I’ve skated on sunny mornings, on chilly mornings, on rainy mornings and on windy mornings. But until Saturday, never on a foggy morning.
At roughly 14 miles into the race from Two Harbors to Duluth, the fog rolled in off Lake Superior, accompanied by a light mist. The fog got thicker as we neared the city, with visibility perhaps a quarter-mile.
The mist covered my glasses, occasionally obscuring my view of the road ahead. We watch the road closely. We don’t want to get caught in cracks in the pavement, or by tar snakes — the soft tar they use to patch those cracks — nor do we wish to skate over anything in the road.
So I just followed Pink’s line. She skated just ahead of me for most of the first 23 miles. The pink top she wore was hard to miss.
Then I caught up with Illinois. She’d traveled to Duluth by herself and was skating the marathon for the first time. Illinois wore a black T-shirt that also was hard to miss, and I followed her line the rest of the way.
Despite the fog and the mist, it turned out to be a pretty fast day for everyone in the field, even me.
So thank you, ladies. Here’s a song for you.
“I’m comin’ up (to Duluth) so you better get this party started … I can go for (26.2) miles if you know what I mean … Don’t bring me down (because skaters don’t like to wipe out).”
“Don’t Start Me Down,” Booty Von Dralle, 2005. It’s a classic mashup of Pink — who else? — and Electric Light Orchestra.
About the photo: The marathon ended as it started, under overcast skies. By early afternoon, it was pouring. Shortly before sunset, though, we were rewarded with this rainbow over Lake Superior.
Is there pink in a rainbow?