What a great weekend! Short, but full of some great memories with my family on Mackinac Island. We left at about 9am on Friday and with some quick stops we made it there around 1pm, just in time to catch the 1:30pm ferry boat to the island. About 20 minutes later we arrived and made our way through downtown to our hotel for check-in. The smell of fudge in the air, and the sound of horse shoes clicking down the road always makes me smile.
After checking in at our hotel, we headed back downtown to do some shopping. I love all the little shops on the island. One of my favorite stores is Little Luxuries. I could spend ALL day in that store! If you’re a fan of the website Etsy, you’ll love this shop. The cutest handmade items + unique gift ideas. I could have easily bought one of everything in there ;).
We had dinner at the Round Island Bar & Grill inside Mission Point Resort. It’s pretty much “our place” when we go. It’s one of the few places on the island that make it pretty easy to eat gluten free. After dinner we went back to the hotel my grandpa was staying at and hung out on the porch to chat for a while. Then we headed back to our hotel and I set out my race gear and got ready for bed.
I had my usual race breakfast of Udi’s with a banana, got ready and we headed down to the school to pick-up our race packets by 8:30am. The race started at 9:30am. It was weird because there wasn’t a normal “starting mat.” They just had the timing chip reader on these tripods that they set out literally just minutes before the race started. So people were just gathering in the general area of Windemere Point, unsure of exactly where the starting line would be. It was definitely not as organized feeling as the 8 mile on the island is.
We ran through downtown and a little over half a mile into the race we took a left and began to climb “the hill.” It’s pretty steep and goes on for while. I wish I knew how long the hill was. We actually went and checked out the hill before dinner the night before the race and I initially thought it was steep, but not completely horrible. I didn’t realize that the road turned and continued to go up for a while though haha! So it was a little surprise (even though I did the race many years ago), but I managed with a quick walk break.
Much of the race is on roads that are tree covered, at least until you are on the perimeter of the island. So, you are out of the sun for a good part of the race which was nice. The best part for me was going downhill and seeing Lake Huron! It was so pretty and it meant I was almost to the perimeter of the island and heading in the direction of the finish. Running near the shoreline is so beautiful. I just love looking out and seeing the Mackinaw Bridge and the beautiful lake.
It was kind of motivating running with my mom. We kept passing each other throughout the race. When I wanted to slow down I’d look ahead and just push a little harder to try to catch up to her. She ended up finishing 8 seconds ahead of me, but it was great having her there as someone to “keep an eye on” throughout the race. As we approached the finish, we ran up onto the grass and over a small hill to get to the timing mats in the school yard. My dad also finished not too far behind us and then we all gathered around to cheer on my grandpa to the finish who was in the walking division. My daughter ran the kids race too! She wanted me to run with her, so I guided her in the down and back course for her age group. She was so happy to see her medal at the finish! The finish area had bananas, apples, granola bars (not gluten free) and water bottles for the participants.
We had the opportunity to use the locker rooms in the school to get cleaned up after the race. That was really nice since we decided to make this a quick trip and not stay another night in a hotel. We boarded the ferry and had lunch at Nonna Lisa’s Italian Restaurant in Mackinaw City before heading home. I indulged in a gluten free pizza with tomatoes, mushrooms and artichokes. It was so good! Overall, it was a fun trip! Can’t wait for the next race on the island!