Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nope, Not a Grandma Yet

College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN

Grandma's Marathon Finish

This weekend, I’m running Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. It’s a point-to-point course along the north shore of Lake Superior that begins outside the town of Two Harbors on Scenic Route 61 and finishes at Duluth’s Canal Park. Grandma’s was first started in 1977 with 150 participants. This year’s race is the 31st annual and nearly 10,000 runners will compete. You might be wondering why it’s called Grandma’s—a few people, mainly co-workers, have actually asked me why I am running a race called Grandma’s when I’m not yet a grandma. Right. In case you were also wondering, Grandma’s Restaurant in Duluth was the race’s first major sponsor and became its namesake.

Karen and I are road tripping to Duluth later today after work. Should be about a five or six hour drive from Madison. A while back, we secured accommodations at the College of St. Scholastica, a lovely, small Benedictine college overlooking Lake Superior. Should be very interesting. Karen stayed there last year with her friend Suz who was running the race. Apparently the rooms were tiny, concrete, nunnery-like boxes, so much so that Karen said she couldn’t imagine how a parent could drop a kid off there for college. But, we did get a great deal on room rates, and there really aren’t too many options for lodging in Duluth. Thus the bad college dorm room will suffice. But must remember the shower flip flops.

I don’t really have any big goals going into this race. I’m mostly excited for the road trip fun and hopefully a carbo-loading trip to Grandma’s Restaurant. Last year’s race was incredibly hot and humid, but luckily Saturday’s temps are predicted to be in the mid-70’s, although isolated storms are also forecasted. I might start off with the 3:30 pace group and just see how long I can hang. That’s about what I ran at Detroit last October, but I am well aware that every race and course is different, and you just never know how you’re going to feel. Well, according to the official race site, there’s only 1 day, 20 hours, 42 minutes, and 17 second until race time. And time is ticking.

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