So, i mentioned a while back that i had to pull out of the North Country Marathon. My training has been ok, but definitely not marathon worthy, and probably not so great for what would have been the hardest marathon i ever attempted. So i cried a lot and laid around depressed at my failures. But then Nina tweeted me. She had a bib for the half that she would not be able to use.
Now, as an unwaivering rule-follower, this was the first time i ever ran under someone elses bib. I felt dirty and reckless and i loved it. I apologize, North Country, that i broke your rules to do this, but it is just that amazing of a race, that it can make a girl a little crazy. So i ducked out of work early, and went to Michigan.
Because Maggie was also doing the half, we were able to drive up together, effectively making it a #gingerroadtrip. Our main concerns going into this were mostly lack of trail running experience and fear of bears. Thats right. There was a bear attack near the race last week (If you read the news, it was that girl who was running at night near Cadillac) But the race assured us of their bear policy, and we didn't encounter a bear the entire weekend.
|The first glorious aid station.|
|Photographing rando's as they ran down the hill|
|We ran into super speedy Erica at the finish!! Ginger sandwich!|
So honestly, what can i say about this race.
It's hilly and hard. But it's the kind of hard that makes you feel alive. For the past few months i have been this scared, angry shell of a person, and for the first time in a while, as i ran this race, i felt calm. I felt so peaceful, and satisfied, and alive. And aside from about five minutes we thought we were lost and i panicked, i didn't feel scared or anxious. It was amazing. I am fairly certain that Michigan is the cure for everything. This was my first trail race, and i really want to run more. It has everything i love about races. It's quiet, there aren't many people or spectators, and lots of shade. How did i not figure this out sooner??
Honestly, North County Run is an amazing experience, and you should try to squeeze it in at least once in your life. You won't regret it. And if you do, you can console yourself with your giant, plate sized medal that is large enough to eat a meal off of.