Category Archives: Sports

2015: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

The 2014 edition of this event made me the recipient of yet another unexpected, undeserved and unrewarded act of kindness from a lady at about the 11.75 mile mark. Courtesy of a miserably failed experiment — of using my body’s stored fat reserves in lieu of energy gels during the run — I was seeing more than one star in day light. And courtesy of my super-massive ego taking a back seat to my common sense for once, I stopped in someone’s front yard asking for a fruit. In ran the lady and out she came with a plateful of freshly cut berries of various kinds and a bottle of water. It was and still is a very humbling experience to have even completed the race, and realize how much this random act of kindness played a role that day (and has since then) — especially when I look back and remember how many more runners fainted under the scorching sun (and couldn’t complete the race) over the last mile or so, and understand the stupidity of the said maiden experiment.

Not wanting to be ungrateful, I stopped by the aforementioned lady’s house the day after the race (Monday) on my way out of town. In spite of repeated requests, the much elderly woman wouldn’t give me the last name of her daughter who had helped the day before. About a month and a half later, while driving down to Indiana for Chelsea and NilsI DO festivities, I stopped at her door again. This time, no one was home and I requested the neighbor to pass along a thank you note. Few hours later, as I was finishing up dinner with Christine and Jaime in Valparaiso, I got a call and the lady on the other end said: We got your note and that other thing. But our house was not on the course last year. It ran about two blocks away. I swore I remembered very vividly the street signs and that she must not be remembering what she had done for me but reviewing the GPS log from race day revealed that she was, in fact, right and I was, in fact, delirious. I requested the lady, albeit politely, to take the thank you note up the street on my behalf but never heard back from either one.

The days following the said event were no different: one dear friend took me up to the indoor track to analyze my running form (or lack thereof) and then to the fitness center to put me through a set of simple workouts that would help improve the core strength, and in turn, improve the speed over a period of time; many others — many a part of the Keweenaw Running Group and Team /var/run — let me run with them often at the expense of their time, pace and/or distance to help me get better. The combination certainly went a long way in marking the beginning of me becoming far more disciplined with regards to consistent eating, sleeping, running and working out habits.

The initial round of planning for 2015 races did not necessarily include this event. But an exchange of text messages with Bryant, followed by a dinner time conversation with Chelsea and Nils in Ambassador Restaurant a day later and the plethora of additional reasons entailed below ensured that this event did get on the list:

The mystique (yes, the mystique) of Green Bay and all that it has been and continues to be a stage for; an opportunity to thank the aforementioned lady in person and hang out with good ole friends, and explore the usual and some unusual culinary corners of (greater) Green Bay; a chance to measure my new self against the old one in light of almost meticulously and consistently following the eating, sleeping, running and working out habits, and earning a materialistic yet unique memorabilia: one third of a medal in a three-year medal series.

A bit of excessive running with not enough rest following the Great Bear Chase led to frequent and often very sharp pain in the lower left calf. Timely diagnosis — muscle tear, knots, pinched nerve, lack of potassium or combination of all of them — and suggestion for rest (by dear friends) along with consumption of bananas as if they were going extinct helped heal whatever it was in very short time, although it didn’t seem short at that time. But I am grateful, nevertheless, that it wasn’t something more serious that would have forced me to take a longer break from or worse, give up on this new found hobby.

Another new hobby, road biking (story saved for another occasion later this year) and renewing yet another long lost hobby, swimming, came with the advice that I needed to pull back on my running goals, albeit slightly. Running too, not to be left behind, came with few more suggestions to improve: cutting down one core workout session in favor a speed workout (Robert Larson), running faster to be running faster (Andi Vendlinski), lifting up the knees and running on front portion of the feet while going up hill (Rob Handler) and the potato chip/egg technique to not clench the fist while keeping the fists lower (Ryan Towles and Stephen Eles). Incorporating them all to the point that they became almost second natured took some time but in hindsight time invested was more than worth it.


