Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lake Cadillac Team Marathon+ race report

Race day registration started at 6:00 near the starting line, so Jerry and I got up at 5:15 to get ready, then drove a couple of miles down the road to the race tent. We were the first ones there, and we each registered for the 10K. I decided that I wanted to do the race with Jerry, instead of running the half by myself—there really wasn’t any reason for me to run the half-marathon! We got all kinds of goodies for our registration fee: t-shirt (cotton! I love when races have cotton shirts, because I actually wear them); drawstring bag; shoe bag; and a plastic cup. 



We also got bibs and shoe tags. I haven’t gotten an actual shoe tag in a long time! Most races have the timing chips on the bibs now. Luckily I knew what it was ;) The race didn’t start until 7:30, so we headed to McDonald’s to get some coffee while we waited. It was kind of entertaining there, because there were four teenagers who were either hungover or still drunk from last night—each of them took turns going to the bathroom to throw up, which could be heard through the whole restaurant. So classy.

When it was time to go to the race start, we parked by the finish line, and then there was a bus shuttle that could take runners and/or spectators to the individual starting lines. The starting line for the 10K was only 0.7 miles away, so we decided just to walk. The scenery was gorgeous!


There were markings on the side of the road to show the course, and we kept looking for the 10K starting line mark. We saw the 20-mile mark for the marathon, and it only made sense to me that the 10K start should have been in the same spot as that—right? (20 miles + 10K = finish line). Well, we didn’t see anything about the starting line there, so we just kept walking. Finally, we saw two people standing on the side of the road, and a mark that said “10K start”. 



We chatted with them while we waited for more people to show up. They were locals, and couldn’t believe how few people were doing the race. I had looked at last year’s results, so I knew it was a small race, and it was just what I expected. I really liked the informality of it! Finally, the bus pulled up, and some more people got off for the 10K start. There weren’t many of us—13 in total for the 10K!



The race director stayed with us, and then got ready to announce on the radio when we would start, so that all runners would start at the same time, regardless of what distance they were running. It cracked me up how intimate this race was—someone on the radio asked if the "woman in the yellow shirt found her way to the 10K start", and the race director radioed back, “The yellow shirt woman is here. Are we waiting on anyone else? Have my parents drive them over.” This is totally unlike anything I’ve experienced at a race before, but I loved that they knew pretty much everyone in the race. 

Jerry said something about bag check tags on our bib, and it made me think that if there actually was a bag check, it would probably be everyone putting their bags in the truck of the race directors car, and he’d personally make sure that everything was safe ;)

Anyway, the race director counted down, and sent us off. I planned on being in the very back of the pack, but even at a pretty slow pace, Jerry and I were toward the front of the 10K’ers. The race went by super fast! It felt like I blinked, and we were already at mile two. We took some mid-race selfies, and we chatted with a couple of people along the way. 


We passed a few people who were doing the marathon or the relay (who started about a mile down the road from us). We were passed by a couple of people doing the half-marathon (who started about a quarter mile behind us). We enjoyed the scenery, and had some good conversation.




I have to take a second to rave about this course—it is FANTASTIC. It’s a 6.9-mile loop around an inland lake. Where your start on the course depends on the race distance you’re doing. For the 10K, you do a little less than a full loop. The whole course is very flat, because it’s right next to the lake, so if you’re looking for a PR, it’s great. It’s also such a small race that you’re pretty much guaranteed to place in your age group. Anyway, I loved the course, and can’t really say enough good things about it!


When we reached the finisher’s “chute” (not really a chute, but the finish line/relay exchange points), it was such a warm and intimate finish—I can’t really explain it other than that. There weren’t crowds of people, but there were probably about 30 spectators, and everyone was in great spirits. Jerry and I crossed the finish line, and promptly removed the timing chips from our shoes to deposit in a bucket. 

We spent some time hanging out at the finish line, looking out at the lake, watching our fellow 10K’ers cross the finish line, and chatting with some of the other runners. Because it was such a small race, you feel like you already know everyone that you ran with, and you want to see them do well! Then we went to the tent to see if they had our results.

They had a paper with the results printed on it, and I could clearly see “Female 30-39” with only ONE name under it—mine. I won first place (and last place) in my age group ;)  Under “Male 30-39” was only ONE name—Jerry’s. Turns out we were 6th and 7th place overall, out of the 13 that ran the 10K. (We finished in 57:21)

We got medals for our age group finishes, which was kind of fun. The ribbon on mine was SO short, that I had to work pretty hard to get it over my head. Haha!



I loved everything about this race! I was nervous about it being such a small race, and I was expecting a really competitive atmosphere, but it was nothing like that. It was very intimate, and fun. The race director was walking around talking to people, which really says a lot. I’ve never actually seen that at a race before! The course was fantastic, like I mentioned before. I would say that out of all the races I’ve done (which is a lot!), this one would make my top five. I would love to do it again next year—maybe the four-person relay with my siblings? 

