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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: Page 6
Aug 10, 2016
Round up a group of friends to run along the shores of Lake Michigan, starting early on a Friday in one city and finishing Saturday in another...Keep going on little sleep, through the night and traversing all-new running territory. Sounds interesting and memorable, right? Maybe a little crazy, you're thinking. Talk with experienced "Ragnarians" -- runners who have experienced a Ragnar Relay -- and they'll tell you it's these things and a whole lot more. Heather, who will be participating in her first Ragnar Relay this fall, gets the scoop on all things Ragnar during this episode. She talks with Jonathan Jarrett, who is with Ragnar Events in Salt Lake City, UT, about the inaugural Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan this Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The race starts in Muskegon and ends in Traverse City. Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan is a magical combination of fall colors, sugar sand beaches, massive dunes and wild Ragnarians. Teams of 12 or 6 will start the 200-ish mile relay in charming Muskegon where runners speed past historic ships and lighthouses with a van of teammates cheering them along each leg of the course. Teams make their way past apple orchards, cherry blossoms and rolling hills painted in vibrant autumn hues. As the sun sets, runners continue their relay through the night as a starlit sky and bouncing line of headlamps brighten the way.  Gulps of crisp October air propel runners on their final miles to the finish line in Traverse City – home to some of Michigan's finest wineries and the sapphire blue Grand Traverse Bay. A Ragnar wouldn't be complete without a finish line party, hunky finisher medal and stories to tell for years to come. Find out what it means to find your #innerWILD and mark your running calendar for Sept. 30- Oct. 1. MRG Podcast listeners can use a special code to save $100 off their team entry. Team captains get a free pair of Reebok shoes. 
 
Links: 
 
Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan: 
 
Details on MRG's involvement with this race: 
http://michiganrunnergirl.com/epic-adventure-mrg-takes-ragnar-relay-michigan/

 

Aug 4, 2016
Rob Swartz was an accomplished runner and triathlete when he was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder -- a disease that led him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. where he endured numerous tests and brain scans, met with neurologists, and underwent a brain biopsy. Doctors concluded that he had Chronic Microglial Encephalomyelitis, a condition he shared at that time with just six other people in the United States. The disease causes swelling of nerves, which then causes the body to shut down system after system. Rob went from participating in as many as 14 races in one year to being confined to a walker for three months. Rob joins Heather in the studio to share his story. Today, he has fought his way back to the active lifestyle he and his wife have always enjoyed together; this spring he ran the River Bank Run 25K in Grand Rapids as well as the Charlevoix Half Marathon. Following his diagnosis, Rob started Team Lucky Seven, a non-profit organization that enables athletes to help raise funds for research of neurological disorders. Rob and Heather talk about this organization and its role in the race Rob founded in his town of Boyne City -- the Boyne City Triathlon. This race takes place over Labor Day weekend each year. Rob shares all the details of this Sunday, Sept. 4 event (sprint and Olympic distances offered ... And food trucks at the finish!) A race discount code also is shared for MRG listeners.
 
Links:
 
Team Lucky Seven - http://www.teamluckyseven.org 
Boyne City Triathlon - www.boynecitytriathlon.com 

 

Jul 27, 2016
Episode #53: Tri Goddess Tri Race Recap
 
Heather finished her first triathlon -- the Tri Goddess Tri, organized by Epic Races -- earlier this summer, and on the show she talks about the memorable experience with fellow triathlete Kelly Yauk and triathlete-in-training Ali Lopez. Listeners will remember Ali as the passionate chef who contributes recipes to MichiganRunnerGirl.com on a regular basis (she's also a previous podcast guest) and Kelly as runner and race director of events held in July and November at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The trio talk about what is takes to train for a swim-bike-run racing event, the tips and tricks they've learned along the way, what it's really like to swim a half mile in a sprint triathlon (and longer distances during training, as Ali shares!), and why triathlon is such a great option for runners. A special giveaway is also part of the show: Kelly talks about an upcoming northern Michigan swim event that raises funds for the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. MRG is partnering with the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, a sponsor of the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay 2-mile open water event on Saturday, Aug. 13, and Heather and Kelly share how one lucky winner will receive free entry.
 
