Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I probably say this every year, but I love Duluth and I love Grandma’s Marathon weekend! Even though I wasn’t racing at all, I still went up to work the expo, watch, cheer, party, etc. A normally awesome weekend was even better this year with the inclusion of the USA Half Marathon Championships.

One concern I have with my own marathon training, is trying to get it in while on the road this summer. I decided to do Friday’s run in Duluth, opting to run along Skyline Drive as well as the Superior Hiking Trail.
View from Superior Hiking Trail near Enger Park
Getting in 9 miles was relatively easy. Saturday’s 16 miles with 8 at MP would be more difficult. I knew if I waited until after the races were done, I’d never get it in. Instead, I got up with my marathon buddies and headed down near the finish line to start my run at 6:15. I ended up running the course in reverse, staying on the sidewalks – even though it often meant running around people. I did an easy 7 miles before dropping down to MP. I was able to watch the Championship race go by. I saw Abdi in the lead around the 9 mile mark and Kara in the lead at mile 7. After a couple of more miles in reverse, I turned around and started to run with the runners from the regular half marathon – again staying on the sidewalk. This worked out great because I was able to use the racers to help with my workout without being in their way. I ended up running the 8 miles at MP between 7:13 and 7:34 pace.

After watching the half marathon finishers for awhile, I biked out to Lemon Drop Hill. While I was there, Abdi and Kara were out for a cool down and I snapped this bad picture.
Abdi and Kara cooling down.
I spent the next couple of hours cheering and taking more photos. In typical marathon fashion, some of my friends ran great and some not so great.

Later that evening I was able to weasel my way into the dinner/award ceremony for the Championship event. Don’t ask me how I manage to do these things. The only thing I can think of is that “I know people.” Anyway, it turns out that I sat right next to where the awards were going to be handed out and I got a couple of better photos of Abdi and Kara.

After the awards we headed downstairs for desserts where the hob-nobbing continued. I shook hands with Abdi and I think I have him convinced to move to Minnesota – given that, I believe, he’s 3-0 in Championship races in the state. I should have asked for a photo together, but I thought that would be awkward.
Top men finishers in the Half Marathon Championships.

Top women finishers in the Half Marathon Championships.
Just a few final thoughts on the weekend. Thanks to Heidi from MDRA for the room, Bob from Grandma’s Marathon for the hospitality, Adam and Kelly from TCRC for the great RV party, and Kim for inviting me to hob-nob. Race of the weekend vote: Michelle Frey’s 1:11:45ish, which was good for 3rd place. Finally, that view coming over the hill into Duluth never gets old.

Quote of the Day;
"I love Minnesota.” – Abdi

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