Last weekend, I took on the “No Wimps” challenge in Pinckney State Park near Ann Arbor, Michigan. The challenge was apart of the Trail Marathon weekend. The rules were simple, complete both the Trail Half Marathon (on Saturday) and either the Trail Marathon or 50K (on Sunday) for a NO WIMPS shirt and medal. Anything for a shirt, right?
My friend Bob, roped me into the challenge and Michelle decided the idea of a trail marathon sounded fun and came with. Somehow, we were also convinced that camping the entire weekend would be the way to go. Mother nature added her own wrinkle to the contest and gave us freezing (literally) temperatures both nights. The road trip took about 8 hours and we got to the park on Friday night just before dark to set up camp.
The next morning, Bob and I joined 800+ other runners for one lap around the park or 13.1 miles for the half marathon. Since this was day one of the challenge, we both took it slow…me, really slow. The rest of the day we hung out on the University of Michigan’s campus and found a couple local restaurants to refuel.
Saturday night was again cold, 26 degrees, and offered little sleep to all except Michelle who burrowed with two sleeping bags and three pairs of pants. The next morning was all business and I was a little nervous going out on slightly sore legs. I signed up for the 50K but I had planted the seed of stopping after 26.2 miles or the marathon distance the day before. I wasn’t completely sold at the start, but figured I could still complete the challenge and reduce my recovery time if I did the marathon instead of the 50K.
The first lap was slow and I just wasn’t feeling it. This has been a common theme for me lately and probably has to due with the majority of my running taking place in the afternoon. My body is not used to 7:30am hills! By the 2nd lap, dropping down from the 50K to the marathon was a done deal in my mind. Now, I could pick up the pace some and not have to worry about saving it for the extra 5 miles in a 50K. I really enjoyed the last lap and even let myself go on some of the longer downhill stretches. At the finish line though, I was exhausted, my energy was depleted. Here are the weekends results…times are a bit slower with elevation and trails.
- Sat. Half Marathon: 2 Hours 13 Minutes and 45 Seconds
- Sun Marathon: 4 Hours 25 Minutes and 10 Seconds
- about 1,200 ft of climb and 1,200 of decline each lap
- No Wimps Challenge: Completed!