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Michigan Runner Girl

The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is where you'll find a passion for running crosses paths with a love of living healthy in the beautiful state of Michigan. Runner, mother, writer and lover of all things Michigan Heather Durocher, creator of the running and travel site MichiganRunnerGirl.com, hosts the show, along with regular appearances by fellow Michigan Runner Girls (and Guys). Expect to hear informative and entertaining conversations with runners, race directors and fitness experts throughout Michigan during this weekly show. You'll learn about new races to try and great places to explore on foot. The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is all about living in a state of motion.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 19, 2017

{Special Episode note from Heather} Nearly two years ago, having watched on TV elite distance runner Desiree Linden place second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, finishing with a time of 2:28:54, I marveled at her steady-strong pacing and cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor -- especially on what was an especially warm day in Los Angeles. I thought to myself, not for the first time, how I’d love the opportunity to meet her in person, to have her as a guest on my podcast. Not only because of her inspiring performance and numerous accomplishments (I had also excitedly watched from my computer as she crossed the finish line and came in second place at the 2011 Boston Marathon), but because she’s a Michigan Runner Girl, just like us. OK, maybe not exactly like us. She has that super speedy thing going on. But she does live here in the Mitten -- she and husband (and rockstar Ironman athlete) Ryan Linden train in Rochester Hills with fellow Hansons Brooks Original Distance Project athletes -- and in fact has been spending an increasing amount of time in northern Michigan. I just knew we’d have lots of talk about, and I wanted to share that conversation with the MRG community. So I did what any respectable blogger and podcaster would do: I commented on one of her tweets, kept up on her Instagram posts, and eventually sent a direct message to her via Twitter, inquiring about her interest in coming on my show. And, she responded. She had a lot going on, with the Olympic Games in Rio just around the corner (oh, yes, that makes sense, of course...), so she asked if we could talk again later in the year. To which I said “Yes!!” (I hoped she didn't think I was too much of a stalker...)

Fast forward to this past spring, when I ran my 8th marathon and fourth Bayshore in my hometown of Traverse City. While the race didn’t go exactly as I had hoped (an old achilles injury flared just past the halfway mark), a few special things happened that day, including seeing Des on the course holding a sign and cheering on runners AND having the opportunity to talk with her around the 24-mile mark after Emma asked if she’d take a photo with us. Des was so kind and encouraging, just when I needed a boost. 

In recent months, Des and I began emailing each other. She shared that she’d be happy to come on my show, that she’d taken a step back from running this past summer but was getting back into a groove. December, she told me, would be a great time to get together. So we did just that, and the result is this latest episode of the Michigan Runner Girl podcast. Des and Ryan made the trek to Traverse City from their home in Charlevoix, about an hour drive, and not only did she sit with me and my co-host Pam Carrigan for an hour for the podcast, she and Ryan also joined Joe and I for dinner out afterward at one of our favorite spots, The Filling Station in Traverse City.

During this episode, Pam and I talk with Des about her self-imposed break from running following this last spring’s Boston Marathon (where she finished fourth), how she spent this time away from the sport, when and how she re-discovered a hunger for competitive running, the half marathon she recently won, and lots more, including how she got started running (she was a soccer player from the age of 5) and what it was like for her to watch Shalane Flanagan win this fall’s New York City Marathon. We also may have raised a glass of whiskey to her recent race win in San Antonio, Texas. We had so much fun talking with her -- I know you guys are going to love hearing from her as much as we did! (Fun fact: When Des finished second at the 2011 Boston Marathon by just two seconds and set a personal record by four minutes, her time of 2:22:38 was then the fastest time ever run by an American woman in the Boston Marathon. After her success in Boston she was invited to throw the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game.)

Following our conversation with Des, Pam and I offer a re-cap of the experience talking with a two-time Olympic marathoner -- Des says she’s up for a return visit to the podcast, maybe after her Boston 2018 race! -- and we also share information about the upcoming winter and spring Michigan Runner Girl weekend retreats.

Nov 28, 2017

In the past 2 ½ years, Lowell, Mich. runner Robert Woldhuis has competed in almost 90 running events, including 29 half marathons, three 25Ks, four full marathons, a 50K trail race and, this October, his first 50-miler, which took place in Door County, Wis. Runners throughout the state know Robert, or are at least probably familiar with who he is, given he’s the friendly, outgoing guy wearing a colorful tutu and carrying an American flag during races. “The tutu for me is a reminder to not take life too seriously. It inspires people to smile and laugh,” says Robert, 41, who created a Facebook page titled Adventures of Tutu Man.

 

Finding levity in life and sharing it with others is important to Robert, who spent a good chunk of his life struggling to maintain healthy relationships, remain sober and stay out of trouble with the law. He ultimately served a five-year prison sentence because of drug crimes he committed and scams he orchestrated. It was in prison, on a half-mile dirt track, that Robert discovered running and its transformative power.

Heather and Robert talk about this journey and how running opened up a new world to him as well as triggered a new life’s mission. He’s especially excited about being named to the 2018 Fifth Third Riverbank Run Road Warrior Team of Ambassadors. Whether on the road or trail, or behind a race expo booth table, Robert is passionate about connecting with others.

“My favorite memory of the 50-mile race was the fact that I probably got to share my testimony and listen to other people’s stories probably 10,12, 15 times … A big part of the healing part of the journey that I have been on — you know, I’ve been sober for a little over 7 years now — and a big part of that was just transparency and accountability with some people in my life. The transparency comes in with being more of an open book, instead of being reclusive and shoving issue down and not talking about them. It’s being open to talk about things.”

