The Mackinac Island 8-Mile Race was Saturday morning, and the course was M-185, the highway that runs around the island. The start line was in front of Mission Point Resort, and the finish was in front of the resort also, but on Shoreline Road, not the highway. That course, which Ted and I have walked and biked quite often, is so beautiful. It hugs the coastline of the island, with views that make you want to stop every few minutes and just soak up where you are. I would find it very hard to concentrate on setting a good pace on that road – I’d be too busy finding stuff to photograph!
Saturday was another in a long line lately of perfect Mackinac Island days. It was ideal weather for a race, and Ted was excited. He used to run half-marathons, and he coached track and cross country teams. My husband is very competitive – make that VERY, VERY competitive, and even though he was walking, not running, he was in it to win in his age group.
Racing, like everything nowadays, has become very high tech, and things have changed a lot since he last competed. With his registration materials came a plastic loop which Ted attached to the shoestring of his shoes. The loop contained a chip that would electronically record his time when he crossed the finish line.
Ted and Laurie, one of our condo neighbors, were going to walk together, and I planned to be there to record them starting and finishing. I left home on my bike a little after Ted, and parked on the grass at Mission Point several hundred feet from the starting line. I immediately saw Mike Forrester, my blogging friend from Atlanta, who was on the island with his family this weekend. His wife was doing the walking race, and Mike was watching with their darling little girl. She had already connected with other children in the crowd and was having a grand time running up and down the slopes of the Mission Point front yard.
There were over 2200 participants, and from where I was standing, the starting line looked like a giant mass of bodies. At precisely 9:30 the signal was given, and the race was on – runners first, then walkers.
After several minutes of runners passing, the walkers began to go by – including Ted and Laurie.
The runners and walkers passed straight through town, which was blocked off from taxis, drays, and carriages for about 30 minutes to allow the racers to get through without upsetting the horses. After Ted and Laurie went by, Jill and I went to the Beanery, which was doing a booming business, for coffee and muffins. Then we ran errands to the bank and post office.
We walked over to the finish line, and I snapped this photo of a couple of runners coming in. She was dressed as Wonder Woman, and he was . . . I have no idea. I’m sure there is someone out there reading this who can tell me what character this gentleman is supposed to be – but I am clueless.
It wasn’t long before Laurie and Ted came into view, and even though the clock says 2 hours 10 seconds when Ted is crossing the finish line, his actual time was 1 hour, 56 minutes. The clock at the finish line started when the first runner crossed the starting point, several minutes before any of the walkers began.
For the next 15 minutes, Ted and Laurie drank water, ate bananas and oranges, and just generally relaxed a little.
We went inside to check their times against all the other runners and walkers, and Ted had placed sixth in his age group and Laurie had placed 9th in hers. No trophies, but a respectable finish for them both!
Right after the final walker crossed the finish line, there was a Kids’ Race. To me, this was the highlight of the whole event. What fun they had!
Before going home, I stopped at Fort Mackinac because Chris Ann has been telling me about the great sale they were having at Sutler’s Store on linens. I had forgotten that there were Civic War re-enactors at the fort on Saturday, and I walked in right in the middle of a fashion show on the parade grounds. The ladies wearing these period dresses had made them all themselves, and they were historically correct right down to the petticoats. All I could think about was how HOT they had to be, and I said a silent “thank you” for modern day sleeveless tops and shorts.
Of course, I had to take a photo from the fort of the Straits, the marina, and Marquette Park spread out below. It just shows what a perfect day it was on the island.
To round out a great weekend, Ted and I met Mike and Jeanine Forrester and their family for lunch today at the Chippewa’s outside dining room right on the water. Chris Ann and her husband from Mackinaw City were supposed to join us, but after a busy day out of town yesterday, they just couldn’t make it. The Forrester’s are such nice people – and the only reason we know them is because Mike and I both started a blog about the island and met through those blogs online. He and his family are hoping one day to live here – at least part-time – but meanwhile he writes a wonderful blog about Mackinac at http://www.mackinacislandblog.com. If you aren’t already following Mike, you really should be. Our blogs are totally different, and I learn something new and interesting from his every day. I think he and his family might just love this island as much as we do!
NOTE to Scott from Ohio! A few weeks ago “Scott from Ohio” commented on one of my blogs, and yesterday he and a friend spent the day on the island. It seems they visited some of the places I have written about and just overall had a great time. While they were here, they kept an eye out for Maddie or Bear, hoping to get to say hello during their visit.
Last night Jill called from the bookstore and said that Scott had come in and had immediately recognized her from pictures on this blog. He wanted Jill to tell me “Hello from Scott in Ohio!”
What a wonderful world we live in, with technology making the world a much smaller place. Scott, so sorry we didn’t get to meet in person, and thank you so much for making the effort. I hope ya’ll enjoyed your day on our beautiful island and come back soon! P.S. Jill said you had three beautiful Shetland Sheepdogs with you. Bear and Maddie would have LOVED meeting them!