Links:
Tri Goddess Tri - www.epicraces.com
Grand Traverse Resort - www.grandtraverseresort.com 
Swim for Grand Traverse Bay - www.swimforgtbay.com
 
Jul 21, 2016
If you've ever felt sluggish during a run, if you've wondered why your body "hit the wall" during your half marathon, or you're curious about how best to recover and re-fuel after a long run, this episode featuring runner and registered dietitian nutritionist Miranda Monroe will give you the answers. "The biggest thing I see is under fueling before, during and after a run or a race," says Miranda, who started running four years ago and has completed numerous races including this year's Boston Marathon (where she also re-qualified for the legendary race). Miranda works with athletes through her coaching and consulting practice Grand Traverse Nutrition. She shares how discovering a love of running just a few years ago came as a surprise to her. Miranda realized becoming a runner also helped her better connect with her clients. "It really helped me help them explore more options. Through my own trial and error, it gave me the ability to ask them questions - to ask the right questions of them, of how they felt." Heather and Miranda talk through best ways for runners and those living an active lifestyle to fuel their bodies, including the timing of it pre-activity as well as when to incorporate it mid-run and post-race. "In a nutshell, you want to put good quality fuel in a high performance engine to get the most out of out," Miranda explains. "To go fast, to go hard, to go long, you have the put that high-octane fuel in so it can run great." 
 
Link: 
Grand Traverse Nutrition: www.grandtraversenutrition.com 
 

 

Jul 14, 2016

Episode #51: Becoming a stronger runner

The Michigan Runner Girl show takes to the road for this episode about incorporating strength training into your exercise routine. Heather is joined by Coaches Lisa Taylor, a frequent contributor to the podcast, and Doug Gle, a leader in the field of exercise science, on location at Central High School in Traverse City, Mich. Coach Lisa, who oversees the high school girls' cross country and track programs, encourages her team to strength train all year round. In the summertime, this means getting into the state-of-the-art weights and conditioning gym at the high school a couple of times a week. Heather talks with Lisa and Doug as student athletes are working out, and Lisa shares how the workouts she completes alongside her athletes helps her with her own running. A couple of young runners also come on the show to talk about how their running has changed since they started working out in the gym. Doug, a certified strength coach who has worked with collegiate runners, talks about the importance of strength training and how it can improve overall running performance as well as prevent injuries. If you've wanted to start strength training to become a stronger runner, you'll learn the basics and be inspired listening to this episode. 
 
Link:
Follow certified strength and conditioning specialists Doug Gle and his brother Mike Gle on Twitter at @TrojanStrength 
Jul 6, 2016

Episode #50: Kathy Sebright on finding hope in the long run

 
To call Kathy Sebright a dedicated distance runner is a bit of an understatement. Kathy, who lives with her husband Tony and their school-age boys Travis and Emmett in the southwest Michigan community of Dorr, ran throughout her pregnancies, nursed one of her babies at the side of the road during a marathon, has directed a local 5K, led “couch-to-5K” groups, paced fellow runners at numerous races, and tackled ultramarathons. But what perhaps demonstrates her commitment to our sport and fellow runners best is an endeavor she took on in support of her son Emmett, who lives with Craniosynostosis, a birth defect in which one or more of the joints between the bones of a baby’s skull close prematurely, before the baby’s brain is fully formed. In 2012, Kathy ran 7 hours and 26 minutes on a treadmill in the hospital while surgeons “removed, broke apart, and put back together my 1-year-old’s skull.” More than 1,000 people virtually joined Kathy — through running, walking, biking, lifting — from 45 states and 13 countries. And in the years following, on the June 20 anniversary of her son’s surgery, Kathy ran the full 7 hours and 26 minutes to raise awareness of Craniosynostosis. Kathy joins Heather on the show to talk about her running journey -- how running changed for her after her son's diagnosis -- and also to talk about her new book, the memoir Finding Hope in the Long Run about her experiences as an ultra runner and mom of a son with special needs. Kathy, who is also giving away two of her books to MRG listeners, says her book is about making her way through an especially difficult time in her life and finding hope on the other side.
Link:
Kathysebright.com
Jun 30, 2016
An annual summer tradition for hundreds of Michigan runners, the Festival of Races held the final Saturday of the weeklong National Cherry Festival is set for July 9 this year. Heather welcomes race director Katherine Brege to the show to talk about this year's races in Traverse City. Also joining the conversation: runner, chef and regular MRG contributor Ali Lopez, who is training for the half marathon. Ali talks about her race plans as well as the health benefits of tart cherries (she shares delicious ways of adding this fruit into your daily eating, whether pre-run for performance or post-race for recovery.) Heather and her family are looking forward to the Cherry Festival races this year - there's nothing quite like running the final miles of these races into the downtown area and along Front Street, the parade route of the big festival parade finale on Saturday. 
 