Find Robert on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Theadventuresoftutuman/

Nov 20, 2017

Maia Turek, a.k.a. the Michigan state parks guru, is back on the Michigan Runner Girl Show, this time to talk about ways we can enjoy our 103 state parks all winter long. From lantern-lit snowshoe excursions and "owl prowls," to DIY events like make your own snowshoes and special hiking and cross country skiing opportunities at cool spots (even a lighthouse!), there are lots of ways to explore outdoors, embrace the snow and cold, and feel strong and happy throughout the season. Indoor events throughout Michigan also are mentioned. Maia, who is the statewide recreation programmer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, also shares news of awesome merchandise partnerships the DNR now has with two Michigan-based companies (and what that means for state park visitors like us). Heather and Maia also talk about the #OptOutside movement this coming Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. For a second year, Michigan State Parks are following the lead of outdoor company REI in embracing this hashtag—and they're encouraging us to do the same. This Friday, Nov. 24, choose to #OptOutside with free admission to all Michigan State Parks.  

Here's more about #OptOutside:

Residents and visitors are encouraged to put away leftovers and #OptOutside as part of their day-after-Thanksgiving traditions. To encourage folks to tap into Michigan's great outdoors and gather with friends and family, on Friday, Nov. 24, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive the regular Recreation Passport entry fee that enables vehicle access to Michigan state parks, trails and boating access sites.

Exploring some of Michigan's best outdoor destinations is a great way to recover from holiday shopping excursions, burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories and enjoy the many benefits of nature.

"In Michigan, you’re never more than a half-hour away from a state park, recreation area, state forest campground or state trail," said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. "#OptOutside is an invitation to residents and those traveling to spend time outside during the holiday weekend and help continue or build new Thanksgiving traditions. The DNR hopes the free entry opportunity will encourage residents and visitors to explore new places and experience the outdoors' many physical, mental and social benefits."

There are plenty of ideas to incorporate into popular day-after-Thanksgiving traditions, including opportunities to:

  • Find a new mile to hike or run on one of more than 12,500 miles of state-designated trails.
  • Cast a line in a state park and put fishing on your Friday festivities menu.
  • Try mountain biking.
  • Jump on the Iron Belle Trail - the longest designated state trail in the nation - and crisscross more than half of Michigan’s counties along both hiking and biking routes.
  • Find a new hunting spot by exploring one of Michigan's vast recreation areas.
  • Enjoy the peace and quiet of camping in the off-season.
  • Download a geocaching app and take part in an outdoor treasure hunting game that utilizes GPS-enabled devices.
  • Seek out historical markers and learn a little bit more about Michigan’s backstory.
  • Make a bird-watching scavenger hunt for kids and start a list of the birds you spot.

"The holidays can get hectic with added obligations, no matter how happy or anticipated they may be," said Olson. "Our #OptOutside promotion is an opportunity for folks to take a deep breath of fresh air, share an experience with your favorite people and make some great holiday memories."

Although the Recreation Passport vehicle entry fee into 103 Michigan state parks, 138 state forest campgrounds and parking for hundreds of miles of trails and fee-based boat launches is waived Nov. 24, camping and other permit and license fees still apply.

Interested in learning more about things to do and places to visit? Visit the DNR website at michigan.gov/dnr to learn more about fishing, hunting, forest land, state parks and much more. To search for a list of Michigan state parks, rustic state forest campgrounds, state-designated trails and associated activities and amenities, visit www.michigan.gov/recsearch. Interested in the Recreation Passport and how it helps Michigan state parks, trails and waterways? Visit www.michigan.gov/RecreationPassport.

The #OptOutside movement was started by outdoor recreation cooperative REI Inc. in 2015 to encourage people to spend time outdoors on Black Friday. For the third year in a row, the Michigan DNR has encouraged people to utilize the outdoors as part of their Thanksgiving weekend celebrations.

Nov 7, 2017

"I feel a little tougher." Can you relate to this feeling, when you've laced up your running shoes and headed out the door for a run in the cold and snow? Finishing a run in the winter, especially when we've pushed ourselves to get outside, indeed can offer a certain kind of sweet satisfaction. This is what Heather and frequent guest Cassy Stone talk about during this episode that focuses on staying motivated once the temperatures dip, the days get shorter, and getting out of a warm bed to exercise can prove especially challenging. Cassy and Heather also share what Michigan Runner Girl readers and listeners think about winter running. (Thanks, everyone, for the great conversation about winter running on the MRG Facebook page last week!) From smart gear to wear—"there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices"—to the importance of having running friends to join you to the power of signing up for winter races, Cassy and Heather cover all aspects of staying inspired to keep moving over the next several months. 

Be sure to check out the MRG Winter Running Guide on MichiganRunnerGirl.com here >>

Oct 30, 2017

It's getting to be about that time...one of Heather's fall race traditions—the Great Beerd Run at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa—is set for Saturday, Nov. 11. Joining Heather on the show to talk about this fun northern Michigan run: Kelly Yauk, a fellow Michigan Runner Girl and race director of this annual race that celebrates all things Michigan beer AND beards. Longtime listeners will be happy to hear from Kelly, who has been on the show in the past (and happens to be quite hilarious). Kelly shares what she's been up to lately (she's known for traveling far and wide for races, and she also talks about a Michigan run she recently enjoyed with her 2-year-old daughter). 

