“You go to Heaven if you want,” wrote Mark Twain. “I’ll stay in Bermuda.” The mid-Atlantic island chain (bunched together), 600 miles east of North Carolina is shaped like a fishhook and crowns an extinct underwater volcano. The sea is turquoise, the beaches pink (colored from the eroded skeletons of the red foraminifer, a tiny protozoan) and there’s a mix of manicured English gardens, rhythmic Gombey dancers, primary-colored houses, sailboats in the harbors, and tourists on mopeds. The shipwreck capital of the Atlantic, there are more than 400 wrecks among 200 square miles of coral reefs ringing the islands. The marathon is two laps around. Hilly and scenic and high-fives from smiling, soulful natives. Finished 84th out of 379 entrants — top 25%. Afterwards, enjoyed a fresh seafood dinner and slow-sipped a shot of Dark & Stormy rum while watching the sun sink into the sea. Real men may not eat quiche, but for the Bermuda Marathon they proudly wear a little pink number!