|Has become my favorite place to be in September|
Todd might as well call it the Marji Gesick 100K now. I think it originally started out with 50 miles, but with the constant additions over the years, it is now really 60 miles. Having done the 100 miler three times, I decided to reward my efforts by doing the shorter version. It was still going to be #doinghardthings, but the suffering would not nearly last as long. My team mate, Dave, had made the trip over too, and was racing the "50" as well.
|Ore Dock on Lake Superior|
New this year was the start in downtown Marquette, near the Ore Dock. Score for us, as the AirBNB I had gotten us, was 5 blocks away. This race is a point to point, so the evening before, we took Dave's truck over to the finish in Ishpeming.
|Pipe Dreams Trail|
Pipe Dreams, the second trail, was so much fun. Straight and downhill, what more could you ask for in a race that supposedly had "no free trail." Short-lived, however, and then I was onto Easy Street and the Pioneer Loop, which was tight, twisty, and rooty. I was with a couple of fellas, Kevin and Caleb, with whom I would end up going back and forth with them, as well as a few others whose names escape me, for most of the day. I was glad to hear that Kevin had his sights on 8 hours as well.
|Death by a 1000 punchy climbs|
Racing back down off the knob, onto the pavement, and along finisher's alley, I rolled across the mat with a time of 8:14. Fully stoked with how my day went, I presented all 5 tokens (including the #unfinishedbusiness one I got at packet pick up) and chalked up another hard earned finish (in the daylight, for once). The finishing cake was heavily iced 15 minutes later, when, after getting cleaned up, I found out I had won. I suppose I was just chasing ghosts or perhaps had gotten ahead of them at the Jackson Park aid station.
|A dollar for the W, which to me is worth so much more than 1 buck.|
Dave Jolin also managed a 3rd place in the Master's field. To him goes a big chest bump, as he was competing against guys that were 10 years younger. So proud of what he accomplished, as he also took the NUE Marathon Series win!
What a helluva day! I never had so much fun doing hard things. And thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, official and unofficial, who helped make my day a little less hard. You guys are the unsung heros.
Those who finished, whether it took 6 hours or 40 hours, are all winners. And to those #quitters, let that hashtag fuel your redemption for 2022!
Hands down, the best 100 miler and 100k out there. And to think the Marji Gesick materialized 6 years ago when #blametodd and #blamedanny wondered about a summertime event they could come up with. If they had known how many lives that would change for the better, they woulda washed those crazy thoughts down with another beer.
Cheers to you, Todd and Danny 🍺