In looking at the results later, I realized that if I had wanted to, I probably could have won the half-marathon, hahaha. The first place woman finished in 1:58:19; and for the marathon, the first place woman finished in 5:15:17! There were only 16 people to do the half-marathon, and 5 to do the full. There were a lot more people on the course than that, though, because there were several relay teams for the full marathon. Still--when I say it was a small race, I mean it was a SMALL race. I don't mean that in a negative way, though--the size of the race was part of what I loved so much about it!

After the race, Jerry and I went back to the hotel to shower. We decided to drive up to Traverse City after all, and we got there just in time for lunch. We stopped at this little sandwich shop called Bad Dog Cafe, and I had the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life! Then we went to Chateau Chantal winery for a wine tasting.

Basically, you pay $3, and get to taste 6 different wines (of your choice). I selected a nice variety of what was listed, and we enjoyed all of them. We bought a glass of Chardonnay and sat outside for a little while, enjoying the weather and the scenery. I felt like I could have sat there all day long, and had several glasses, but we had to drive home, so we just stuck to one. 


I loved the wine glasses! We got to buy them for $1 and use them for the tasting

Jerry wanted to try out a brewery called North Peak before we left Traverse City, so we stopped there on the way out. I’m not a beer person, so I didn’t get any, but he had a flight of beer and was thrilled ;)


Then, we started the long drive home (now 5+ hours, because we had driven further north to Traverse City). I’m actually typing this in the car. It was SUCH a great 24-hour trip! 


33 comments:

  1. It sounds like you had a great time! I thought about you when I was running this morning!
    The relay is 4 person? I've been looking for something that my three sisters and I could do together but most marathon relays are 5 person. This is a possibility!
    You could always make it your goal to run the marathon next year and win! Wouldn't that be fun to be able to say that you won a marathon!

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    1. Ha! Knowing my luck, I'd train to race it, with plans of "winning", and then someone would waste me. I really would like to do the relay, though!

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  2. Sounds fun to have such a small race! Glad you had a good time!

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    1. It was very fun! I realized I definitely prefer small races to the big ones.

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  3. what a great way to spend time with your husband -- so glad you had a good time

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  4. I started running races in the early 80s (!) and they were ALL like that...everyone knew each other, informal, and friendly. It was in Michigan too. :)

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    1. That's awesome! I'd like to find some more races like that.

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  5. What an awesome race!! Granted I would be last but it seems like one of those races where it just wouldn't matter :)

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    1. It really wouldn't matter, and I'm sure there would still be people there to cheer you on! It was definitely one of those kinds of races.

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  6. Oh how fun! I sure wish my husband would do more fitness things *with* me. He'll come to support/watch and he'll do a 5K, but how fun to be able to run a 10k with your hubby! That's fantastic. I love the spur of the moment idea as well!

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    1. This was a first for us! Jerry only runs about three times a year ;)

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  7. I love this!! What a fun race and report! You look so calm and relaxed and happy in all the pictures. So glad you had a chance to have fun with Jerry!

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    1. It was NICE to do a "relaxing" race, and not worry about pace, or child care, or hurrying home, or any of that :)

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  8. Sounds like a great trip. Leave it to you and Jerry to pick a race for a road trip on a free day! Talk about a change in lifestyle! You two are the champions of showing us what can be accomplished and how much a person can change. I love the fact that this is a permanent change for you both. I am back on track. I started last week, cut out all the snacking, then joined one of those Dietbets--my first--and am now back to walking and eating less--so perhaps I can get back to my new lifestyle, the one that I lived for over 3 years, and my old weight, which I loved so much!

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    1. I still haven't taken on the Dietbet... I'm not sure how I feel about it! You'll have to let me know what you think when it's over :)

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  9. You guys are so cute! I love that you had a day off, so you picked a random race and made an adventure out of it! Thanks for sharing your fun day :)

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  10. What a great report! I love NW Michigan. If you ever get back there - you have to go to Glen Arbor to the Cherry Republic for one of their Boomchucka cookies - they are the best! Oh and the scenery along Lake Michigan there is beautiful - sand dunes are awesome..there's even a place to rent jeeps and go riding on the dunes. So fun!

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    1. That sounds great! I guess the problem with a last minute trip is that we didn't have time to plan anything at all. Now we'll know for next time!

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  11. What a wonderful race and trip!!! Thanks for sharing about it. I smiled with every word you wrote. :)

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    1. It certainly was a wonderful race and trip! :)

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  12. Hi Katie,

    Glad that you and Jerry had a great time and congratulations on the awesome lifestyle choices you have made. I love your heading to your page and it was fun reading about you.

