Sunday, November 4, 2007

Oct 28: Grand Rapids (MI) Marathon ... was Grand !

What a difference 3 weeks makes! In Chicago we wore the minimum of race clothes to the starting line.
In Grand Rapids we came out of our motel to find our car covered with frost.
Hover over pictures for captions, click on pictues to enlarge them.
Scraping the windshield Instead of the usual round numbers such as 4 hours, 4 1/2 hours, etc. they organized pace teams to match famous people's actual marathon finish times, such as Oprah, Will Farrell, P. Diddy and Dubya. Here the teams are posing on the stairs inside the Y.Famous people pace teams Fresh and energizing was the weather; yes, that's frost on the tall grasses.
Running in the energizing chill Just 2 days after the time the MOON is nearest the earth in all the year. Harvest Moon
We like to drive the race course on the day before a marathon, but in Grand Rapids the course turned into tails which we couldn't drive.. as shown here. The real beauty of the course was to be discovered the next day in the running.Trail head Here, at the end of October, the colors were absolutely spectacular. Morning fog still wrapped Millenium Park as we ran.Maple color Running trails along the river were a joy to run. River flats A pleasant tunnel of over-arching trees. And all along the way, the volunteers were glorious... with water, Gatorade, Oreo cookies, bananas, gummy bears... all this ON THE RACE COURSE!Water stations even when we came by We have to say they even said,"Can we get you ANYTHING??" at water stations ... until we got to the last 2 ... and they were totally closed down ... by maybe 6 hours (?) We were grateful to see faithful Runner Don coming to meet us, having finished the marathon himself. When Sweet Pea saw this picture later, she said, isn't that on Gateway? And it does look like the trail here in Minnesota where we do a lot of our training. Oh Joy!
Oh yea! The finish! And there, as promised, we were greeted by Race Director Don, even when we finished. Finisher's medals for all


Backofpack said...

It is a beautiful time of year! Love the trail marathons and ultras, real food at the aid stations. Kind of spoils me for road marathons.

peter said...

Good ol' northern hospitality. Small marathons are delightful, so personable. I'm glad you got a fall marathon in after the debacle of the "fun run" earlier this month. In DC they had a super marathon called Marathon in the Parks that ran through the trail system of Montgomery ounty (MD). It lost its sponsor and became defunct, to be resurrected 2 years ago as a well-regarded Half. That was a favorite memory of mine, my 2d marathon. I arrived 20 minutes late and went charging over the finish line the wrong way, to be called back and orientede correctly. Next I somehow emerged 10 minutes later at MP 6, the first one there, having missed the first turn (the marshals were gone). Backtracking, I learned to follow the trail by observing race debris-discarded gloves, hats scarves etc.- and passed my first runner 30 minutes later. They remembered me at MP 6 when I came by again with a friendly wave. That problematic run (my slowest marathon) is a pleasant memory still... Your pictures and description reminded me of it.

Dori said...

What beautiful pictures! Congratulations on your race. I don't know how you can stay in shape for so many marathons. What's your secret?

Vickie said...

The pictures are beautiful! And I love the way you have captions on them. You're far more talented than I at this stuff. I wish again I could have waited until you finished, but it was already a long day for me. Glad you came!

Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

Holy mackerel... those pictures are like something out of a Sierrra Club calendar! I have to find some marathons to run in places like that...

Congratulations on running yet another one, glad there are other folks out there who just go off and do marathons close together. Frost on the windshield? Yes, that's a far cry from Chicago, alright.