Summary of training activities since the last race
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
01 2015-03-08 08:15:00 Ready for Summer Run 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.36 mi, 1:09:05, 10:52 min/mile, 5.52 mph, 156 bpm
16 F, 3 mph S, 16 F, 85% humidity; snow but not very cold
02 2015-03-09 18:49:00 Houghton Medium Run
Garmin 620, 10.25 mi, 1:43:02, 10:03 min/mile, 5.97 mph, 170 bpm
37 F, 9 mph E, 31 F, 65% humidity; sunny, warm and pleasant
03 2015-03-11 09:58:00 Houghton Short Run
Garmin 620, 6.25 mi, 1:01:28, 9:50 min/mile, 6.10 mph, 166 bpm
32 F, 12 mph W, 23 F, 74% humidity; sunny, warm and pleasant with a gentle breeze
04 2015-03-11 17:46:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #09
Garmin 620, 6.02 mi, 1:00:57, 10:07 min/mile, 5.93 mph, 166 bpm
37 F, 8 mph WNW, 31 F, 48% humidity; sunny, warm and pleasant
05 2015-03-13 14:02:00 Houghton Short Run
Garmin 620, 7.05 mi, 1:20:46, 11:27 min/mile, 5.24 mph, 149 bpm
46 F, 0 mph, 46 F, 66% humidity; cloudy and comfortable
06 2015-03-14 09:26:53 Pi Day Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.28 mi, 1:01:27, 9:47 min/mile, 6.13 mph, 163 bpm
34 F, 16 mph WNW, 24 F, 66% humidity; cloudy and drizzle but comfortable
07 2015-03-15 07:58:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.13 mi, 0:35:52, 11:28 min/mile, 5.23 mph, 154 bpm
25 F, 5 mph ESE, 19 F, 86% humidity; clear skies but slightly chilly
08 2015-03-17 17:17:00 St. Patrick Day Run 10k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 6.30 mi, 1:00:40, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 181 bpm
30 F, 25 mph W, 16 F, 47% humidity; sunny, windy and blue skies
09 2015-03-17 17:17:00 Lucky Leprechaun Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.30 mi, 1:00:40, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 181 bpm
30 F, 25 mph W, 16 F, 47% humidity; sunny, windy and blue skies
10 2015-03-18 18:02:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #10
Garmin 620, 4.49 mi, 0:41:53, 9:20 min/mile, 6.43 mph, 163 bpm
30 F, 9 mph W, 22 F, 28% humidity; sunny, nice and pleasant
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
11 2015-03-20 15:02:00 End of Winter Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.38 mi, 1:06:38, 10:27 min/mile, 5.74 mph, 168 bpm
39 F, 13 mph W, 31 F, 65% humidity; sunny but breezy along the canal
12 2015-03-20 15:02:00 Lucky Leprechaun Run 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.38 mi, 1:06:38, 10:27 min/mile, 5.74 mph, 168 bpm
39 F, 13 mph W, 31 F, 65% humidity; sunny but breezy along the canal
13 2015-03-21 13:39:00 Viking Challenge Run 5k I (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.11 mi, 0:34:37, 11:08 min/mile, 5.39 mph, 149 bpm
16 F, 15 mph NNW, 1 F, 57% humidity; sunny but cold
14 2015-03-22 12:41:00 Viking Challenge Run 5k II (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.10 mi, 0:30:35, 9:52 min/mile, 6.08 mph, 163 bpm
19 F, 10 mph NNW, 8 F, 53% humidity; sunny and not very cold
15 2015-03-25 17:59:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #11
Garmin 620, 3.20 mi, 0:31:48, 9:56 min/mile, 6.04 mph, 165 bpm
34 F, 16 mph W, 24 F, 86% humidity; snow and a biti windy
16 2015-03-28 13:03:00 Classic XC Ski: Michigan Tech Trails
Garmin 620, 7.01 mi, 1:34:02, 13:25 min/mile, 4.47 mph, 136 bpm
28 F, 4 mph S, 28 F, 31% humidity; bright, sunny, blue skies and beautiful, slow and slushy at times
17 2015-03-28 16:52:00 Classic XC Ski: Michigan Tech Trails
Garmin 620, 8.15 mi, 1:51:24, 13:40 min/mile, 4.39 mph, 141 bpm
37 F, 3 mph NNE, 37 F, 23% humidity; bright, sunny, blue skies and beautiful, slow and slushy at times
18 2015-03-29 16:02:00 Viking Challenge Run 5k III (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.07 mi, 0:27:43, 9:02 min/mile, 6.64 mph, 172 bpm
34 F, 8 mph SW, 27 F, 86% humidity; snow/rain and a bit windy but warm
19 2015-03-30 16:55:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.04 mi, 0:27:43, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 166 bpm
36 F, 10 mph WNW, 28 F, 60% humidity; sunny and beautiful with gentle breeze
20 2015-03-31 17:21:00 Houghton-Hancock Short Run
Garmin 620, 6.27 mi, 0:55:41, 8:53 min/mile, 6.75 mph, 165 bpm
34 F, 9 mph NW, 26 F, 86% humidity; cloudy, drizzle and even a few snow flakes but comfortable
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
21 2015-04-01 18:01:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #12
Garmin 620, 3.26 mi, 0:32:19, 9:55 min/mile, 6.05 mph, 163 bpm
39 F, 11 mph E, 32 F, 70% humidity; cloudy and drizzle but comfortable
22 2015-04-05 09:40:00 Hippity Hop Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.21 mi, 0:53:51, 8:40 min/mile, 6.92 mph, 174 bpm
21 F, 4 mph ENE, 21 F, 62% humidity; sunny and beautiful
23 2015-04-06 15:21:00 Opening Day Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.20 mi, 0:51:39, 8:20 min/mile, 7.20 mph, 171 bpm
34 F, 7 mph ESE, 28 F, 47% humidity; sunny and beautiful
24 2015-04-07 16:37:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.11 mi, 0:25:23, 8:10 min/mile, 7.35 mph, 169 bpm
34 F, 11 mph E, 25 F, 40% humidity; cloudy, a bit chilly but comfortable
25 2015-04-08 18:02:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #13
Garmin 620, 3.18 mi, 0:30:23, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 167 bpm
36 F, 11 mph E, 28 F, 75% humidity; sunny and breezy but comfortable
26 2015-04-11 09:08:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.11 mi, 0:25:25, 8:10 min/mile, 7.35 mph, 171 bpm
39 F, 8 mph W, 34 F, 60% humidity; sunny and gentle breez but comfortable
27 2015-04-11 10:14:00 Easter Egg Run 10k (WRB4C)
Garmin 620, 6.10 mi, 0:54:36, 8:57 min/mile, 6.70 mph, 161 bpm
45 F, 11 mph W, 39 F, 53% humidity; sunny and gentle breez but comfortable
28 2015-04-12 16:48:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.07 mi, 0:27:49, 9:04 min/mile, 6.62 mph, 159 bpm
72 F, 17 mph SW, 72 F, 29% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
29 2015-04-15 17:41:00 Downtown → SDC Run
Garmin 620, 1.60 mi, 0:14:13, 8:53 min/mile, 6.75 mph, 163 bpm