    Thought you might enjoy a few things about those "shoe tags" you haven't seen in a while.

    1. we use them by choice when given the chance (especially for smaller events) -- we own about ten chip systems that will work with disposable tags too ...

    2. we re-use them over and over and over so the actual chip costs are near zero to the race - we lost one chip yesterday and if we don't re-claim it ... we'll be down $2.50 on chips for the day ... compare that to the chip cost for disposables and it becomes an obvious choice for us and for the race director as it translates into lower costs to you

    3. disposable chips have precious metal in them that is in a non-reclaimable amount -- so this is much greener over the thousands of runners we time with them each year

    4. read rates are near perfect -- disposable chips tend to miss a few more reads

    The only negatives I can think of:
    a. you are inconvenienced for ten seconds while you remove the chip or the race volunteer clips it off (we even had a chair you could sit in while they do it)

    and

    b. I can't actually think of another negative other than I have to sort them ... but other than me who cares about that ;-)

    I hope you will come back next year. The race is likely to grow a little, we expect, but I don't think the culture will change much. This year's crowd was unfortunately off a tad because the race was forced to change the date a few months before the event. They are working hard on a stable date going forward.

    You forgot to mention how nice the park on either side of the course was and many of the relay team members before and after their leg of the race were playing frisbee, dancing and just having fun hanging out in the awesome shade on a beautiful day. Spectators had a great place to hang out. We love this race and we do hundreds of events each year.

    Don
    http://michiantiming.com

    All distances are certified as well!

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    1. That's interesting about the disposable chips! I am always afraid of my chip getting smashed when it's on my bib, and not getting an official time. I didn't mind the shoe chips at all! And you're right, the spectators have a GREAT place to hang out. I'm excited to go back next year!

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  13. Of the 4 half-marathons I have run, the smallest one I ran (32 people) was the one I enjoyed the most. It was much more social than all of the other ones I have run which seems strange to say because the others had anywhere between 2000 to 19000 runners.

    My husband and his dad love the North Peak. One year when they went up to Traverse City, they ate there every night for a week.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about it being more social, even though it's smaller. It just feels more comfortable or something, and I really liked the small size of the race.

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  14. Wow... we had no idea we were in the company of a Super Star!

    I have yet to devour every word of your blog, but at a skim, I have to say, "You are inspiring!" I immediately shared this story on my Facebook Page while my guy kept reading me excerpts of your writings....Amazing! Thus far, we chuckled a lot at your cotton t-shirt comment; we want dri fit shirts! My favorite photo thus far is your foot pic. My guy laughed aloud at me when I mentioned losing weight changes shoe size. He bought brand new running shoes in mid-December and within a couple months - he needed new ones!...ha!!!

    Up until the end of October 2013, we were living life like we were invincible - eat/drink whatever we want. On November 4 or 5 (sorry honey, I forget the exact date!), my guy took a 1.25 mile walk and he hasn't stopped. After Sunday's 10K, the bike ride home allowed his "activity app" to roll to 2,000 miles. This includes - walks, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, running and biking. Calories burned to date (6/22/14) is 146,087!! - My rock star!

    We make every weekend we have together an adventure. Runs in different cities, bike rides to places unknown. We are having a blast!

    Thank you.......... really. You could have noted in your report how I was a debbie downer - griping about the restroom situation instead you just seen the beauty in everything. We forget how lucky we are sometimes (Lake Cadillac is less than a mile from our house - we are lucky eh!) - thanks for opening my eyes to beauty again!

    Run Happy! (I stole this from my Brooks bandana).
    The Local Couple - Ryan and Michelle

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    1. It was SO great chatting with you two! A big congrats to both of you on the race, and wow--Ryan is doing amazing on the exercise! Maybe we'll see you guys again next year :)

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  15. Your hub looks like a baby! Congrats you two!!! HOW FUN!

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  16. Hehe, what a fun race report, and from reading the comments looks like you have a few new fans! :)

    I have to be nosy and ask - do you have any opinion whatsoever about the Dr Oz situation?

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    1. I was just thinking today that I really need to swap out that photo on my blog of me with Dr. Oz! Hahaha, I haven't been a big fan of his for a while now. I actually wrote this post in February 2013 about it: http://www.runsforcookies.com/2013/02/losing-weight-without-diet-or-exercise.html

      I haven't watched his show in a long time, and I'm just really disappointed in the direction it's taken. I really liked Dr. Oz when he was on Oprah, and at the very beginning of his own show. But the fame changed him a lot, and I'm no longer a fan of his.

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    2. Yeah I had remembered the post, and hadn't really thought about it again (I've never really watched his show) until I saw him in the news this week! I have to say, I LOVE the new photo! It's so cute!! So sad to see how fame apparently changed him...

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)