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!
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 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!
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!
|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!