I found myself filled with a sense of optimism as the intense pink-orange glow of the sun broke over the horizon of Lake Superior on Saturday morning. A few minutes later, the large group of multi-layered runners headed out to the running path that follows the shoreline, and the first official long run of the 2016 Grandma’s Marathon training group was underway.
It has been 5 years since I ran a half-marathon, and life has been full in the meantime, resulting in a pretty irregular running routine. But, as our hometown marathon announced its 40th anniversary, and the commemorative lift bridge medal design and celebratory starter jackets were revealed, I decided if I was going to knock that full marathon off the bucket list, it needed to be Grandma’s Marathon. I knew from my half marathon experiences that Duluth knows how to put on a race and support every runner from the first to the last. I was not alone in this thought — after opening for registration on October 1, Grandma’s Marathon filled its 8,500 runner field by December 31.
Over 100 area runners are signed up for a local running store’s training group, some running the half marathon, and some running the full, including many first-time marathoners like myself. Three group runs are scheduled each week leading up to the June races. We Duluthians are hardy folks, as we headed out Tuesday evening for the first group run in single-digit temps on the snow-covered path.
You may be asking yourself, why!? Whether you are a runner or not, just watch the short video that the Grandma’s Marathon organization put together as registration opened, you get a glimpse of the beauty and great community support for Duluth’s marathon weekend:
Like I said, I am optimistic about this adventure. My goal is to finish, and enjoy the journey. Look for an update or two along the way.
Ciao! ~ Kat
This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Optimistic” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here: Optimistic.