Link: cherryfestival.org

Jun 23, 2016
As Heather gears up for her first triathlon this weekend in the Ann Arbor/Dexter area, she has coach Michael Parker of Parker Performance Training join her on the show to talk about the benefits of this multi-discipline sport. Michael, who works as a graduate assistant in the Eastern Michigan University Running Lab and focuses his research on running economy and 3D motion capture techniques, has been helping Heather train for her first triathlon, the Tri Goddess Tri, an Epic Races event held each June. They talk about common first-time triathlete questions, covering everything from training plans and necessary gear to picking the right event and race-day etiquette. Michael, who is training for his second Ironman this fall in Wisconsin, also shares his experience training for long distance triathlons such as the Ironman -- and how it was a life-changing moment crossing that finish line of his first Ironman. If you've ever considered what it would be like to try a triathlon, or wondered why so many runners eventually venture into triathlon, this episode is for you. Michael explains simple steps for getting started in triathlon. 

 

Jun 16, 2016
The third annual Frankenmudder, a "boot camp" style 5K featuring 17 challenging obstacles, takes place July 16. Race organizer Ryan Buchinger joins Heather to talk about this year's event, which gives all of its proceeds to Michigan's Military and Space Museum in Frankenmuth. Expect to get muddy and wet -- and have a ton of fun -- during this 5K, which typically attracts about 500 runners. The obstacles (challenging but safe!) involve climbing, running, crawling and swimming. The event also features the Little Mudder, a free course for kids at the finish area.  Ryan, a native of Frankenmuth and multi-generational resident of the German town of Frankenmuth, is a passionate runner and promoter of his hometown (i.e. he's got the inside scoop on the city and this area of Michigan, the local running scene, and the several other races happening in Frankenmuth throughout the year.) The Frankenmudder aims to raise $40,000 for the museum this year. Heather shares a race discount code for this year's event during the show, too. 
 
Link: Frankenmudder.com 
Jun 8, 2016
Episode #46: The Holland Haven Marathon & Half Marathon in Grand Haven
 
A bike path along the shores of Lake Michigan is the setting of the Holland Haven Marathon & Half Marathon in Grand Haven. Heather welcomes race founder and director Eddie Kline to the show to talk about this year's event, set for Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Eddie, whose rock climbing and gym CrossFit Soaring Ledge is where the races finish, talks about how the Holland Haven Marathon & Half Marathon got its start in 2014. They also talk about the point-to-point courses, the incredible scenery, the terrain runners can expect (some early hills in the marathon), the after-party (live music, great food and drink) and lots more. Heather asks Eddie about his own running and fitness journey, including his passion for the community of athletes he works with at his gym. Runners interested in snagging that Boston qualifying time will love this opportunity to make the cut only one day before registration opens - the 26.2 mile course is USATF certified as a Boston qualifier. The 13.1 mile Holland Haven Half Marathon, meanwhile, begins at Camp Geneva, a Christian Youth Camp along the Lake Michigan coastline. The camp is the race's 2016 charity partner. A special race entry discount code is also shared during the show.
 
Links:
 
Holland Haven Marathon: http://hollandhavenmarathon.com
CrossFit Soaring Ledge: http://www.crossfitsoaringledge.comhttps://www.facebook.com/soaringledge/
Camp Geneva: http://www.campgeneva.org
 
Jun 2, 2016
This short and sweet "bonus" MRG episode is all about races in Michigan that benefit the state's 170 nature sanctuaries, all managed by the nonprofit Michigan Nature Association. The association, which has been protecting Michigan's natural heritage since 1952, is hosting this series of family-friendly 5Ks. Rachel Maranto, a runner in the Okemos area, joins Heather on the show to talk about these events, which take place throughout the state. Rachel is the regional stewardship organizer for the Michigan Nature Association. She is based in Okemos and is responsible for organizing and working with volunteers to manage the Michigan Nature Association's nature sanctuaries in the southeastern lower peninsula. To learn more about these 5Ks, visit the Michigan Nature Association's Facebook page. These events benefit the sanctuaries and endangered animals living in Michigan. The next one is this coming weekend, Saturday, June 4: Kirtland's Warbler Family Fun Run and 5K in Roscommon. 
 