A few things to know about this year's Great Beerd Run:
- There's a race discount code just for Michigan Runner Girl readers and listeners: use MIRUNNERGIRL at checkout to save $5.
- Your registration fee includes race entrance, knitted beard beanie, bottle opener/race medal, 3 beer samples, one glass of beer during the post-race party and entrance into post-race party featuring live music.
- The craft beer is delicious. Thank you, Right Brain Brewery, Beards Brewery and Short's Brewing Company.
- NEW IN 2017: race organizers are offering a $30 registration fee with all of the great race perks, minus the beard beanie.
- The fastest male and female score epic Nordic inspired beard/hat sets.
- Don't care to go fast? You won't be alone. This is a fun, untimed race and plenty of runners enjoy the course, the beer samples, the scenery, the camaraderie. (Check out this blog post from Heather's Beerd Run a couple of years ago, when she came in, yep, dead last.
http://michiganrunnergirl.com/michigan-brew-beards-and-one…/ )

Get more details, including info on special room rates, here:
http://www.thegreatbeerdrun.com

Oct 11, 2017

You couldn't miss Team MRG at this fall's Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan, a 195.5-mile trek from Muskegon to Traverse City. And it wasn't simply because our team of 12 women wore matching blue Michigan Runner Girl shirts. Fellow Ragnarians grew to learn, over the 2-day race, that Team Michigan Runner Girl traveled in the two purple-and-pink-and-blue Muscle Milk vans—handing out Muscle Milk goodies along the way. 

MRG's partnership with Muscle Milk was new this year, but logging the miles on country roads, through quaint coastal towns, and along the Lake Michigan shoreline was not. Team MRG was back again, after last fall's inaugural Ragnar Relay Michigan event, to tackle the distance (and lack of sleep) together. On this week's show: a rundown of race weekend with Heather Durocher and Ragnar teammates Pam Carrigan, Erin Henshaw and Ann Eshleman. While Pam, Heather and Erin were part of last year's Ragnar team, Ann was a Ragnar newbie and she shares how the experience exceeded her expectations in all of the right ways (she also talks about how she was apprehensive going into the experience and had plenty of questions for Pam in the days leading up to race day). The women break down how Ragnar relays work, how 12-person teams split into two "mini teams" with their own van, the challenges and rewards of running a total of three separate "legs," including through the night, and how each van found ways to fuel (at a few delicious restaurants) and rest (a little!) throughout the race. Heather and Ann were in van 1 while Erin and Pam were in van 2. 

Whether you also participated in this year's Ragnar Michigan, or you're thinking about giving one a try, you're sure to be entertained during this informative and, at times hilarious, episode. (While "what happens at Ragnar stays at Ragnar," this episode definitely sheds some light on the silly and fun things that can happen when a dozen women team up to cover "200-ish miles" together.)

Oct 2, 2017

When Heather began her running journey about 10 years ago, she admittedly knew little about the sport, from what to wear and fuel with during a race, to an understanding of how women had only in recent history made strides in running and been recognized for their achievements. All she knew was that the more she ran, the better she felt about herself. Over time, as she ran with other women, created new friendships within the awesome running community, and ultimately realized logging miles and living healthy had become a lifestyle, she found she couldn’t get enough of learning anything and everything about running—especially distance running. She would eventually discover that 26.2 miles held a special place in her heart. Incredibly challenging and uniquely rewarding, both in training and in finishing, the marathon is a distance she keeps coming back to. For this reason, she devoured the book Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon in 1967. This decision infuriated one of the race directors, who tried to physically remove Kathrine from the race because she was a female running in what was then considered an all-male event. The images of her struggle to continue running, helped by male runners, have become iconic in the history of sports and women. First published in 2007, Marathon Woman is Kathrine’s personal story of how she overcame the odds—as well as prejudice and ridicule (not only from the male quarter)—to become one of the leading marathon runners of her time. Inspired by the incident, she went on to run thirty-nine marathons—winning the New York City Marathon in 1974—and helped secure the women’s marathon as an event in the Olympic Games.

Kathrine has gone on to accomplish so much on behalf of our sport and women everywhere. Kathrine joins Heather on this episode of the Michigan Runner Girl show. Heather also has another strong and amazing woman joining the conversation, to share her connection with Kathrine and Kathrine’s new non-profit 261 Fearless. Marathoner and Michigan runner Leah Doriot talks about her upcoming NYC Marathon and why it was important for her to join team 261 Fearless. 

Kathrine is leading a group of 13 dedicated “261 Fearless” runners, including 11 from the USA (seven different States), and one each from Belgium and Switzerland at this fall's NYC Marathon. The women will all be raising $5,261 each to benefit the formation of 261 Fearless running clubs for women all over the world and their participation will be supported by adidas and Bose, global sponsors for 261 Fearless.

Learn more:

www.261fearless.org

www.marathonwoman.com

On April 17, 2017, 50 years after her historic run, Switzer pinned on her original bib number 261, and ran the Boston Marathon again, to pay tribute to the streets of the city where the place of women in the world of sports was redefined forever.

Kathrine Switzer will run the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon on November 5, posting another amazing milestone in her legendary long-distance running career by competing in both the upcoming TCS New York City Marathon and this past April’s 121st running of the Boston Marathon in her fifth decade of competitive running.

261 Fearless, Inc. is a global non-profit organization founded by pioneer runner, Kathrine Switzer. 261 Fearless uses running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through the creation of local clubs, education opportunities, communication platform, merchandising and events. Through these networking opportunities, 261 Fearless breaks down the barriers of geography and creates a global community for women runners of all abilities to support and talk to each other, encouraging healthy living and a positive sense of self and fearlessness. 

