In training for Vermont 100k, this race fit well with doubling with the Keyes Peak 50k race the day before as they were 2.5 hours apart. Plus there was a good contingent of Marathon Maniacs signed up for the race, including Kino and Peter "from"NYC. I had last seen them about 5 weeks earlier at the Delaware Marathon.
Earlier in the week when I was thinking that I would just not do the races to get caught up on school and let my hip heal, I had cancelled my hotel room in Manitowoc. HH was supposed to join me for the weekend as he was off, but a large water loss job came in earlier that week further complicated but a major fire in an unrelated building across the street, then causing smoke damage to the same space they were already working on. They also wanted the building open in 1 weeks time. So needless to say, he had a 90 hour work week and I got to go to the races by myself. I have gone to the majority of my races alone, even starting with my very first one, as that is not an issue, but it is nice to travel with others some of the time. Plus both of the races were in beautiful areas of Wisconsin.
So I ended up driving the 90 minutes the morning before the race, early enough to catch the Marathon Maniac pre-race photo that was taken under the extended fire truck ladder that had the start banner hanging from it. One of the RDs ran over during the photo to exclaim "we love maniacs!" We were off after some wonderfully succinct speeches from area leaders, as well as a prayer that could have been written by a marathoner.
The course was an out and back right along Lake Michigan from the town of Manitowoc, North to the town of Two Rivers, and then back. Being right next to the lake was key, as the temperatures rose a little, and with the rare shade, the breeze off the lake kept temperatures reasonable for a long run. I ran most of the way with Peter from NYC, which was interesting as he is a relatively new maniac, only running his first marathon something like 6 months before. We also crossed over a bridge where a piece of the Ice Age Trail runs and I got to share with those running around me the story about that trail.
I finished 4:24, pleased to have broken 4:30 on a double weekend, and headed for the chocolate milk, Dairy Queen blizzards and brats that they had free for all the runners. We were able to enjoy a view of the lake as we watched others finish. I had offered the guys that they could shower at my apartment in downtown Milwaukee, as late hotel checkout is always a challenge and unsure thing after marathons. They accepted and after the drive back and showers we had a meal at the noodle place across the street. Kino was great about taking lots of people photos but his race report is not quite up yet.
Both weekend races were great and I would add them both to my top 10 races!
Also, the Maritime Marathon is a great small marathon but many of us don't think it will remain small for long!!!