Link: michigannature.org
 

Kirtland's Warbler Fun Run 5K in Roscommon: https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Roscommon/KirtlandsWarbler5KRunWalk

 
To sign up for any of these 5Ks and to learn more about getting involved:
 
MNA office
866-223-2231
 
Cassie Miller

 

May 31, 2016
The Hawk Island Triathlon, set for this coming weekend, June 4-5, features both sprint and Olympic distances as well as a kids event. Andrew Cusmano, special events coordinator at the South Lansing Community Development Association, which is behind the triathlon, joins Heather on this episode to talk about the upcoming event. Andrew, who just graduated from Michigan State University, talks about the Hawk Island Triathlon, now in its 10th year, is beginner-friendly. Each finisher receives a cool medal and there are plenty of cool prizes, too. The kids' race, held on Friday June 4, attracts about 200 kids each year, and is also very beginner-friendly -- kids come out and just have a lot of fun, Andrew says. Heather and Andrew also talk about his impressive running career -- he ran at MSU, was able to run in two NCAA Championships and was an all-region selection for cross country. He also has a super cool new job and coaching position that they talk about on the show. Registration for this year's Hawk Island Triathlon -- the sprint and Olympic distances take place Saturday, June 5 -- closes Thursday, June 2.
 
Link: 
http://www.southlansing.org
May 25, 2016
The 43rd annual Dexter to Ann Arbor Run, which includes a half marathon, 10K, 5K, kid's fun run and all-new half marathon team challenge, takes place Sunday, June 5 (kid's run is Friday, June 4). Race director Doug Goodhue joins Heather on the show to talk about this year's event and also shares wisdom from his long running career. Doug, 74, returned to running (and really started racing) at age 40. He joined the Ann Arbor Running Club and realized he was quite speedy, actually -- he continues to run competitively and recently was inducted into the USATF Long Distance Running Masters Hall of Fame as an active athlete. He holds an age group world record in the 12K of 48:38 (6:31 pace!) -- he's won 43 USA track and field individual national championships -- and is a five-time age group USA record holder. The Dexter to Ann Arbor Run, also known as "DXA2," attracts some 6,000 runners each year, with 400 volunteers helping put on the event. Doug and Heather talk about the courses, the post-race celebrations, race expo (and 2016 Taste of Ann Arbor) and lots more during this episode.
 
Links:
 
Dexter to Ann Arbor Run: www.dxa2.com 
 
Ann Arbor Running Company: www.annarborrunningcompany.com
 
Taste of Ann Arbor: www.mainstreetannarbor.org
May 18, 2016

Episode #42: Flint runner Lottie Ferguson on Disney racing & her community's resilience

Lottie Ferguson, a Flint runner and mom of three, is the publisher of a FlintFamilyFun, a site offering free and low-cost family-friendly events in Genesee County. She joins Heather on the show to talk about her love of Disney races (she'll run her next ones this November, Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Disney's Super Heroes Half Marathon), her big decision to sign up for her first marathon this fall (the Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon in October), and the local running community she loves so much. Lottie, who has a full race calendar this summer and into the fall, shares her favorite Michigan races, including Flint's Crim Festival of Races in August. As Heather and Lottie recorded this episode, President Obama was arriving in Flint to talk with residents about the city's water crisis. Lottie, who works at the Ennis Center for Children, was looking forward to attending the president's talk later that afternoon and shares with Heather how the water crisis has affected her beloved community.

Links:

Flint Family Fun - http://www.flintfamilyfun.com

Crim Festival of Races: www.crim.org

Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon: freepmarathon.com

Ennis Center for Children: http://www.enniscenter.org

May 11, 2016

Episode #41: Vineyard to Bay 25K, two-person 15K/10K relay & 5K in Suttons Bay

 
Ross Deye, founder of the Vineyard to Bay 25K, two-person 15K/10K relay and 5K, joins Heather in the studio to talk about his popular summer race (he shares a race discount code, too). Deye, a longtime track & field and cross country coach in Ohio and Michigan, started this Suttons Bay race a few years ago, with this year's event taking place Sunday, Aug. 28. 25K runners start at a winery, with the race ending at Lake Michigan in Suttons Bay. Runners can choose to run the entire 25K themselves -- Ross and Heather talk about why he chose this 15.5 mile distance -- or split it up as a relay (one runner takes on the 15K, while the other runs 10K). The 5K is also an option. Ross says the course is incredibly scenic. "First and foremost I think it offers a variety of looks throughout the race -- you have the six vineyards which are beautiful in the late summer/early fall and you have a great view of Grand Traverse Bay when descending Hill Top Road and again once you finish," Ross says. "Nearly half the 25K is on the Leelanau Trail, which is a nice change of pace from just running roads." There's also variety in how far participants choose to run. "We are trying to provide something for everyone without it being too much of an organizational issue and I think we've accomplished that." Post-race activities and awards also are covered during the show. 
 