 

Sep 19, 2017

Rahaf Khatib is a 7-time marathoner, training and living with her husband and three children in Farmington Hills, Mich. She’s also been in the national spotlight in the past couple of years—she was the first Muslim hijabi runner to be featured on the cover of Women’s Running magazine a year ago, and she also was selected as a top 10 finalist for Runner’s World cover running contest in 2015. Rahaf joins Heather on the show to talk about her start in running in 2012—her son’s gym teacher encouraged her to sign up for a 5K (she ended up running the 10K!)—and how she went on to tackle half marathons, sprint triathlons and marathons. Supporting and encouraging fellow Muslim and non-Muslim women is important to Rahaf, who co-organized a 5K for INSA (Islamic Society of North America) for more than 500 runners. “My goal is to represent the under-represented—that is, Hijabis in the fitness world.” She also strives to educate others about her faith and her decision, as part of her Muslim faith, to wear long sleeves, pants and the head scarf called hijab while running. “The question I’m always asked is ‘Aren’t you hot?’” she says. Rahaf, who was born in Damascus, Syria and grew up in Dearborn, Mich., is founder of the popular Instagram account Runlikeahijabi, where she posts running tips and advice for Muslim and non-Muslim women. While training for Boston 2017, she raised $16,000 for refugees in Michigan. Rahaf blogs at Run Like a Hijabi

Sep 5, 2017

Fall race season is upon us, and Heather kicks off autumn (yay for cooler weather!) with a summer re-cap/fall preview show with special guest Emma Durocher, her 17-year-old daughter. Emma, who is in the midst of her final high school cross country season, shares how she got started in the sport, the reasons she gave it up for awhile, and why she later decided to pursue longer distances (she’s completed four half marathons in the past year and a half!) in addition to her year-round cross country training. Heather and Emma have an honest discussion about running as a family (and how, realistically, kids aren’t necessarily going to want to always run with mom and dad). Emma also talks about what running has come to mean to her— “In places in my life where I didn’t have a lot of friends or was sad, I would turn to running ... It’s just something where I just do it and feel so much better after, like something has been lifted off my shoulders. [That feeling] doesn’t always happen during the run … but I guess just using it as a tool to be a better person, that’s always how it’s helped me.” She also shares thoughts on those early miles of a run: “When I am out on a long run, it’s always around this mark, 2.66, when I think that’s enough for me. But once I get past that, for me, I feel super strong and I think, ‘Ok, I can do this.’ I think in every run, there’s a hump to get over.”

Also during this episode, Heather and Emma talk about their family trip to the Porcupine Mountains this summer and their upcoming mom-daughter tradition of attending the American Home Fitness Detroit Women’s Half Marathon, 10K & 5K on Belle Isle in Detroit. This year’s race weekend is Sept. 16-17. Heather and Emma have run the half marathon there together in the past and this year will take on the 10K. Speaking of race weekend, the Expotique is Saturday, Sept. 16 and MRG will again have a booth—stop by to say hello and check out all-new Michigan Runner Girl fall apparel. These items can be found at the online store, too. Shop here.

Aug 21, 2017

From an early age, Hunter Kemper dreamt of one day competing against the very best athletes in the world.

“Ever since I was a little kid—8 years old to be exact—I’ve wanted to be an Olympian. Growing up, I loved watching athletes from the USA compete against the best in the world on the biggest stage in the world. I had a hat that read ‘Goin For Gold’ which I wore everywhere.  The Olympic flame, the American anthem, the Opening Ceremonies, the medals, the pageantry, the country flags, the world records—I loved it all.”

Hunter realized he had a talent for swimming, cycling—he competed in his first triathlon at age 10 and won his age division race—and would go on to run in high school as well as on the collegiate level before eventually going pro as a triathlete. While on the cross country team at Wake Forest University, Hunter took what had been his weakest discipline in triathlon and turned it into his strongest.

“It was my favorite—it still is—of the triathlon,” he says. “I had four years [in college] of great coaching and great workouts and great athletes and teammates who pushed me to be a better runner … I was surrounded by people who were way better runners than me. And I learned from them.”

He also learned the importance of training in what he calls “the black and white zone,” rather than a gray one. This is something he feels every athlete-in-training can and should try to do.

“On your hard days, really take them seriously, and then on your easy days, go really easy. That was one thing I really held onto.”

Hunter, a 4-time Olympian and 7-time U.S. Elite National Champion, is returning to the Boyne City Triathlon, which marks its 5th year this Labor Day weekend. He inspired last year’s participants with a pre-race talk and handed out race medals at the finish. A race discount code for this race is shared during the show. (There's still time to sign on for this Sunday, Sept. 3 race, which includes Olympic and sprint distances as well as relay and duathlon options.)

During this episode, Hunter talks about his Olympic dreams realized (along with the heartaches he has experienced throughout), and what he plans to do as a soon-to-be-retired professional triathlete. He’s not only incredibly talented as an athlete, he’s also kind and hilarious. He really gets Heather laughing during the show, as they talk about Heather's own triathlon experiences and also his impressive journey as an athlete and father of four young children with his wife Val (who also is a talented athlete).

Hunter is the most decorated U.S. triathlete in history. A four-time member of the USA Olympic triathlon team, he is one of only two men in the world to qualify for every Olympic triathlon (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012).