57 F, 11 mph E, 57 F, 28% humidity; sunny, head winds but beautiful
30 2015-04-15 18:03:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #14
Garmin 620, 6.01 mi, 0:57:51, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 160 bpm
57 F, 11 mph E, 57 F, 28% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
31 2015-04-17 11:40:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 15.42 mi, 1:13:32, 4:46 min/mile, 12.59 mph, 118 bpm
57 F, 4 mph, 57 F, 41% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
32 2015-04-18 10:17:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 16.16 mi, 1:23:25, 5:10 min/mile, 11.61 mph, 70 bpm
43 F, 7 mph ESE, 39 F, 65% humidity; sunny, windy and beautiful
33 2015-04-18 12:03:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 2.01 mi, 0:23:35, 11:44 min/mile, 5.11 mph, 174 bpm
45 F, 10 mph ESE, 39 F, 61% humidity; sunny, windy and beautiful
34 2015-04-18 15:49:00 Hancock Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 24.02 mi, 1:55:03, 4:47 min/mile, 12.54 mph, 113 bpm
48 F, 9 mph E, 44 F, 46% humidity; sunny, windy and beautiful
35 2015-04-19 09:57:00 Boston Strong Run 10k (WRB4C)
Garmin 620, 6.20 mi, 0:49:51, 8:02 min/mile, 7.47 mph, 170 bpm
37 F, 30 mph ESE, 29 F, 75% humidity; cloudy, windy, drizzle but comfortable
36 2015-04-19 18:41:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.13 mi, 0:26:53, 8:35 min/mile, 6.99 mph, 162 bpm
46 F, 11 mph E, 41 F, 57% humidity; cloudy, breezy but comfortable
37 2015-04-24 08:50:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.17 mi, 0:30:31, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 166 bpm
21 F, 0 mph, 21 F, 93% humidity; sunny, no breeze and beautiful
38 2015-04-27 15:20:00 Houghton Medium Run
Garmin 620, 13.11 mi, 1:59:34, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 161 bpm
51 F, 11 mph NW, 46 F, 46% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
39 2015-04-27 15:20:00 Earth Day Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 13.11 mi, 1:59:34, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 161 bpm
51 F, 11 mph NW, 46 F, 46% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
40 2015-04-28 15:37:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 10.63 mi, 0:51:58, 4:53 min/mile, 12.29 mph, 71 bpm
61 F, 8 mph NW, 61 F, 31% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
41 2015-04-28 17:25:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 15.04 mi, 1:05:31, 4:21 min/mile, 13.79 mph, 131 bpm
63 F, 7 mph NW, 63 F, 27% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
42 2015-04-29 11:30:00 MTU Pool Swim
Garmin 620, 0.20 mi, 0:14:00, 70:00 min/mile, 0.86 mph
60 F, 0 mph, 60 F, 60% humidity
43 2015-04-29 17:38:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #16
Garmin 620, 4.71 mi, 0:55:38, 11:49 min/mile, 5.08 mph, 158 bpm
48 F, 10 mph N, 44 F, 50% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze, a bit cold but beautiful
44 2015-04-30 17:09:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 19.04 mi, 1:30:47, 4:46 min/mile, 12.59 mph, 129 bpm
52 F, 10 mph, 52 F, 54% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
45 2015-05-03 06:47:00 Houghton Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 26.26 mi, 1:55:19, 4:23 min/mile, 13.69 mph, 126 bpm
57 F, 4 mph SW, 57 F, 63% humidity; partly cloudy, a bit breezy, chilly, humid and rain
46 2015-05-03 10:33:00 KRG Weekend Run 2015 #01
Garmin 620, 5.16 mi, 0:57:37, 11:10 min/mile, 5.37 mph, 148 bpm
59 F, 5 mph SW, 59 F, 82% humidity; sunny and humid with a gentle breeze
47 2015-05-03 15:26:00 Copper Harbor Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 24.16 mi, 1:56:22, 4:49 min/mile, 12.46 mph, 105 bpm
73 F, 16 mph WNW, 73 F, 44% humidity; partly cloudy, breezy/chilly by the shore
48 2015-05-03 17:27:00 Copper Harbor Short Run
Garmin 620, 5.04 mi, 0:43:31, 8:38 min/mile, 6.95 mph, 149 bpm
72 F, 13 mph WNW, 72 F, 46% humidity; partly cloudy with a gentle breeze
49 2015-05-04 17:32:00 Cinco de Mayo 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.21 mi, 0:54:16, 8:44 min/mile, 6.87 mph, 161 bpm
61 F, 0 mph, 61 F, 39% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
50 2015-05-05 16:48:00 Houghton Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 21.01 mi, 1:50:45, 5:16 min/mile, 11.39 mph, 104 bpm
64 F, 12 mph E, 64 F, 26% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
51 2015-05-06 18:03:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #17
Garmin 620, 3.07 mi, 0:34:37, 11:17 min/mile, 5.32 mph, 151 bpm
66 F, 8 mph, 66 F, 30% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
52 2015-05-09 07:31:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 6.21 mi, 0:52:35, 8:28 min/mile, 7.09 mph, 163 bpm
43 F, 9 mph NNE, 38 F, 75% humidity; cloudy, chilly but comfortable
53 2015-05-10 11:05:00 Houghton Short Run
Garmin 620, 11.33 mi, 1:46:22, 9:23 min/mile, 6.39 mph, 156 bpm
45 F, 12 mph E, 39 F, 70% humidity; cloudy, chilly and windy but comfortable
54 2015-05-11 18:30:00 MTU Pool Swim
Garmin 620, 0.20 mi, 0:10:00, 50:00 min/mile, 1.20 mph
60 F, 0 mph, 60 F, 60% humidity
55 2015-05-13 17:39:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #18
Garmin 620, 7.20 mi, 1:18:19, 10:53 min/mile, 5.51 mph, 149 bpm
50 F, 8 mph ESE, 47 F, 37% humidity; cloudy, but comfortable
56 2015-05-14 10:20:00 Houghton Quick Ride
Garmin 620, 8.32 mi, 1:02:40, 7:32 min/mile, 7.96 mph, 95 bpm
50 F, 9 mph S, 46 F, 43% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
57 2015-05-14 11:28:00 Chassell Quick Ride
Garmin 620, 8.30 mi, 0:51:17, 6:11 min/mile, 9.70 mph, 88 bpm
54 F, 8 mph SSE, 54 F, 38% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
58 2015-05-16 08:20:00 De Pere Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.14 mi, 0:28:38, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 160 bpm
55 F, 3 mph ENE, 55 F, 94% humidity; cloudy, foggy, muggy, humid but comfortable
59 2015-05-16 17:47:00 De Pere Short Ride
Garmin 620, 20.41 mi, 1:36:31, 4:44 min/mile, 12.68 mph, 121 bpm
70 F, 9 mph ENE, 70 F, 64% humidity; sunny, humid, breezy and beautiful

