Sunday, February 28, 2016

Groundhog Marathon - Saturday, February 6, 2016 - Grand Rapids, Michigan

First before I talk about this race, I never would have picked Michigan for a marathon in the winter under normal weather conditions.  This winter has been especially mild in temps and very low on snow.  The Monday before the race I looked at the weather forecast for the upcoming weekend and it looked amazing, cold, yes only 32 degrees, but NO snow or rain in the forecast.  I wrote the race director to ask all about this Groundhog race.  I had about 7 questions.  The race director wrote me back in less than 5 minutes with all my questions answered and invited me to ask more questions.  He even said there were sweat shirts in my size still available and there would be plenty of finishing medals.  So I registered for the race and hoped for the best.

There was this awesome challenge called the Full Hog Challenge, this is where you run the course (which is a loop of 4.37 miles) once on Friday night, the 1/6th marathon and then run either the half or full the next morning.  I thought I'd try it.

The course was all snow and ice covered so I had to wear Yak Trak Pros over my shoes for grip for the entire race, that was hard.

I took off part of the day on Friday to travel to Michigan.  The roads were absolutely perfect.  This was February 6th and usually there is tons of snow on the ground and roads are bad, but from Iowa all the way to Grand Rapids, MI the roads were awesome, not one problem there or back.

I arrived about 2 hours before the race started and picked up my race numbers with the sweatshirt and hat.

I pretty much just sat in my car and waited for the race to start.  Below are tons of pictures.  Marathon #11 in State #11 done!
The start line on Friday night.  We were right next to a freeway.
Me right after finishing the 1/6th marathon on Friday night  Bill Murray even showed up.

This is how the trail was for 90% of the race.  It was very hard to keep going for 6 loops.
We ran next to a river and sometimes the path was clear.
The movie Groundhog day was playing on a big screen for all to enjoy after the race.
My time for my 1/6th marathon

A picture taken of me during the running.  I didn't look happy.  I was cold and wanted to be done running at 2 loops in.  I still had 4 loops of 4.37 miles each to go.  It really took everything in me to finish.
Both race bibs with both medals.
Up close my medal for my 11th marathon in my 11th state of Michigan!

Not my best marathon time, in fact it was my 3rd worst, but I finished and I still felt great.

Finished and done!!!!  Such a relief.  If you look closely, or double click on the picture you will see the Yak Trak pros on my shoes.

Front of the sweatshirt.

Happy to be done.  Sporting the medal!

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