This weekend I went to Jackson with Joel and Josh for the Falling Waters FA (stands for fat@**, which means it is free, no shirt, no medal, and self-supported- I have no idea why) Half Marathon. We chilled at Joels house for the night since he is from the Jackson area. His mom greeted us with freshly baked lasagna and apple pie, both from scratch. At this point, I knew the trip was worth the $10 of gas that i would take out of my suffering college bank account to pay for travel. After eating too much delicious food (oxymoron?) we went for a night run. It was pitch black outside, and we were out in the middle of nowhere (sorry joel) so the stars were magnificent. Josh tripped on every pebble in the road, joel ran without a headlamp, and I complained about the slightest uphills. It was a pretty successful shakeout run haha. We finished off the night with a bonfire, roasted cinnamon biscuts, and apple cider.
We arrived to the race at 7:30, gun time was at 8. We chatted with “Doc Ott,” Joel’s former chemistry teacher, who organized the race, and is also a habitual 100 mile racer. The guy ran the marathon today barefooted. Maybe someday I’ll man up and do that.
The bibs were 2×2 inch squares of tarp with sharpie on them for numbers. I’ll give a “10” for creativity.
We started the race shortly after 8, as some people were still showing up. The route was a direct out and back on a rail-to-trail (used to be a railroad, now paved trail) that was flat as a pancake and straight as a ruler. There were only two road crossings the whole time, and we saw zero houses. Most of the time the scenery was overgrown swamp, cattails, and woods. the last mile was on an isthmus; land between two lakes. It was so beautiful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the water on both sides was flat as glass and reflecting the tremendous fall colors. It’s moments like that that make me realize why i love to run so much.
We grabbed pretzels and gatorade at the turn around point. The story was the same on the way back, but we picked up the pace to 5:55/min/mi.
Joel and I came in tied for first, which was just as we planned to do, and josh followed less than two minutes behind. Josh PR’d his time by 5 minutes (WAY TO GO!) and joel and I came in at 1:26 with our fair share of breaks along the way for water, food, pictures, shinanegans, etc. There were only 15 or so people in the half marathon- definitely a small race- but it was so much fun. I got to meet some new people and hear cool running stories, and see some incredible Michigan autumn colors. That was my third race this week, so I’m kicking my feet up for a couple days!
-See you on the trails-