When I was first thinking about the 2011 season, I didn't think a marathon was in the picture. While emailing back and forth with a friend recently, the talk of a marathon came up. He ran his first marathon last year and said he'd like to do another. I told him I'd like to do another marathon as well, but wasn't sure it was in the cards. Then he mentioned Grandma's Marathon. This is run in June and since that would leave me adequate time to get ready for the Square Lake half iron in September, I think I might give it a shot.
Grandma's Marathon in Duluth Mn was the first marathon I ran in 2009. Its ran entirely along the shores of Lake Superior which is absolutely beautiful. I had no expectations of the race and simply wanted to have fun and finish and that's exactly what I did. The temperature is usually not to hot even though it's ran around the end of June each year. The race being ran along the shore of Lake Superior is what keeps the temps down. But in 2009, the temps got both hot and humid which is unusual for this area at this time of year. Anyway, the race was on a high temp and humidity warning at the start, but as the race went on, the humidity went down, but the temp did not. Around mile 21 I slid down a homemade "slip and slide" in front of a frat house just to cool off. The temp at the finish was close to 90 degrees and a lot of people were dealing with heat exhaustion. In fact, I literally caught a guy who was falling over as he was talking with his girlfriend. The nice thing was that you could go into Lake Superior to cool off after the finish. My finish time was 4:27 and I was satisfied given that it was my first marathon and I survived the heat.
My friend wants to break 4 hours as do I. My marathon PR is 4:04, so hopefully together we can get it done. Also, It's the 35 anniversary of the race who's name came from the first official sponsor, Grandma's Restaurant which is where the race finish line is located.
I've always felt that I would avenge my first marathon time and finish under 4 hours, but I didn't think I would want to make Grandma's my bitch. Time will tell if that will happen, but until then, I've got her on my radar.