Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grand Island Trail Marathon

Call me nuts, but I signed up for my first marathon tonight and the one I signed up for is quite a doozy... I'll be running the Grand Island Trail Marathon in Munising, Michigan (upper peninsula) on July 26th!

I stumbled upon this race online the night that I realized that I liked trail running so much. A while later, I saw it advertised in my RunnersWorld magazine (clip shown on the right). In the full list of all upcoming marathons for 2008, this is the one that sparked my interest the most. Oddly enough, it had the least amount of information associated with it though. I guess there really isn't much to say about it; there doesn't appear to be much crowd support, it's not a good race for a "BQ", and the terrain is insane. To me though, it looks like the coolest one of all of them and I'm damn excited to be running it. When I realized that I had to do this, I got all giddy and told Jennifer about it. We're probably going to make a weekend trip of it and take the girls camping up there that weekend; fun for the whole family!

Honestly, the amount of hills and overall terrain of the course makes it a bit intimidating for me, but I'm totally up for the challenge. The blurb indicates that "hills are constant" and even mentions some of the mile markers to watch out for. :) Sweet! This does not put any less attention on my upcoming Trail Marathon in April. However, the Grand Island Trail Marathon has a major"cool" factor to it since it is run on a remote island out in Lake Superior.
"The water of Lake Superior is as clear and aqua blue as the Caribbean, with the kind of crystalline quality that lures you to cleanse yourself in its frigid embrace. You imagine you could walk right in and just just keep walking along the rock-strewn bottom in a beautiful blue purity."

Well, that all sounds "good 'n' gay", but check out the topo map of the course and notice the steep climbs and drop-offs in the chart at the bottom:

Crazy huh? That kinda voids the whole 'crystalline quality' and 'beautiful blue purity' if you ask me...

Judging from my near death experience with 12.4 miles in Hocking Hills last September, these trail marathons are really going to push my limits! I'm totally out of shape for these races, yet totally excited to do them at the same time! Luckily, I have almost 8 months to train for this nasty one. I plan to train hard because I want to make this one count...

And... go!


Kim said...

It is always good to make a race into a full family affair and that sounds like a great spot for a vacation!

Running 2 Mohican said...

Marathon here you come! You will do great.


32 degrees said...

hey man ! hope you enjoyed grand island, i did it too ! i've done all four now, cya there next year again, the UP is one great place.