Posted by: thehungryrunner | June 4, 2010

What to do the day after the Mackinac Bridge Race? Of course, the Dash to Cure Diabetes!

Yeah, I question my sanity each year:  Make the 9-hour drive up through Wisconsin, to northern Michigan on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, run across the Mackinac Bridge Saturday morning, take a quick nap at the hotel, drive the 9 hours through Michigan the rest of Saturday, detouring to one of Michigan’s state parks (usually one that’s along Lake Michigan) for an easy hike, arrive home at dinnertime, then get up early Sunday morning for the annual Dash to Cure Diabetes, a 4-mile trail race in Barrington, Illinois.  A bit grueling, yes, but I can’t bear the thought of missing either race, as they both carry much meaning to me, for various reasons.  Plus, hey, run 2 races during Memorial Day weekend, and suddenly you don’t have to feel guilty about that second helping of hamburger, or that generous piece of hamburger-shaped cake!

As with my Mackinac Bridge race report, I’ll keep the details pleasingly brief.  It was an awesome race, as always, with the weather cooperating yet again.  If anything, the weather was on the warm side:  already in the 70’s at that time of the morning, and with enough humidity that the sunny trails felt quite hot.  You’ll see the sweaty, happy looks on our faces as evidence of this fact!

One of the reasons I love this race, aside from the fact that it’s actually held at one of the wonderful parks under the park district for whom I teach yoga classes, is that the need to fight diabetes is a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.  While I don’t personally suffer from the disease, I know plenty of people who do, and in my line of work as The Flexibility Coach, it’s a subject that comes up often.  Any opportunity to raise awareness, and funds to help seek a cure, is one I love to be part of.  Even if it means running the race 24 hours after running across the Mackinac Bridge!

This year was even more special to me, as The Flexibility Coach was able to contribute to runners’ goody bags, in the form of a page out of my Stretching Workout Routine book, “Stretches for Runners.”  The handout included photos of stretches a runner can do as part of general training, stretches that are helpful the night before a race, and stretches that are useful following a race or hard run.  Needless to say, this includes lots of calf stretches, and I say this because boy, did I need every one of them after these races!  I hope this handout proved to be similarly helpful to other race participants as well.

My finishing time was 35:28, with a pace of 8:52.  Not my fastest, but consistent with the previous day’s pace of 8:48 for the Mackinac Bridge run.  Good enough for me, especially since by the end of the race I felt like I might explode from the heat!

Special thanks to the organizers for doing such a great job.  Cheerful volunteers, fast check-in, and a smooth race.  What more can you ask for?

So here are some (hot and sweaty) photos, enjoy!

Starting line for the Dash to Cure DiabetesRunners on the course, front viewRunners on the course, back viewFinal Stretch of the RaceNear the finish lineFinish line!


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