Posted by: thehungryrunner | June 4, 2010

Another Year, Another RUN ACROSS THE MACKINAC BRIDGE, Woo-hoo!

I’m sure you don’t detect the excitement in my “voice” with that headline.  The truth is, making the annual trek up to northern Michigan so that I can once again cross the Straits of Mackinac by way of running on the glorious Mackinac Bridge, is a major highlight of my year!  In fact the photo you’re looking at, at the top of this blog is of me running across, yep, the Mackinac Bridge!  That one, I believe, was taken on my third run across the bridge.  This year would be my sixth.  Well….except that last year, year #5, was a bit of a mishap; upon completing the 9-hour drive and stopping by the race headquarters for my packet, we were informed that the construction crew repaving the bridge had not finished on time, and that runners would not be able to run the bridge that year.  We instead ran a (no doubt hastily thrown together by what must have been a VERY harried race director and staff) course that brought us UNDER the bridge and through the town of Mackinaw City.  Disappointment doesn’t even begin to express the emotion of that letdown, and it made this year’s race all the more eagerly anticipated!

Perhaps that’s why the first bus, to which I had been assigned, was already full when I arrived at 5:00am.  Surely I wasn’t the only runner looking for vindication from having to make do with that “consolation course” of last year!  Whatever the case, at 5:30 the second bus pulled out (a special shout out to the driver, whose humor and dry wit were second to none, what a way to set the tone for a merry run across the bridge!), and at 6:00am we were off to the races.  I know, bad pun!  But hey, it applies literally here.

I’ll spare you a super-lengthy report and instead let the photos and video do the talking.  Suffice it to say, I felt awash with relief (and endorphins) upon running under that first, majestic support tower, knowing that yay, there’s no going back now!  I’m very much afraid, upon crossing the finish line (my time for the 5+ miles was 44:32, for a pace of 8:48), my first reaction was to jump up and down like a kid disembarking a rollercoaster, and say to my ever-supportive husband, “I want to do that again!!!”  He claims this means I had too much left in the tank; I’m chalking it up to early morning delirium — after all, by the time I’d run across the bridge, through the neighborhood, crossed the finish line, sipped some water, stretched out, changed into dry clothes, and had my first sip of coffee at the runners’ breakfast there, it wasn’t yet 7:00am!

Whatever the reason, here are the photos from the joyful event, and a link to Youtube that shows the start (well, the start with those runners who were part of that initial wave — they bused people over in groups of 50 at a time).

Link to Youtube, Start of Race (that’s me in the red sleeveless singlet and pink gloves):  Video of Race Start

Photos:

Removing jacket before race

Crossing the starting line

Running on first part of bridge

Runners on the Mackinac Bridge

Runners on the Mackinac Bridge

Crossing the finish line (well....about 3 seconds later)

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