips down bc3d memory lane.
on the last day everyone is queued up and ready to get on the trail asap... i've always had to stand in a line to leave camp on day three.
fun with shaddows while we wait (2010) - meghan and i are the pair just to the right of the tree.
since everyone is queued up to leave camp things are pretty bunched up at the start of day three - lots of passing and being passed and very crowded pit stops. things eventually thin out a bit though...
day three is always the most visited by cheering crouds. there are impromput cheering stations all along the route. people spend the entire day following the walkers, cheering us on.
here we have the bikers who follow the route all weekend long off their bikes posing for pictures with the walkers.
meghan and i opted for a hovermale instead of standing in line to pose with the bikers.
we were also happy to find the big pink bunny again:
it's out every year (2008) and is meghan's "favorite" thing to be coorcered into posing next to it.
another staple of every twin cities three-day is jody's couch. jody was a good friend of a couple (i don't know their names) and she died of breast cancer. this pink couch was her most comfortable and favorite place to rest when she was sick. every year the wife walks in the tree day and her husband takes jody's couch along the route and the walkers sit on it and take their pictures. here's 2011:
i mentioned the people who follow the route along all day and cheer us on... well these two ladies were our favorites from day three:
i think it's clear why. they were totally boob-city-awesome!!
as we got closer and closer to the last cheering station i started to keep my eye's peeled for some very special cheering friends...
these aren't them... but it always makes me laugh when the cheerleaders come out and cheer us on.
closer and closer to the capitol... as soon as we were done with lunch (7-ish miles still to go) we started to get glimpses of the capitol every now and again.
here we are about three miles out. (the capitol is the white dome to the far right on the horizon. looks a lot farther than three mere miles doesn't it? we thought so too.)
but then we spied our speical cheering section!!
hooray for brian and lily!! they were just the pick-me-up we needed towards the end of a long day. thank you so much for coming early to cheer us along the route!!
as we walked our way into downtown st. paul, and the final mile, we passed a spot i remembered from last year (2010), so we had to stop and pose:
i'm not sure why, but i really stiffened up along the last mile, it seemed to go on and on forever...
but really, all good things must end, and soon we were crossing the last bridge and the end was in sight:
closer.... and closer.....
and then we were there!!
and there were so many people cheering... and so much joy... there is no way to stop yourself from smiling the hugest of smiles when you're finishing the 3-day. it's a feeling like no other.
once we were done, we met up with brian and lily (again skipping the closing ceremonies), and drove back home to mankato.
we celebrated our accomplishment with a bottle of malbec sent from our much missed teammate laura and a viewing of home alone. (because that's how we roll.)
and thus ends the 2011 twin cities breast cancer three-day. i want to say a huge and public thank you to my teammate and sister meghan - she is a 60 mile walking superstar - and i couldn't have been happier to have shared this experience with her! love you meg!!! (and i'll see you next year!!!) (and you too laura.)