Race Recap: 2017 Great Turtle Trail Run

Location: Mackinac Island, MI

Date: October 28th, 2017

The 2017 Great Turtle Trail Run is a 5.7 mile or Half Marathon held on Mackinac Island. I opted for the Half Marathon as it would be my first step up to this distance.

Prior to this race I had only run maybe 11 miles on strictly paved road. I felt pretty good coming into the race, but again equally nervous as usual!


Based on the email communication, we arrived in Mackinaw City pretty early and hopped on one of the earliest boats. We arrived on the island pretty early, just after 9AM if I remember right. The race was not until 11:45, but as this was my first half marathon I was not sure what was involved!

After arriving at the island we made it to Mission Point Resort pretty quickly and picked up the race packet. Sweet, all set! Only … 2hr+ until race time. Crap!

After a lot of sitting around near the packet pick up we headed over the main lobby of Mission Point Resort. Around 10:30 I decided, I should probably eat. Both my wife and I ended up getting the buffet at the resort but I only ate a tiny bit. Definitely not what I paid for the meal, but whatever. This was my first half marathon, I didn’t want any emergencies while out on the course!

After eating we headed back into the lobby and Sarah M. from Alpena spotted us from across the room somehow, even with the room packed full of runners!

After some conversation with Sarah, Samantha and Tracie we all headed outside to get ready for the race! I was definitely nervous but I was trying to not show it!

11:45AM – Race Time!

The race started off well, I paced myself pretty good. Kept up with the same people until around mile six. I started getting tired. I was relying on aid stations as I did not bring a water bottle or other form of hydration and I had not really perfected when I needed water/food/etc during a run (I’ll be honest, I still have not even now in 2018!).

I started slowing down more, then ended up walking a bunch. Miles eight through about 10 were all in the woods with constant rolling hills. These hills broke me, I was so tired. I kept run/walking. I kept looking ahead thinking ‘Are we out of the woods yet?” – Unfortunately the answer was no! I kept asking myself, why am I doing this?

Finally, I reached the paved part of the trail again and began the run back to Mission Point Resort along the north/northwest side of the island. I was so tired from miles eight through 10 though, I could not force myself to run.

This photo was around mile 11 or 12 I think. Can you tell how excited I was?

I continued the run/walk until about mile 12 when I told myself I have to do this and pushed myself.

Seriously so excited to see this sign. You have no idea.

Just before the end I saw my wife and she ran with me through the end! I was so happy to have her there and see me finish my first half marathon!

I finished the run in 2:12:26. I really did not have a goal time for this race, I just wanted completion.

I remember after I finished the race I told myself I was done with half marathons for awhile. Little did I know what was in store for myself during 2018 as I had been bitten by the running bug!

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