Links: 

Hunter Kemper: https://www.instagram.com/hunterkemper/ https://www.hunterkemper.com

Boyne City Triathlon: https://tritofinish.com/boyne-city-triathlon 

Aug 14, 2017

When Heather met west Michigan runner Vicki Kavanaugh at this summer's Mercy Health Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon—Vicki stopped by the Michigan Runner Girl booth at this Muskegon race's expo and introduced herself—Heather knew she had to have Vicki on the podcast. Vicki is involved with Total Trek Quest, a program that assists third-, fourth- and fifth-grade boys in learning to run a 5K. More than 100 volunteer coaches facilitate 36 practices with these boys to prepare them for the race. But this program is more than simply an after-school get-your-body moving-activity. The program  focuses on goal-setting, physical activity, teamwork and building confidence in saying no to underage use of substances and yes to healthy life choices. Early prevention efforts are critical among this age group, Vicki shares. According to the 2015 Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) of Ottawa County, Michigan 8th, 10th and 12th grade students, a significant number tried smoking, inhalants, and/or alcohol before the age of 14. Among youth who have used alcohol, 25% had their first drink before age 13. 

This fall, Total Trek Quest will be in four counties in the Grand Rapids area—Kent County is the latest addition—and the fall season (there are programs in the fall and in the spring) kicks off Sept. 11. It's now in its 12th season; it began in Ottawa County.

Vicki, whose children are ages 24 and 20, shares her own running journey with Heather as well; she started running with the encouragement of her college roommate. She's a former longtime Gazelle Sports employee who has worked with hundreds of runners in Gazelle's training programs. She now serves as youth development specialist with Pathways in Holland, which is the organization through which Total Trek Quest operates. 

Link: pathwaysmi.org/strengthening-youth/total-trek-quest

Aug 8, 2017
Episode #103: Julie Millen on running for others and logging 100 miles during Detroit Free Press Marathon weekend this October
 
This October, during Detroit Free Press Marathon weekend Oct. 14-15, ultra runner and mom of five Julie Millen will take on her second 100-mile run—the Joules Athletics Warrior 100 Mile Run and Relay—to help raise funds for Brayden Trombley, an 8-year-old Mt. Pleasant, Mich. boy who has leukemia. This is not the first time (and definitely won't be the last) Julie is running for someone else. Spend any amount of time with Julie, a native Michigander now living in Houston, Texas, and you'll quickly realize how kind and giving—and humble—she is, not only as a runner, but as a human being. Her love of helping others is infectious and inspiring. She joins Heather in the studio—she and her family were vacationing in nearby Northport, Mich. this past month—to talk about the upcoming October run, which is totally self-supported and will coincide with the Detroit Free Press Marathon and Half Marathon. This is how it'll work (and anyone interested can join): A "base camp" will be at Brew Detroit, and runners will complete approximately 80 miles by running a 3/4 mile loop. Runners will leave Brew Detroit at 5 a.m. on Oct. 15 to run to the start of the Detroit Free Press Marathon and Half Marathon to complete the rest of the race. All solo runners and one relay runner must register for either the Detroit Free Press full or half marathon to complete the 100 mile run. Julie shares with Heather how she got started running, why Detroit will always be home to her, why going long (really long!) speaks to her heart, why she feels it's important to run for others, the individuals who have impacted her running journey, and so much more. In addition to running and raising a family, Julie also is the founder of a women's athletic clothing company, Joules Athletics. 
 
Link: https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Detroit/joulesathleticswarrior100
 
-- 
Heather Johnson Durocher
Writer/Editor/Publisher/Podcast Host
Michigan Runner Girl ~ In a state of motion
 
3270 Autumn Leaf Drive
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
231-218-0842 (office/cell)
 
Twitter: @michrunnergirl
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Jul 25, 2017

Heather catches up with two race directors of September events for this special Michigan fall race preview episode. First up: Kyle Cutler, race director of the 16th annual Lake Michigan Credit Union Bridge Run on Sunday, Sept. 17 in downtown Grand Rapids. This race features a 10 Mile and a 5K run/walk. Kyle is a marathoner and member of Run GR, the local running group that organizes the Bridge Run. Along with talking about why the Bridge Run is known as a "must-do race" in the Mitten State, Kyle shares a race discount code for MRG readers and listeners. In the second half of the show, Heather talks with Mary Culbertson, race director of the American Home Fitness Detroit Women's Half Marathon, 10K & 5K on Sunday, Sept. 17 on Belle Isle in Detroit. This is the fifth anniversary of this all-female race, and organizers are celebrating with a new Expotique location—in the Detroit Boathouse on Belle Isle—and a Saturday evening dinner cruise (which Heather will be a part of as well). Mary also shares details on this year's finisher medals, lodging specials during race weekend and the cool bling runners of both the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and the Detroit Women's Half Marathon will receive. A race discount code also is mentioned during the show. 

Jul 17, 2017

As Heather takes a self-imposed running break following a spring marathon and half marathon, to ensure a longtime comes-and-goes running injury heals, she welcomes physical therapist and board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist Jeff Samyn to the show. Jeff, a runner who also does CrossFit, works at Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center in Petoskey, Mich. They talk about when to know you should take a break from running due to pain/discomfort (and why it's so tough to actually admit this to ourselves!), the best ways to handle running breaks (both mentally and physically), and how to ease back into a routine. Heather and Jeff also share reader comments from the Michigan Runner Girl Facebook page—many readers and listeners chimed in with their own stories of running injuries, running breaks, chronic pain, and cross-training ideas and lots more. 

The Michigan Runner Girl podcast is back after a couple week break. The summer show release schedule will be a bit more sporadic as Heather and her production team enjoy summer in Michigan—and gear up for a full line-up of weekly shows this fall. 

