Date: September 1st, 2018
Location: Posen, MI and Alpena, MI
This was the 17th Annual Aliferis Memorial Race in Alpena, MI. Typically there are a number of biking, running and walking events. This is the first time in several years that the half marathon had been ran, at least 4-5 years from what I had been told.
For this race, Amy B. from the Michigan Runners Facebook group suggested running not one but two of the races (Half and 5K). Shortly after that, she suggested why not all three (Half, One Mile and 5K)? If you were able to finish the half in under two hours, you could technically do them all! After suggesting this the seed was planted, not only pushing for another half marathon under 2hr, but also a distance PR for the day (over 17 miles!)
Race day started out with everyone meeting in Alpena, MI at the corner of Johnson St and US-23 North in the parking lot just after 6AM. By 6:20AM everyone was on the shuttle and we were off to Posen (Long Lake Hwy and the North Eastern State Trail (NEST) intersection). Bradley P. and I ended up sitting on the floor at the front of the shuttle as there was not enough seating for everyone. All part of the race day experience!
There were several other members of the MR group there including Bradley, Ryan, Sarah and Tracie. We totally forgot to take before and after pictures!
We arrived at the half start around 6:40-6:45AM and the race started at 7AM, ample time to stretch! The race started on time right at 7AM and followed the NEST Trail for a little over 12 miles into Alpena:
The miles on the trail were beautiful. I had only been on another section of the NEST trail, never the part that went towards Alpena. Being able to see the route into Alpena from this perspective, passing over roads that I had driven on thousands of times was amazing. Several times I looked east towards the sunrise to enjoy the view over the different fields.
Amy and I ran together for probably the first 6-7 miles. At this point the humidity was catching up with me and I could feel that my heart rate was high. I ended up dropping back some at a slower pace but knew I had to maintain my pace as much as I could to make sure and finish within two hours!
I ended up walking a handful of times to slow my heart rate to make sure I could run the final stretch once we got off the trail.
The last mile was on US-23 and Henry O-O, finishing at Pied-Piper Elementary.
Not my most glamorous finish photo! According to my Garmin I finished in 1:58:17. Not my fastest half, but still under two hours!
No time to rest though, Amy quickly mentioned that the one mile race was starting very soon! We hopped into the vehicle my wife was driving and made it back to the parking lot where the race originally met. We started the one mile run a few minutes late but we had planned on taking it easy for that one so it worked out. We ran at first, walked briefly then ran the last of the one mile around the hospital.
Post one mile selfie!
At this point, my legs were hurting but felt ok… stopping was my next mistake. After the one mile, there was a 15 minute break until the 5K. In that 15 minutes, my legs started cramping up so badly, I’d never felt like this before. I ended up doing a lot of stretching to keep my legs somewhat loose.
Starting the 5K, I ran as much as my body would take me. I started walking just before one mile into the 5K. After the short break I ran all of the second mile. I had some water at the aid station, walked briefly then ran/walked the last mile. At this point my legs were not bothering me, but my stomach was starting to feel out of sorts. I think I may have over-hydrated before the 5K.
Once the 5K was done though, I was happy. We were done… just over 17 miles (13.1+1+3.1) – 17.2. A one day distance PR for miles!
My wife went to the morning class at the Bay Athletic Club during the one mile and 5K, she joined us for the awards ceremony. I ended up being the only male in my age group for the one mile and got second in my age group for the 5K — Not bad considering how tired I was!
Overall I really enjoyed the races and I would probably do it again to challenge myself. Having Amy there to talk with and push forward was fantastic!
Were we crazy for doing all three races? Probably.
Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Now to rest and get ready for the Mackinac Island 8 Mile next weekend!