Monday, July 27, 2009

Grand Island Trail Marathon 2009 & Memorial Falls

Picture of Grand Island trying to rise out of the mist on Friday before the race.

Well, its in the books, Grand Island Trail Marathon 2009. My training was up and down all summer/spring but I think I had a good race overall considering my lack of miles, being sick all spring, and doing little speedwork.

Here is the rundown. Arrived in Munising via Bergland (visit with parents) on Thursday to rain and mist and 65 degrees. Friday, more of the same. Slept in the van (wife and kids in camper) so I could get a good nights rest and not wake them up at my 5am wake up call. One cup of coffee, one gatorade, one banana, one powerbar for breakfast. Hit the ferry to the island at 6am. 50 foot walk to the start line and chip timer on ankle. Vaseline and more vaseline. Porta john. Talk with Eric (the eventual winner!! good job man) about the outlook for the race. 7am start and off we go.

Miles 1-6 i felt absolutely horrible. Maybe it has something to do with not running the past 7 days?? Oh well. Gradually I felt better and moved up from 40th to about 30th from miles 7-15. At mile 15 you hit a big hill after a sand beach run. I walk it all the way up and drink water and hit the Gu. At the top you go downhill and I fly and catch all the people that caught me. Its more downhill then some flat for a bit. Then at mile 20 or so another steep, short climb that I walk. Then same plan, fly down and catch the people that are falling off their pace. Picked up 6-7-8 more people here. Caught at guy at mile 23 and couldnt go any more. I sat on him and ran 8:20 miles to the finish, nothing left in the tank and 23rd overall. Not bad considering the MUDFEST that was the trail!! Gotta love Grand Island and Munising in the summer.

So far I've done all five and I'll continue to do this marathon until the old legs won't carry me any more.

We also found a GREAT new waterfall on this trip. Memorial Falls is the BEST waterfall in the Munising area. Park at the corner where H-58 splits from Sand Point road on the hill and the falls is on the south side of the road with a tiny small set of stairs. Amazing hike and waterfall.

Memorial Falls - this picture doesnt even come close to doing it justice.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alpenfest 4 mile

15th overall, 27 minutes or so. Not bad, good prep for Grand Island Trail Marathon next weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Autrain Falls and Munising and Pictured Rocks

4 days camping in the UP, ranging from 46 degrees and 30mph winds with rain to 78 degrees calm and sunny. Beauty 'eh.

Also found a new waterfall and sweet river @ Autrain. Autrain falls is sweet! Water cascading over limestone shelves. Be sure to park at the last parking spot by the gate, walk down the hill over the bridge. then, continue down past the power plant on a trail along the river to the end where the two streams merge. wonder if its good fishing? we'll find out next trip!

This pic is "Lovers Leap" just east of Mosquito River.

And here is Anna traversing the lower Autrain Falls.

Finally, here is the far east end of Miner's beach. I bet i have 100 of these pictures, you just can't stop taking them. Of course, that's Finnegan the exploring Shih-Tzu.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


last big run before the Grand Island Trail Marathon today. I felt real tired the last week or so and took a couple days off and cut my runs real short. Then this week i did some speedwork, a short run and my big 18 mile prep run. The 6 mile loop at Aspen is hilly, twisty, turny, root infested and 100% shaded. Perfect for a long run that's easy on the legs. I went 49-49-49 minutes and felt fine at the end. Hit the beach after and laid in the sun. Nice 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I just drove 1568 miles around the state of Michigan in 8 days. Gaylord to Marquette to Ironwood to Bergland to Gaylord to Grand Rapids to Detroit to Gaylord. More later.