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The Day - Part 1 of 11

There are days that simply hit all the notes.


Delightful (not perfect) in every way.


I’ve had the Great Turtle Trail Run on my radar at varying degrees of intensity for as long as it has existed.


Noting this year commemorating the 27th anniversary, it dawns on me that this event shares its onset with my own appearance on the distance running scene.


There has been a lot of travel this season with kids’ sporting events, epic concerts, work experiences, and family gatherings.


There have been whispers from my body challenging me to reconsider impact activity.


There have also been glorious runs, and amazing enjoyment from saying yes to adventure.


As the needle moved toward affirmative for attendance, the decision then wavered between the 5.7- or 13.1-mile options.


Covering longer distances in previous weekend outings brought up the potential for the half marathon.


It seemed a “bargain” as the races were the same price, and more miles for the entry fee felt like a deal!


However, notes of concern from my foot, and consideration of the length of time this would consume on the day, as well as the aftermath of debility that might follow, made a convincing argument in favor of the shorter distance.


Registration completed and travel companion consent obtained – it was a go for early morning departure, with same-day roundtrip anticipated, allowing for a stay over if the mood moved us.


In all the ways pre-race, early wake-up anticipation, and almost-full-moon energy can synergize to preclude sleep, it was a near all-nighter leading up to departure, but enthusiasm proved an adequate fuel.


It remained dark the entirety of the drive toward Mackinaw City, and the timing allowed for a quick stop at North Perk, home to the creamiest almond milk chai, a most welcome addition to the fueling of the miles to come.


Though in alignment with the season end and Halloween celebrating festivities that accompany the running events, it was still surprising to see so many hundreds of people in line for the ferry.


Grateful for a break in what has seemed like endless rain, and greeted by a gorgeous sunrise, with appreciation for the thoughtful addition to multiple coats to accommodate the growing crowd, the wait was brief, and we were on our way.


Navigating the journey by foot to the race site, packet pick-up was another highly populated experience.


Late registration equated to an ill-fitting custom commemorative garment and efficiency of travel left a decent amount of downtime before the race would start.


Having spent more than a week in constant rain, without any exposure to sunlight, direct or otherwise, dressing for the bright conditions proved challenging, and led to more layers than were needed on the day.


As the start time approached, finding the front of the line was the goal to avoid major congestion on the paths much narrower than the crowds treading them.


With zero expectation, and infinite appreciation for simply being part of the experience, I took my first steps, directly uphill, continuing into the delight of this day.

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