The Michigan Runner Girl Show is supported by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Jun 27, 2017

During this special 100th episode of the Michigan Runner Girl Show, Heather is joined by Maia Turek, statewide recreation programmer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, a.k.a. the State Parks Guru. Who better than Maia to be on this anniversary show—she is, after all, just as passionate as Heather about getting outside and exploring (by foot, bike and paddle) all that our gorgeous Great Lakes State has to offer. Michigan is home to 103 state parks and 138 state forest campgrounds, and summer is of course the ultimate time to check them out. Heather shares her family’s plan to head north this summer to spend a week in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, in the western U.P. along the shores of Lake Superior. Maia in turn offers up some great ideas and tips for backpacking and enjoying this vast wilderness area to the fullest. From there, Maia and Heather talk about the numerous state park offerings this summer, taking place throughout Michigan. These include yoga and stand-up paddleboarding options (even yoga SUP’ing), “Fireworks Free Fourth,” at more than a dozen locations, a special meteor shower + s’mores event in August, and lots more. Maia also shares news of an upcoming pet-friendly lodging pilot program. And finally, Maia and Heather announce a special Summer State Park Challenge to inspire your warm-weather traveling and exploring and running throughout Michigan. (A big prize is included!) #runstateparks

 

Link:

michigan.gov/stateparks

 

Jun 19, 2017
Known as the "Original Traverse City Foot Race," the Festival of Races that are part of the National Cherry Festival each July include distances for just about any runner: a half marathon, 15K, 10K and 5K. These races, which take place the final weekend of the weeklong festival, on Saturday, July 8, are a summer tradition for many runners, including Heather's family. This year marks the races' 44th year—the race started in 1973 as a 10K and shifted to a 15K in 1978. In 1989 the 5K was added; most recently, the 10K was re-introduced along with a half marathon. All told, more than 50,000 participants have crossed the finish line over the years. This show features Heather's conversation with co-race director Katherine Brege, assistant race director Tabitha McNeil and Traverse City runner Robyn Thompson. The foursome talk about their favorite Cherry Festival and Festival of Races memories. Katherine shares details on each race—what runners can expect out on the courses—while Tabi offers up information on finish line updates and changes. They also talk about the popular Cherry Mile (formerly the Golden Mile) and Carter's Run, the kids' fun run mile, that take place Thursday evening of Festival Week. 
 
Link: cherryfestival.org 

 

Jun 13, 2017
Episode #98: Jeff Crumbaugh of Great Lakes Endurance on his eco-friendly trail races in northern Michigan, the U.P. & northern Wisconsin
 
Jeff Crumbaugh, longtime runner, race director and founder of race management company Great Lakes Endurance, is known for his commitment to "ecologically mindful running races." Since 2000, Great Lakes Endurance has provided runners with exceptional trail running experiences while giving back to organizations involved in land conservancy, environmental education and sustainable silent sport trail construction or maintenance. Heather has talked about some of these races on previous episodes, in large part because they're among her favorite running events. Topping her list of best trail running races in Michigan is the Grand Island Trail Run, which includes a half marathon, marathon and 50K on the stunning island in Lake Superior near Munising. (This was in fact the topic of the very first MRG Podcast, back in summer 2015.) Jeff joins Heather on the show to talk about the Grand Island Trail Run as well as the others he and his team organize each year in northern lower Michigan, the Upper Peninsula and in northern Wisconsin, where Jeff and his company are based. The next Great Lakes Endurance event is the Two Hearted Trail Run, a 50K, marathon and half marathon on Saturday, June 24on trails between Paradise, Mich. and the mouth of the Two Hearted River. A special race discount code is shared with listeners. You'll also hear all about Great Lakes Endurance's other races held throughout the year, including two winter snowshoe races. 
 
Link: www.greatlakesendurance.com 
 
-- 
Heather Johnson Durocher
Writer/Editor/Publisher/Podcast Host
Michigan Runner Girl ~ In a state of motion
 
3270 Autumn Leaf Drive
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
231-218-0842 (office/cell)
 
Twitter: @michrunnergirl
Have you heard? The MRG Podcast features new episodes each week. Tune in here >>
** Don't miss out on Michigan race news & deals: sign up for the MRG monthly newsletter **
Jun 6, 2017
 More than 5,000 runners finished the Bayshore races in Traverse City a little over a week ago. During this special episode, Heather checks in with Daniel Siderman, race director of the Bayshore, as well as Lisa Taylor, a MRG podcast regular who was recently named executive director of the Traverse City Track Club, which oversees this northern Michigan race tradition. In this first part of the show, Daniel and Lisa give a behind-the-scenes look at the Bayshore, which marked its 35th anniversary this past Memorial Day weekend. They share how this race got started in the early 80s (it began as only a marathon and 10K; the half marathon was added later), how its evolved and grown in popularity (races typically sell out fast when registration opens in December each year), and the impressive impact, financial and otherwise, it has on Traverse City and the surrounding areas. Heather, Daniel and Lisa also talk about this year's races—Heather ran her fourth Bayshore marathon, her 8th 26.2 overall—and the new things runners experienced in 2017 (free race course photography, for example). They also talk about two notable runners who took part in Bayshore this year, one of whom was a complete surprise on race day (hint: she's an Olympic marathon finisher). In the second part of the show, Heather is joined by runner Dave Taylor, who shares his marathon experience at Bayshore—he was aiming to qualify for Boston, and he did just that. Lisa Taylor, who is married to Dave, sticks around for this part of the show and talks about supporting Dave in this goal. Dave just might have a running partner to join him in Boston next April, as their college-age daughter Ellie is hoping to get a BQ at her first marathon this June in Charlevoix, Mich. If you've ever wondered what it's like to run Bayshore, this episode is sure to answer all of your questions. And if you were there yourself running the marathon, half marathon or 10K, you'll have fun re-living your Bayshore experience.
Link: bayshoremarathon.org
 
