Wednesday, September 12, 2012

8 Mile Mackinac Road Race and a weekend in the U.P

Shane and I have always gone to St Ignace, MI to celebrate our anniversary, and this year we continued the tradition. When I was in college I did an internship up there for the summer, and I fell in love with the area, and so did Shane when he came to visit. It is about 4 hours north of Jackson, and the drive flies by with the GORGEOUS scenery.

So anywho! This past weekend we celebrated 3 years (a little early, anniversary is the 19th) by heading to St Ignace. We headed up Friday afternoon, and spent a bit of time at the casino, ate some dinner and then when to bed. Not a super exciting night, BUT that is because the next morning I was running :) When we picked the date for when we could come up north, I checked for races and found that there was an 8 mile race around Mackinac Island, and I knew immediately I had to do this race. I dont know the best to describe Mackinac other than to say it is amazing. If you have not been, go. Seriously. Even if you arent from Michigan.

So bright and early Saturday I boarded the ferry to take me to the island (No cars allowed! People walk, bike and use horses. In the winter people snow mobile).

View of The Mackinac Bridge from the ferry
(connects the lower and upper penisula of MI)

I grabbed my bib, and just hung out for a bit before the race started. Mackinac is one of those places where it is easy just to sit, and take in the views. Surrounded by beautiful blue water on all sides, big old houses and all kinds of other neat stuff.

Before I knew it it was time to run! The race itself went great. 8 miles around the outside of the island. Water and trees on one side, trees and beautiful old homes on the other.

Thats just one exanple of types of houses on the island

Garmin and medal
Medals went to all the finishers :) I was pretty happy with my time. I ran negative splits, and was only passed by about 3 people during the last two miles or so (One girl passed me in the finish shoot, after using me as a pacer for the last two miles. I was so not happy!). After the race they had apples, bananas, orange slices and water. Simple, and perfect for an 8 mile race. After finishing I headed back to the ferry and back to St Ignace. Shane didnt come over to the island with me, and so he was waiting for me back at the hotel. While I was running, Shane golfed 9 holes (Pretty cool right, we went away for our anniversary, but spent the morning apart haha. We each have our hobbies and took some time to enjoy them in a new area hehe).

Post run, love the double thumbs up

After showering and getting all warm and cozy, we headed out for some lunch. St Ignace has tons of little restaurants and we picked one at random, and it was a hit. We stopped at The Marina Pub, and wow it was good. I have a house salad, and a bread bowl with potato bacon soup. The bread bowl was still warm and toasty and you could tell it was freshly baked. There were big pieces of potato in the soup and they didnt skimp on the bacon either. So good, and perfect after my run.

After lunch we headed to our favorite sports bar in St Ignace, The Driftwood (also a motel, which was where we stay each year) and watched the MSU vs CMU game. The Driftwood is defintely a MSU bar, and we found ourselves quickly surrounded by fellow Spartans. It was a good time, as always. After that we just relaxed, did a little more casinoing and upon returning to the hotel sat outside for awhile, just enjoying the night and chatting. It was a great day. I love getting away from everything and just being together.

The next morning we woke up, and headed for breakfast at our favorite place, Java Joes. I discovered this place during my internship when I wanted GOOD coffee, not just McDonalds coffee. Not only is the coffee good, but the food is awesome, and the servers are great. They are a wee bit slow (but they are always packed so that is why) but its worth the wait. I had the veggie frittatta w sour dough toast, and probably 3 mugs of coffee haha. Besides those things, the owner is a HUGE Jimmy Buffett fan, and they sell tea pots in any shape you can imagine (a few that I will mention are a hippo, beehive and zebra)!


Before we knew it, breakfast was done, and we only have one more thing we wanted to do before we had to head back to Jackson. I knew that if you went west on US2 for a bit, you would come to beautiful sandy beaches (I had gone once while doing my internship). But I didnt know how far haha so we figured we would just drive for a bit and see if we got there. We got there after about maybe 10 miles or so, and it was so worth the drive.

Here are just a bunch of pictures from our time on the beach:

Shane decided he wanted to go out to the sand bar

I wanted to go too haha

Shanes journey to the sandbar. It was cold (surprise surprise haha)

He tried to splash me but ended up getting his shorts wet hehe

And that was that pretty much. We headed back to Jackson and back to reality. I didnt want to go haha.

We will officially be back there the weekend of the 26th and 27th for the Great Turtle Half Marathon on Mackinac Island! Erika and Tim are also going and running, so it will be fun.

I cant wait :)

PS: Doing good on the goals. Water intake is good, tracking I did...kind of, and I am down .7 pounds. woot.

Good night all!


  1. Very nice, I've wanted to do this one for a while and also the Turtle race. I haven't managed either yet, but I really would like to one of these years. I've done the Mackinac Bridge Run, and that was awesome.

    I'll have to pop in the Driftwood at some point if I'm up there again. There seems to be a lot of good places for food and drink up there.

  2. I too have always wanted to do this race!! I love that you and Shane could enjoy your own thing while on vacation, Spike and I are definitely like that too.