Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Great Turtle Run on Mackinac Island

On Saturday I ran the furthest I’ve ever done at one time. It was a huge accomplishment for me. It wasn’t quite a 10k but almost.  My aunt had invited my to join her on the Great Turtle Run up on Mackinac Island (in Michigan by the upper peninsula).  She did it last year and wanted to show me the island anyway.  So even though I had previously only done two 5ks (Run Like Dickens in December 2010 and the Warrior Dash in August 2011) I wanted to see if I could make it.  We stayed overnight on the mainland and took the ferry over in the morning since it is such a quick ride.  We knew it was going to be a beautiful day when we woke up to this:


At first I was really cold but we waited inside until it was about to start.  I was extremely nervous because I really hadn’t been training.  Either I said I didn’t have time or the weather was bad.  I think I ran maybe 3 times in the past two weeks.  Either way, I was going for it now.  Someone else was going for it too I guess.  Let’s play a little game of I spy in the photo below hehe.


The course was 5.7 miles with the first half weaving up and down and around the trails of the interior of the island and the second half running along the coast of the island.  I was unprepared in that I did not double check my gear before we left. Both my Garmin and my MP3 player had low batteries! The Garmin died first, about 1/2 mile into the run and then my MP3 player died shortly thereafter.  It was my own fault but still disappointing.  I had to find something else to pass the time and make it not seem like I was going to die just as my electronics did.  About halfway through I remembered the saying “You are stronger than you think” from a running video I had watched on youtube the previous day.  I kept repeating this in my head, and you know what? It made me feel so much better.  I powered through those woods with the most positive attitude I’ve ever had while running.  Usually I’m pretty much a Debby Downer because I think I’m too slow and not a good runner and I know that is not the attitude to have.  I ended up keeping pace with this girl named Sarah and we pushed each other to the very end.  My knees were a disaster and her feet was aching but we supported each other the whole way.  Once we finished, I was elated. My time was 1 hour and 11 minutes, far better than what I was expecting.  I really thought it was going to take me almost an hour and a half.


My aunt finished a few minutes before me so she was there at the end to cheer me on.  As you can see, everybody got a medal (YAY!).  As for my knees, well they were completely busted after that and still hurt today.  But it was completely worth it.

Afterwards, we spent the rest of the day exploring the island.  We rented bikes and biked the whole perimeter which is about 8 miles.  We also stopped at Arch Rock which was very cool but the 200 steps to get up were painful.



The view down from the rock was yet another beautiful sight.



Oh I should also tell you that cars are not allowed on the island. You can travel by horse and carriage, bikes, or walking. I love that!


You can kind of see the Mackinac Bridge in the background there. That connects the UP with the Mitten.


That’s Fort Mackinac.  We didn’t have time to go up to it but I don’t think I would have made it up the steps at that time anyway LOL.


It was an absolutely amazing day and I’m so proud of myself! Next up…..Run Like the Dickens 5k in December Smile


  1. oh wow! Those sights are GORGEOUS! I'm glad you had a good time! Great job on your race!

  2. Congrats on the great run!! I am not much for running, and especially not in races, but after the ones I have run I always feel so great. I've never done one at such a beautiful place though, these pictures are amazing.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to add, I hope your pumpkin chili does well in the contest!!

  4. Most of been really fun exploring the island.