Gailanne had come up north Thursday night (August 17th). We left Friday afternoon to pick up our race packets in Marquette, Michigan.
We waited for 50 minutes to cross the CAN/US border at Sault Ste. Marie. Holey moley.
We carb loaded at Pizza Hut, got our packets, did a bit of shopping at Target, then checked into the hotel. I didn't get to sleep until around 2am....... That's always fun!
The race started just after 6:30am on Saturday.
The first part of the route was very confusing as we were on city sidewalks. There were no flags so we followed the people in front of us..... It worked out.
Gailanne's race almost ended a mile or so in. She ran across the railway, slid, and fell on the track...... Almost cracking her knee on the rail.
There were metal marbles inside the tracks.... Can someone explain why?
The first aid station (unmanned) was about 6 miles in. We took our time getting things organized and taking off our long sleeve shirts. Everyone else had left the station.
We headed out and got lost...... We had missed the flag at a fork in the road. That cost us an extra mile. We weren't impressed.
We found out at the end of the race that we weren't the only ones who didn't notice the flag in the grass.
The first climb was up several staircases....... Lots of heavy breathing!
The stairs brought us here. This view made up for getting lost. Lake Superior...... Wow!
The course was spectacular. It was super technical, fun, and breathtaking.
There is always time for yoga.
We ran along the shoreline for approximately 6 miles.
The trees provided shade that was very welcomed.
Look how crystal clear the water is.
We met up with a guy and his 3 dogs (one not shown).
Gailanne asked how we could get to the beach once we finished the race. We chatted with him for awhile before heading off.
We were both very excited by the idea of soaking in the cool water after the race.
There were many climbs up very steep rock.
We stopped to take in the scenery and Gailanne built her very first Inukshuk.
Long way up..... Luckily we weren't in any rush.
There was a lot of heavy breathing going on during the climbs...... I'm all set for my new career in obscene phone calls.
It's hard to explain..... I hardly realized that I wasn't physically prepared. I didn't feel any pain because I was having too much fun.
The mind is powerful.
There was a mink that kept running back and forth across the trail..... Dunno why?!
Every where I turned..... Beautiful scenery.
Time for a stretch......
.... Before we go up some more.
It wouldn't be a race if there wasn't some rain involved (I'm a freaking rain magnet).
It just so happened that it started to rain as we were scaling a mountain. No kidding. We actually had to find notches in the rocks for our hands and feet.
Rock climbing...... not expected in a trail running race. No matter, we had a blast!
I must admit that I did complain about having to get my hands dirty. I am called UltraPrincess for a reason ;)
Another impressive view.
We had to scootch down the mountain on our bums occasionally. It was slippery and we could have been badly hurt if we had slipped and fell. There is no shame in butt scootching!
Didn't get many photos after the rain started.
By the time we were on the home stretch, it had been raining hard for awhile. Gailanne kicked it into high gear and sprinted to the finish!
I carried this cup for over 26 miles. After 10 miles, I started calling the cup 'Wilson'.
Note: mountain climbing is quite difficult with a cup in your hand. I don't recommend it.
Gailanne and I sat under a tent and ate bean salad. Was a little bummed because the post race feast was not a feast. The BBQ had fizzled out in the rain so there wasn't much to eat.
By the time we got to the truck we were both soaked and shivering. We were luckier than the people in the wedding party..... They were scrambling into the tent. Yipes!
Gotta love puffy, pruned feet!
p.s. We finished the race in just under 9.5 hours. The 50 mile leaders beat us. Lol. We had a great time...... I wouldn't change a thing!
p.p.s. We didn't go to the beach.