I chose the Midland Labor Day 10K because Midland, MI is my hometown.
We first moved to Midland in about 1970. I graduated from H. H. Dow High School in Midland in 1985.
The Labor Day races are held at the Chippewa Nature Center. I went to day camps there as a little smunchkin, about 35 years ago. Damn, that means I am OLD.
Through the magic of facebook, I have reconnected with a handful of high school friends. One of them is Dave Branson, who has recently taken up running. He blames me for this, after seeing my relentless fb posts about training and running, he decided to try the Couch to 5K program.
Dave said he'd run the 5K if I did the 10K. This also makes a nice opportunity for a short visit with my mom, who lives in nearby Mt Pleasant.
So, after returning from the Green Lake Half Marathon, I jumped into the car with teenage son Danny, and made the 5 and a half hour drive to my mom's house. After a late light dinner, some pleasant conversation, and Danny teaching my mom how to text on her phone, it was bed time.
In the morning we all headed to Midland for the race. I registered, got a nice blue race t-shirt, and waited for the start. We were soon joined by high school friend Dave, and my mom's friend Dianna.
Absolutely nothing about the Chippewa Nature Center looked familiar to me. Mostly because I think they have made big changes there, and possibly my tiny old brain just doesn't remember.
The 10K course is a pancake flat out-and-back. The 5K runners join us for the first mile or so, and then turn and make a loop.
Since this was race 3 of 3 in 3 days, I wasn't sure what my legs were going to tolerate. I ran harder on the first race, more relaxed for the second, and I wanted to run hard for this one. I had forgotten to look up last year's results, so I had no idea what to expect for field size, or competition.
As I approached the turn around point, I looked to see who was coming back already. A few men, maybe more than a dozen. The volunteer at the turn around said 2 words that I love to hear: 'first woman'. Those words are really cool. After I made the turn, I tried to see how far back the second woman was - maybe a minute.
I continued my steady pace, and finished with a 42:40, winning the women's race. A PR by about 2 and a half minutes.
Dave (pictured right) had a PR in the 5K by about 4 minutes.
We returned to Mt Pleasant where my mom fed us a nice lunch, and then Danny and I headed back to Wisconsin. It was a short, but nice visit.