The drive down to America’s Dairy Land with Lynette was smooth and uneventful — barring one minor incident that almost could have turned my car into a bonsai. Settling down in the cozy confines of dear friend Sarah‘s home (she was gracious and kind to let me stay the whole weekend even though she had to be out of town) was soon followed by a quick trip to the holy Lambeau Field to pick up the race packets for myself as well as Chelsea and Nils at the Prevea Health & Fitness Expo. That, in turn, was followed by a dinner with Katie in HuHot Mongolian Grill before returning to the aforementioned cozy confines to call it a night.

A quick but easy paced 5k on Saturday morning (I probably should have just signed up for the 5k as part of the weekend race festivities) gave a preview of things to come the next day: hot, muggy, humid conditions … very conducive for profuse sweating within half a mile of starting to run. Breakfast at the newly recommended (thank you, Lynette!) Kavarna Café (Huevos Rancheros Egg Wrap with red onions, red pepper, salsa and pepper jack cheese) was quite delicious, and this unassumingly large, spacious, ambient and rustic-looking eatery hiding behind an assumingly small entrance is now on the list of must eat at place in Green Bay. I then drove around the suburbia for a while and had a chance to visit the house Lombardi lived while he coached the Packers, and then somehow ended up at the Prevea Health & Fitness Expo.

