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Feb 6, 2015

Great Lakes Endurance Summer Races


Well the big news for me this year in the world of trail running is that I'm running ALL of the Michigan Summer trail races that Great Lakes Endurance offers.  I'm super stoked to run all these awesome events and I'll be sharing my experience with all of you before, during(assuming I can get online in the area of the races), and after each race.

Great Lakes Endurance specializes in incredible Northern Michigan and Wisconsin area races all on the trails.  I ran Waugoshance trail half last year and it was one of the best courses I've run.  They also have numerous Snowshoe races and, frankly, if I were closer and not worried about weather, I'd run these as well.  It looks like Northern Michigan has plenty of snow to run them.  One of the great things about this company is that they really care about the environment so they take measures to limit the impact as much as possible.

So here's the line up I've got this summer with Great Lakes Endurance(logos borrowed from their website):

First up is the Two-Hearted Trail run on June 27 in Paradise, Michigan.  This is a brand new race for Great Lakes Endurance located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Tahquamenon Falls.  They are offering a 50k, marathon and half marathon.  I've vacationed in this area and it's a super location for a race.  Of course, we will be near the Two Hearted River.  I may even need to bring some Bell's Two Hearted for after the race.  Haha!  I'll be camping near the Lower Tahquamenon Falls in the State Park.  I'm so excited!

Two weeks later, next is the Waugoshance trail half which is located near Mackinaw City on July 11.  As mentioned, I ran the half marathon last year and my buddy, Dave, ran the full marathon.  It was an incredibly beautiful course and I can't wait to go back again this year.  It had rained last year so was a little muddy but it made for such a fun course.  You can read my full race review HERE.  I will also be camping up in Mackinaw.

This is ON the course for Waugoshance! Incredible beauty!
Then, two weeks after Waugoshance, I'll be heading back to the U.P. to run the Grand Island trail marathon.  They are offering a half marathon and marathon.  This is one of my big races this year and it's going to be an awesome weekend.  I'll be running the full with both my running buddies, Kevin and Dave, and we will be camping up in Munising as well as staying at my cottage.  We are all really excited to run this course.  It will make for a really interesting day given we start with taking a ferry over to Grand Island where the race is located.  How unique is that?  Single track, two track and dirt roads will be on the agenda as well as a run on the beach.
After the Grand Island trail full, only two weeks later, on August 8, I'll be traveling back to the Tahquamenon Falls area again for the Tahqua 25k.  They also offer a 10k option.  I have been thinking about running this race for the last several years but it never seemed to work out on my schedule.  I've walked part of the trail when on vacation near the falls and loved the single track there.  This will also be my first 25k race ever so I will get an instant PR.  Again, I'll be camping in the area.  Out of all the races I'm running this year, this is one I'm most looking forward to running.

Finally, last but not least, I'll be running the Porcupine Mountains trail half on September 19th.  I've never been to the Porcupine Mountains and from pictures I've seen, I'm in for a real treat.  This is located WAY up in Northern Michigan in Silver City.  It also will likely be peak Fall colors in the area too so I can't wait to bring my camera along for the trip on this one and share pictures with you.


So the plan is to write a race review on each of these races and share my experiences with you.  Four of the five races are new to me which is always exciting to run a new course.  Another new experience for me before all of these races is tent camping.  It's never been in my comfort zone so I'm going outside it to experience a whole different level of race weekends.  As you know, my race reviews are pretty details and have lots of pictures.  Hopefully some of you can join me for some of the races, but if not,  I'll be sure to have my usual detailed review so it will feel like you are there.  If you think you might be running some of these, e-mail me and let me know so we can say hello and perhaps share a beer together.  At this time, I'll be going alone for four of the races so I'd love the company.  Either way, I look forward to sharing everything with you over the coming season.

If you are interested in learning more or signing up for one of their races,

Go to the Great Lakes Endurance website

Go to the Great Lakes Endurance Facebook page.

I hope you can join me!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!



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