Links:
Www.vineyard2bay.com 
May 5, 2016

Exploring Michigan's great outdoors and getting a great workout in while doing so is what Cari Draft's company EcoTrek Fitness is all about. Cari, who lives in Spring Lake with her husband Jeff and their son Austin, is one of west Michigan's most active and community-involved personal fitness trainers. She talks with Heather about her active lifestyle and the ways in which she is helping others embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. Her EcoTrek Fitness business now operates out of several locations in Michigan as well as a location in West Virginia, and she is behind a line of whole food bars. She's a popular fitness guru on Facebook and Twitter, with thousands of followers who know her as @FitGirlCari. Learn all about EcoTrek Fitness during the show, including memorable moments on the trails and in the woods with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Cari and her company, EcoTrek Fitness, were one of only three organizations in the state named 2012 Governor's Fitness Awards/Michigan Fitness Council Extraordinary Event/Organization Award Honoree. In June 2012, Cari was one of 12 women nominated as West Michigan Woman Magazine's Most Influential Woman. In October 2013, Cari was an Honoree at the GVSU Women in Sport and Physical Activity event, as well as the Keynote Speaker. Most recently Cari was named one of 48 Women's Health Magazine ACTION HEROES for 2016.

 
Link: www.ecotrekfitness.com 

 

Apr 28, 2016
This special podcast episode takes you behind the scenes of the first-ever Michigan Runner Girl Weekend, which was held last weekend, April 22-24, at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City. Heather and retreat co-organizer Pam Carrigan are joined on the show by Michigan Runner Girls who signed on for the Friday-Sunday girls' getaway, which included plenty of running (trail and road), informative sessions on fueling smart (and making delicious food at home ourselves), preventing and treating common running injuries, spa treatments, Pilates, and lots more. The show is recorded on the 15th floor of the Resort's Tower, in the hospitality suite that came to be known as MRG Headquarters for the weekend. The women who took part in the weekend ranged in ages and running background, making for a fabulous time of connection and sharing. You'll be inspired to head out for a run after hearing about these women's running plans and goals -- and you'll also laugh along with them as they share stories of their running mishaps and adventures. 

 

Apr 21, 2016
Episode #38: Courtney Hansen - 2016 Boston Marathon finisher, race pacer and soon-to-be ultramarathoner
 
Courtney Hansen, an avid runner in west Michigan who has contributed to MichiganRunnerGirl.com with stories about her races and involvement with Grand Haven area and Muskegon running groups, is fresh off this week's Boston Marathon. She talks with Heather about the experience -- her first Boston Marathon! -- and how Monday's warmer weather led to adjusting her race goals. Courtney, who blogs atrunningthemitten.blogspot.com, traveled to Boston with her boyfriend Steve, who also ran the marathon. She shares how her Oiselle "birds" motivated her throughout the race, in particular the Newton Hills and the course's well-known Heartbreak Hill. Next up for Courtney is the Bayshore Marathon followed by the Charlevoix Marathon (during which she will be pacing runners) and this July's Grand Island 50K, an all-new distance added to the race weekend's events of a half marathon and marathon. 
 

 

Apr 13, 2016
Recently named the most scenic road course for runners in Michigan by MLive, the Mercy Health Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon is a favorite among runners throughout the state (and beyond). Heather talks with co-race directors and west Michigan health enthusiasts Joe Doyle and Chris Burnaw about this year's event, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon takes place June 25 this year and features courses that take runners and walkers to scenic spots including Lake Michigan beaches, the lakeshore Recreational Trail and historic neighborhoods. The most popular event -- the 5K run and community fun walk -- includes views of Muskegon Lake. The event's Healthy Lifestyle Expo is another big part of the race weekend, with more than 35 exhibitors participating. Joe and Chris share details about pacers available to runners in the half marathon, the crowd support on the courses, and finish line and after-race party details. They also share their own running journeys -- Chris is running this weekend's Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids and Joe, who ran the very first Seaway Run, is an avid walker and is grateful for his ability to remain active and healthy in Muskegon. Encouraging good health and active lifestyles is an integral part of the Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon, which attracts thousands of runners and walkers to the events each summer.
 