After having spent some time just sitting around in the majestic Lambeau Field — remembering all the fantastic memories of being at many a Packers games with dear friends, many more fantastic memories created by countless re-watching of legendary games, contemplating on how much I sucked last year while looping through the stadium and imagining what it would be to not suck at it the next day … couple of volunteers, sporting Wisconsin Public Service outfit guided me to the Green Bay Floral & Greenhouse.

Third time was indeed the charm, and I was able to meet the lady who gave me fruits last year in person for a few minutes. She was a bit overwhelmed by my showing up at her door step but the conversation was very pleasant. For someone who takes a lot of pride in remembering names of people, more humble pie was on the menu: not only I didn’t remember where she lived before I also didn’t remember her name correctly! And just before we parted with a hug, she did encourage me to eat well for the race and that she wouldn’t necessarily have any food to save me again. A 20 mile bike ride around De Pere to keep the legs moving and a dinner marked the end of proceedings for the day.

Race day morning came a bit sooner than expected (thanks to a misconfigured system that kept texting me from about 4 am or so) but nothing that would damage the preparation or performance. The morning also brought along by far the warmest and most humid conditions at the start of any of the half marathons so far. About an hour’s worth of chatting later, we — Chelsea, Nils and I — headed to our respective corrals (I barely made it before the gun went off but that’s a different story). Rendition of the national anthem was less than glorious, and so was the number of portable toilets outside the stadium compared to last year.

13.14 mi, 1:53:17, 8:37 min/mile, 6.96 mph, 140 bpm
Splits: 7:46, 7:46, 7:52, 8:13, 8:14, 8:39, 8:38, 9:30, 8:37, 9:06, 9:26, 9:10, 9:07, 1:14
A sharp and sudden spike in pace around the 13 mile marker is due to loss/recovery of GPS signal around the Lambeau Field
Garmin Forerunner 620 and WP GPX Maps plugin for WordPress


Personal goals for the event (in order of importance)
## Goal Result
01 Find ways to be at the finish line when Bryant comes through Yes, around the medaling area
02 Improve upon the current PR for half marathon: 1:58:40 (6.57 mph, 9:04 min/mile) Yes, 1:53:11 (6.96 mph, 8:37 min/mile)
03 Finish under 2:00:00 (6.55 mph, 9:10 min/mile) Yes, 1:53:11 (6.96 mph, 8:37 min/mile)
04 Keep every mile under 9:00 min/mile pace No
05 Do not walk except for aid stations Yes
06 Finish in the top 50% overall, amongst males and in age group Yes, 596/5128; Yes, 401/1808, Yes: 77/292
07 Improve upon the current PR for this event: 2:36:52 (5.00 mph, 11:58 min/mile) Yes, 1:53:11 (6.96 mph, 8:37 min/mile)
08 Maintain good posture throughout each run, especially in the latter half Yes (awaiting photographic evidence)
09 Keep the 2015 average run time for half marathons under 2:00:00 Yes, 3:54:14 total for an average of 1:57:07 per event
10 Finish under 1:55:00 and qualify for USA Half Marathon in San Diego Yes, 1:53:11

Race started out just fine and it took about one half a mile of weeding through the initial crowd to find an arm length worth of space around me. Support from the community, just like last year, was exemplary — many of them lined up for much of the course on either side, and several of them had their personal sprinklers turned on to help the runners beat the heat and humidity. The heat and humidity took some toll — the pace dropped marginally after mile three, and considerably after mile seven.

