You must Do-Duluth

There has yet to come a time when I go somewhere for a race, and just say "Meh"....  Grandmas Marathon in Duluth, MN was defiantly not one of those times.  From the moment we began the decent flying in and all of the green trees, and beautiful view of Lake Superior, I fell in love!

Grandmas Marathon had come with high ratings and one of the best to run in Minnesota.  Memories of childhood visits to Minnesota were centered around my Grandparents.  So this one had a special connection for me in remembrance of my Grandmother in Minnesota.  We spent summers and other opportunities up at the family cabin and relaxing at my grandparents house.  It always seemed to bring the family together.  So I was overjoyed when I told my cousins I was coming to run the race and they came out to see me!!!

We went to the race expo, saw the vehicle with all of the runners names printed on it which was really neat.  Then we walked around for a bit doing some exploring.  This is the third Statue of Liberty I've seen.  First in NYC, then in Osaka, Japan, then Duluth, MN!

 The race expo was a LOT of fun.  Not only did they have a lot of great vendors giving out lots of samples and goodies, they had one of the largest pasta parties I've ever seen.  They had all you can eat spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread and ice cream!  The best part, it was REALLY good too!  We did have the 5k to run that evening so we refrained from stuffing ourselves too much!  Tomo and I were both doing the 5k and I signed up for the Great Grandmas Challenge which would be the 5k and the Marathon the next day.

After hanging out at the expo and visiting with my family, we got ready for the 5k race.  I've really begun to LOVE the "Shake Out" runs the day before the marathon.  They tend to be relaxed for most people and enjoyable.  This was a lot of fun to watch the massive waves and white caps on Lake Superior as we ran by.  

We headed back to the hotel and got to bed early.  In the morning, I woke to the most beautiful sunrise over Lake Superior.  I was able to have a nice slow morning.  This course is a point-to-point.  Typically this means you start at one spot and end in another.  This is opposed to starting and stopping in the same spot.  So I hoped on the shuttle and enjoyed talking with the small group of about 20 other runners.  So interesting to see how not one person I was on the bus with was from Minnesota.

 I've never been one to stop and take pictures along the course, but I'm thinking I just may have to.  Sometimes I'm just in the moment and enjoying it all (plus the time and hassle getting your phone out).  This course was stunning!  The entire time you run with Lake Superior on your left, and beautiful dense trees on your right.  Some may say it lacks change of scenery but this was all the scenery I needed.  It was simply breathtaking the entire time.  Once you get closer to the town there is great crowd support and lets not forget about all the people handing out cooked bacon!

And there it was, another beautiful course, another 26.2 miles, and my 10th state checked off!  It was a great race, well organized, and I simply loved the small town of Duluth.  One of the best parts was having my cousins and their kids there to cheer me on.  After the passing of our Grandparents I was afraid we would lose touch and not see each other anymore, so being together this weekend was extremely special to me.  Here we are post-race, and post-food!

 Slightly off topic, but of worthy note, the weekend before Grandmas Marathon I got to enjoy watching my favorite baseball player and his team in the State Championship tournament.  These boys battled some tough teams but came home with 2nd place in state!  If you can't tell from the smile on my sons face, they were pretty excited!  I love these boys and admire their hard work and effort.  As many of you all, my great friends, family, and followers know I did a marathon fundraiser for them earlier this year and here is the benefit from your wonderful donations!

So there you have it.  Believe it or not, I have just 4 days until my next marathon which will be St. Jude Memphis Marathon.  However, I still have marathon number 11 to tell you all about.  So much more to come!  And I can't wait to tell you all about how that Napa Valley Marathon in March with my Boston Marathon qualifying time paid off!!!  Thanks for joining me on this journey!  Until next time!


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