|MICHIGAN-Sault Ste Marie Chamber Chase
Sault Ste Marie was not
on my schedule. I was
supposed to be running
in Hayward, WI on 9-22,
but we had tenants
moving out in KC and
had to head home,
meaning it would be a
long drive to go back up
to Michigan on 10-21 as
planned. I saw the
opportunity to check off
BOTH MI and WI if I ran
this one on 9-22, and
Fox Cities in Wisconsin
on 9-23. No problem,
right? I was actually
kind of happy that we
were heading home
early, because it was
COLD up in the UP of
Packet pick-up for this
race was in a casino.
We got there early, and
so to kill some time, I
decided to play the slots.
I don't usually play penny slots, but this one was called Hawaiian
Goddess, so naturally, that is the one I played. Pele loves me,
$20 in, $125.21 out. Yay.
We spent some of my winnings on the marathon's dinner. Most
marathons have a spaghetti dinner, but this one had a fancy
dinner cruise through the Soo Locks. I wasn't sure we would
enjoy the cruise, but I was very glad we took it. It was cold, but
worth it. We even saw a rainbow while we were going through
the locks on the Canadian side.
The cruise took us through the locks on the Canadian side of
the river, under the International Bridge that we would be
running across the next day, and back down through the
In order to get Richard to be allowed to run over the bridge into
Canada (but not actually through customs, so not an 'official'
entry) I had to sign him up for the 6.6 mile run. He was worried
about running it, but I knew he could do it.
His run started 15 minutes after mine, so I was excited about
getting to meet him on the bridge on my way back. I was worn
out from my 3 marathons, and knew I had one the next day, so I
took it slow. I had 5 hours and 45 minutes to finish, and I
planned to take all of it.
We met just past the Canada - United States line. I was on
my way back to the states, and Richard was heading into
On the boat the night before, we had gone past the steel
plant - which is burns coke - a coal product. It didn't stink
from the boat, but from up here on the bridge, it was stinky.
And they were still allowing cars across the bridge, first one
direction, then the other, so every 5 minutes or so a line of
cars would drive by, spewing exhaust. Yuck. Cough.
After leaving Richard in Canada, I saw him one more time as he was still up on the bridge
and I was heading out on the rest of the marathon course. I proceeded on, doing okay,
hitting my time goal for every mile. This was a SMALL run, and I was the only one out on
the road. I knew there was one runner behind me, but I couldn't see him, and I couldn't
see anyone ahead of me either. We ran along the shoulder of a country road, and it was
pretty lonely. It was an out and back course after the bridge, so I finally started seeing
returning marathoners at about mile 14. I counted the women, since I was so close to
taking 3rd overall at the small Turtle marathon in New Mexico. Not this time. There were
lots of ladies in this run, and they were ALL in front of me. Sigh. I hit the turn around at
mile 17 and finally started passing people. I was hurting and was really having to push to
hit my time each mile. It shouldn't be this hard to run a 5:45. That's alright, I was on track.
Then, at mile 21, the headwind hit. It had to be at least 30mph. It made me cranky quick!
I did not want to run 5 more miles, much less 5 more miles, into the damn wind. I pushed,
and finally rounded the corner to the finish line as I saw the clock turn 5:44:30. I sprinted
as fast as I could, but did not make it under 5:45. A few seconds over. That's okay, with
my chip time, it would be under... but my chip didn't register. The guy had me walk back to
hit the timing mat again, so my time is "officially" over 5:45 by 8 seconds. Dang!
No time to pout, I had to rush through a shower and get on the road to get to my next marathon.
When I got back to the RV, I saw that Richard had received a trophy. He was first in his age division
for the Bridge Run. And he wasn't even the only one in his age group this time!