-- 
Heather Johnson Durocher
Writer/Editor/Publisher/Podcast Host
Michigan Runner Girl ~ In a state of motion
 
3270 Autumn Leaf Drive
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
231-218-0842 (office/cell)
 
Twitter: @michrunnergirl
Have you heard? The MRG Podcast features new episodes each week. Tune in here >>
** Don't miss out on Michigan race news & deals: sign up for the MRG monthly newsletter **
May 30, 2017
The Holland Haven Marathon and Half Marathon—the race starts in Grand Haven and ends in Holland, Mich.—is in its fourth year and runners now have a third race distance to choose from when signing on for this event: an 8K. "The 8K is a great segue into longer distance races," says Eddie Kline, who along with his wife, Jen, joins Heather on this episode to talk about the races taking place Sunday, Sept. 10. "As a mid-distance road race, it is accessible enough for the novice runner yet incredibly challenging to experienced racers. Participants can do the Holland Haven 8K as a fun run with kids and as an 8K walk." Starting this year, runners can earn a trifecta medal—if you've already run both the half and full marathon and this year are planning to run the 8K. The idea is that once runners complete each distance (not in the same year, but rather come back each year and try a different distance), they'll receive this special trifecta medal. Jen and Eddie share event details, including: where on the marathon course runners can find both bacon and pickle juice; post-race party/expo info (pig roast!); lodging specials; charity partner stories and more. Eddie also opens up about his devastating fall last October that broke his back, how he recovered and healed, and what it's been like to return to running. This journey has given him a new perspective on our sport. The experience also revealed just how beloved Jen and Eddie are in their community, which includes the many people who are part of their gym, CrossFit Soaring Ledge in Holland. There's also a race discount code shared during the show. 
 
Link: hollandhavenmarathon.com 
May 23, 2017

Marathoner, ultra marathoner and Detroit native Dave Krupski likes "creating race courses that are my dream races." He's behind the Daytona 100 in Florida and this coming month he'll debut his Michigan ultra marathon courses: the Lighthouse 100-mile and 50-mile ultras on Saturday, June 10. Dave Krupski, along with northern Michigan runner Dan Oberski, are guests on this episode. They talk with Heather about this upcoming 100-miler that starts at the lighthouse in Petoskey and finishes at the lighthouse at the tip of Traverse City's Old Mission Peninsula. (There's also a 50-mile option; this course follows the second half of the 100-mile race course.) Dan Oberski, who was previously a guest on the podcast, talking about running extra long distances, has been training for next month's Lighthouse 100—his first 100-mile race. Dan and Dave talk about how they met earlier this spring (and ran about 30 miles together on the race course), the allure of ultra running, what runners can expect at this new road running event and more. The two race courses are on pavement, not trail where many ultras take place, but runners will be running almost exclusively on bicycle paths along Lake Michigan, on paved trails and little-used country roads, and through some of the most exclusive areas in Michigan. "All along the way you will enjoy countless unobstructed views of the water," Dave says. The terrain ranges from flat (miles 1-30) to rolling hills (miles 30-100). In addition, the race is near the summer equinox, ensuring runners will enjoy about 16 hours of daylight. "When the sun sets, a full moon will illuminate you throughout the night."

 
Link: 
www.lighthouse100ultra.com

 

May 16, 2017
You may know David Willey as the longtime editor-in-chief of Runner's World magazine—he's been at the helm of this publication for 14 years—and as the host of the popular Runner's World podcast. But did you also know he's a native of Michigan? David joins Heather on the show to talk about growing up in the Mitten (he lived in Ann Arbor as a child and later Grand Rapids, where he played high school football and other sports) and how he's returning to his home state for this month's Bayshore Marathon on Saturday, May 27 in Traverse City. David has been talking quite a bit about this upcoming goal race of his, in the print magazine and also on the podcast he hosts each week. This is because the Bayshore is the race he chose for his "moonshot marathon quest," otherwise known as his attempt to finally qualify for the Boston Marathon. Heather and David talk about his early years of sports-playing (and his initial dislike of running), how he eventually fell in love with our sport in his 20s, the first marathon he ran, and some of the highlights of his years as editor-in-chief of Runner's World. He also shares how he "feels like a new runner," having worked with a team of Nike experts throughout his training for the Bayshore. Heather and David delve into this and also talk through Bayshore course tips and, of course, where David should consider going in Traverse City post-race for a celebratory burger. David also talks about his upcoming plans post-marathon (hint: a career change is in the works...) You're sure to be inspired listening to David's story and ambitious plans for BQ'ing in another couple of weeks. Heather found herself feeling even more excited about Bayshore—her fourth Bayshore Marathon—after talking with David. 
 
