Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grand Island Marathon 2013

We were back for a camping trip in Indian Lake State Park and on Friday, July 26, 2013, we stayed at Hillcrest Cabins in Munising, Michigan.  The reason being we don't want to have to drive to Munising to catch the ferry that will bring the runners to Grand Island the next morning for the Grand Island Marathon.  As you have known from previous posts that we liked cabins better than hotel/motel rooms.  The kids and parents enjoyed our stay here.  We also picked up the running packet the same day at The Holiday Inn Express also in Munising.  Although not as glam as big city hotels and tourist resorts, there are a lot of other accommodations available in the Munising area for those interested in visiting the pictured rocks, the grand island, the falls around the area and surrounding towns.

This was the route for the run.   
On the day of the marathon, we drove to Munising High School and took the 520 bus to the dock for the Grand Island ferry at 540. 
They started and finished here.  Only 500 runners were allowed to register and it was full.  Some runners started an hour earlier.  Most marathoners started at 0700 but some started at 0600.  Half marathoners started later.

 There were two bus loads of cheerers and our first stop was between mile 9-10.

This is the view from the look out between mile 9-10.   It was misty with some rain that day but the temperature was perfect for the runners.  The rain made the trail very wet and muddy which made all the hilly route very hard and treacherous.  We saw the hubby here and most runners were smiling and some even looked out the view and snapped some pictures before continuing on.

Some cheerers were expecting to stop at Mile 16 where the hubby said have one of the best views of the island.  The drivers informed us that because of the storm and all the rain the bus can't go to that spot for this race.

Below are pictures taken from Mile 22.  I don't have a very good eye for taking good pictures but I hope to show the essence of the place.

We did not see the hubby in this stop.  We decided to take the bus back to the finish line to make sure we are there when he finished.  All runners that we saw were really muddy and really tired here.  Some still managed to wave and banter with the cheerers though.

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Since the hubby already did a marathon in May of this year, he decided to just enjoy the view this time.  He finished tired but exhilarated as well.  Although the wet, muddy trail was a little disappointing, the route was beautiful.  The hubby also learned a new expression "Holy Hana", cried out by one of the runners when they finally reached the peak of one big, muddy hill.  This was all our first time to the Grand Island and we all had a great time.

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