Setting out with what could have easily been sub 1:45:00 pace but then to be passed by 1:50:00 pace group with few miles still to go was quite the disappointment, and I had to often look back to ensure 1:55:00 pace team wasn’t on my heels. Just when the feeling of déjà vu — that I was somehow going to find a new way to mess up a chance for a PR and that may be, just may be, I had somehow offended the substance gods by worshipping the style gods (multi-colored calf sleeves and reflective shades to look good in photos) — was starting to set in, the cloud cover brought along with it a very gentle breeze offering much deserved needed rejuvenation. I felt like I was pulling sub 8:00 min/mile pace while reality was a minute off on the wrong side but it didn’t end up costing me a PR and few important goals. Either carrying necessary fluids with me or drinking the fluids while running through the aid stations could have probably saved me 3-4 more minutes from the final time.

Post-race activities included a meal (cheese curds, sandwich and a beer sampler) at Titletown Brewing Company with Chelsea and Nils, another meal (more cheese curds and few craft beers) in Fox Harbor Pub & Grill with Team /var/run, a warm shower, and yet another meal (pizza) in Gallagher’s Pizza with Sarah before calling it a night at 8:30 pm. Drive back to the Yoop with Lynette was safe and uneventful — much of it listening to the newly recommended audibook (thank you, Andi!).


Praise be to the Good Lord and life’s blessings, and thanks be to

the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, law enforcement officials, timing folks, photographers, community members, fellow racers, and more for putting on a memorable event, and my good friends — the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Brewsters (Katie and Brian), the Bunkers (Kris and Kate), the Carlsons (Abby, Cassondra, Josh, and Justin), the Carmeans (Jess and Tim), the Chards (Amy and David), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Eles (Sarah and Stephen), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Fredricksons (Lynda and Dave), the Gracis (Kara and Sam), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes’ (Elizabeth and Scott), the Meyers’ (Jeanne, Ted and John), the Obermanns (Catherine and Tim), the Ontls (Kelly and Todd), the Oppligers (Shawn, Emily and Doug), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards’ (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Salos (Karen and Dan), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs, the Stickelmyers, the Tervos, the Vendlinskis (Andi, Jim and Rick), the Vertins (Melissa and Joel), the Vizankos (Kelly and Steve), the Watrous’ (Liisa and Matt), the Weathers’ (Stacy and Bryant), the Wilmers’ (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Josh Myles and Amy Blake), Keweenaw Running Group, Houghton Police Department, Jim and Randy in Cardinal Hotel, Adam Griffis, Dr. Alex Mayer, Amanda O’Toole, Amy Madsen, Ashley Ames, Ashley Miller, Dr. Bryan Suits, Ben Wittbrodt, Caleb Wendel, Chelsea Fagan, Christopher Schwartz, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Darcy Donnelly, Elizabeth Stempihar, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Jeff Brookins, Jeffrey Toorongian, Julie Ruotsala, Julie Springsteen, Justin TerAvest, John Burton, Katie Temple, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kim Green, Krista Kasuboski, Kristen Schmitt, Kristin Thompson, Laura Mlynski, Lauren Schaefer, Lauri Keteri-Smith, Leah Tollefson, Lianna Miller and Benjamin Ciavola, Lena Widman, Louisa Raisbeck and Jesse Cleaver, Lynette Potvin and Matt Manders, Lynn Czarnecki Makela, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Maria Janowiak, Marine Foucher, Mark Mehler, Matt Mlinar, Mary Webster, Michael Babcock, Mike LaMotte, Shreya Kumar and Randal Harrison, Ray Sharp, Rebecca Anderson, Ryan Towles, Riccardo Tortini, Robert Larson, Dr. Robert Weidman, Sam Roache, Sam Robinson, Sarah Bird and William Atkinson, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stanek, Scott Gibbs, Sue Peterson, Tony Schwenn, and more (in and outside of my community) — for the often unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded acts of constant encouragement, and offerings of constructive criticism, tested tips and tricks to improve myself as a runner.