This episode is supported by the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (grandtraverseresort.com) and Traverse City Tourism (traversecity.com)
 
Links:
 
Runner's World: runnersworld.com
 
Bayshore Marathon: bayshoremarathon.com 
May 9, 2017

Way back in spring 2010, not too long before Heather started the Michigan Runner Girl blog, she wrote posts about running for a northern Michigan trails organization. She'd been running for a few years, had several races under her belt, and was really starting to ramp up her mileage and health and fitness writing. The sport definitely had become an essential part of her life. And when she wasn't out on the roads or trails, or writing about the mental and physical benefits of exercise, she was reading about running—magazines, web sites, books, whatever she could find. One of her absolute favorites to this day: Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea—two women she "knew" only through their bylines in Runner's World magazine. She made a request for a review copy—a perk of being a freelance journalist—and from the moment she received it in the mail, she couldn't put it down. Covering all aspects of running and how to find time for it amid family and work, it completely spoke to her and where she was at in her life. She's since shared it with friends, and has enjoyed watching Sarah and Dimity's success build as they've created an incredibly strong tribe through their web site AnotherMotherRunner.com, social media, weekly podcast, online training groups, as well as with a second and third book and by traveling across the country to connect with other mother runners at races and other special events. If you're a parent and a runner, you've likely heard of—and probably are a part of—the Another Mother Runner community.

Sarah and Dimity join Heather on this episode to talk about how the mother runner movement began, the three books they've published, how their thriving community has evolved over the past several years (this year they've been celebrating their 7th AMR-versary), what it's meant for each of them to connect with so many women across the country (and beyond), and the exciting plans they have for further connections with mother runners in the coming months.
 
Learn more about Another Mother Runner at anothermotherrunner.com
 
This episode is supported by the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa — grandtraverseresort.com — and Traverse City Tourism, found at traversecity.com 

 

May 1, 2017
The longstanding south Michigan road race known as DXA2—the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run—is set for Sunday, June 4, 2017. This event, now in its 44th year, includes a half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids run. Doug Goodhue, masters runner and DXA2 race director, returns to the show to talk about this race that attracts thousands of runners to the riverbanks of Michigan's Huron River Drive each summer. The race is a weekend experience, starting with the kids run on June 3 and the half, 10K and 5K run/walk taking place the next morning. Race organizers are building on the success of a team challenge that was implemented with the half marathon and have added this feature to the 10K and 5K. Doug also shares what he's been up to lately (he was heading to Boston for a very special race the weekend after this conversation was recorded) and why he's really looking forward to running the popular Flint, Mich. race The Crim Festival of Races this August (at age 75, Doug still is running strong and will be running his 30th Crim this year.) 
Doug also talks openly about a runner doping scandal that came to light not long after last year's DXA2. He shares how the problem was handled—and how race organizers are committed to making sure it doesn't happen again.
 
Links: 
Dexter-Ann Arbor Run: http://dxa2.com
The Crim: http://crim.org/races-events/crim/

 

Apr 24, 2017
Joel Gaff returns to the show to talk about his most recent athletic adventures, including an Ironman race in Chattanooga, TN and the scenic trail running out west he loves so much. Joel is behind Endurance Evolution, the race management and race timing services company based in Traverse City, Mich. (and also Portland, Ore., since Joel splits his time between these two cities). Endurance Evolution hosts a number of northern Michigan races, including the Traverse City Trail Running Festival each spring, the Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon and 5K in June, the Traverse City Triathlon in August and the popular Sleeping Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K each October. Joel gives an update on this year's line-up of races, which are some of Heather's favorites. He mentions that the Sleeping Bear races typically sell out, so signing up earlier rather than later is a good idea. Joel shares how his most recent Ironman was absolutely amazing..until the run portion (a full marathon after hours of swimming and biking!). Heather asks how he stay motivated throughout 26.2, when things got especially tough (heat played a role as well), and in hindsight what he would have done differently during his training. 
 
This episode is sponsored by Traverse City Tourism. Corn Briggs, digital marketing manager for Traverse City Tourism (and a runner herself), stops by the studio to share upcoming events in the area, including a bunch of opportunities to enjoy up north wine to celebrate Michigan's wine month in May. 
 
Links: enduranceevolution.com 
traversecity.com
Apr 17, 2017
This summer Heather is looking forward to running her first Lake Michigan Half Marathon. This is a longtime Muskegon, Mich. event that takes place Saturday, June 24 this year. This race weekend also includes the Mercy Health Seaway Run, a 15K and 5K run and community walk. Race Director Andrew Buikema joins Heather on the show to talk about this race tradition in west Michigan, as well as the numerous changes taking place at this year's event (the start and finish, as well as post-race party, take place on downtown streets). Andrew, who lives in Norton Shores, took on the race director role this year. He talks about his own running journey, which includes returning to running not too long ago after many years of living a pretty sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. "I got back into running about 4 years ago after a long time of inactivity and gaining an enormous amount of weight. I led a very unhealthy lifestyle of eating and zero activity. I finally decided to turn my life around and get back in to running," he says. "My brother paced me at my first half marathon and pushed my harder than I could have imagined. It was then that I realized that I need to keep doing this if I am going to set the example for my two daughters. Andrew is also a pacer and talks about what it's like to help other runners achieve their goals. "I have had the pleasure of pacing for several races since getting back in to running all over. I've paced in Michigan, Illinois and South Carolina...with that experience I have also taken over the Race Director job for the Mercy Health Seaway Run / Lake Michigan Half Marathon, pace director for the Rivertown Half, Charlevoix Half / Full and the Fifth Third River Bank Run pacers." Andrew is a member of the Grand Haven Running Club (Grand Haven, MI) "I love the camaraderie that all runners share. Everyone has a story and it's awesome getting to know them, who they are and WHY they run." A special MRG listener/reader race discount code is shared during the episode, for runners to save money when they sign up for the June 24 race. More than 3,000 runners are expected to take part in the Mercy Health Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon. A health expo also is part of race weekend, and Heather will be there with a MRG booth. 
 
Link: http://seawayrun.com
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