Link:
 
Mercy Health Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon: www.seawayrun.com 

 

Apr 7, 2016

You've got a big trip planned this summer, or maybe you're traveling right now for a spring getaway to someplace tropical -- what are your plans for keeping up with your running and exercise routine? This episode gives you ideas for getting your sweat on during vacations, family excursions or business trips. Sometimes it's not too difficult to fit in exercise -- you might be following a training plan and getting the chance to run outdoors, along a new, shady path, can be pretty amazing. Sometimes, though, it can be tough to find the motivation (beach walks and poolside cocktails are calling!) Heather, who just returned from a family spring break trip down south, is joined by running friends (and frequent MRG podcast co-hosts) Lisa Taylor, Pam Carrigan and Erin Henshaw. Each runner shares memorable explorations by foot in far-flung destinations as well as places throughout Michigan that are not too far from home. They all agree: having the chance to discover a new city or locale through running is pretty special.

 
Link:
 
State park that Heather mentions (and can't remember the name!): Palms Book State Park in Manistique (Kitch-iti-kiwi, The Big Spring)
 

 

Mar 30, 2016
The annual Traverse City Trail Running Festival, organized by Endurance Evolution, is the focus of this week's show. Heather checks in with Joel Gaff, race director and founder of Endurance Evolution (and previous podcast guest), to hear how the 2016 race is shaping up. This two-day event starts Friday, April 22, and carries over into Saturday, April 23, offering a variety of distances for newer and veteran trail runners alike. The courses take runners through the Pere Marquette Forest on both single track and two-track trails, beginning at Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort on the east side of Traverse City. The festival kicks off with a two-person 10K relay (each runner runs 5K) on Friday evening, and the 10K, 25K and 50K individual races get underway on Saturday morning. Joel talks about this family- and spectator-friendly event, which includes a fun kids run during race packet pickup Friday night and cool post-race awards celebration on Saturday, and also shares news of Endurance Evolution's other racing events taking place in the region throughout the year. Heather, who is gearing up for her first triathlon this June, was especially eager to talk with Joel about his flagship race, the Traverse City Triathlon held at Bowers Harbor on Old Mission Peninsula in August. 
 
Links: www.enduranceevolution.com 
 
Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort: www.timberridgeresort.net
Mar 23, 2016

The BIG Little Hero Race, a 10K/5K/free kids fun run organized by business students at Northwestern Michigan College, is back for its second year this spring. On today's show, Heather talks with Race Director Kyle Brownley, business professor (and runner) Kristy McDonald and students-turned-race-organizers Nicole Trine-Koewers and Justin Brown about the April 16 race. Tony Anderson, a northern Michigan marathoner and passionate advocate for children, also joins the conversation. Last year's event raised more than $8,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan. The race started last year as a service project for students taking Kristy's business communications class. The event was such a success that it's become an annual tradition, helping the students gain real-world experience helping give back to their community. This is a super hero-themed race taking place at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. Heather and her family are planning to run this one together. Join the fun on Saturday, April 16. (Free capes will be given to all kids!) 

Links:

BIG Little Hero Race site: www.biglittleherorace.com 

Registration site: https://events.bytepro.net/biglittleherorace

Blog post on MRG about this year's event: http://michiganrunnergirl.com/superhero-themed-10k-5k-fun-run-benefitting-kids-set-for-april-16/

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan: http://bigsupnorth.com

 

Mar 17, 2016

Downtown Grand Rapids each spring plays host to the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K, attracting hundreds of runners to the female-focused event. This year's races, which are all about empowering women, take place April 17, with 100% of proceeds benefitting the event's charity partners. Heather takes a closer look at this race, which she ran with friends in 2014. Cara Zerbel, co-race director and assistant store manager for Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids, joins Heather on the show to talk about what's new for the 2016 Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K (hear all about the "double down" medals now available to 5K runners participating in Gazelle Girl and the Fifth Third River Bank Run in May). Grand Rapids runner Colleen Urquhart, who has served as a team leader with Gazelle Sports training groups, also joins the conversation and shares why the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K is close to her heart -- she's run each one since its inception four years ago: "I am looking forward to scoring the double down medal again this year."

 
Links: 
 
www.gazellegirlhalfmarathon.com
 
Www.53riverbankrun.com
 
Www.gazellesports.com

 

Mar 9, 2016

While races that pit runners against obstacles like slippery climbing walls and mounds of mud have grown in popularity in recent years, few can claim they place athletes along the shores of one of our Great Lakes. The second annual ForeShore Adventure Run, set for May 21, does just that, at a Lake Michigan beach in Muskegon. It just might be the only one of its kind. "There are a couple of things that make this run unique: the setting — the run takes place on a world-class beach — and the number and type of obstacles the runners will have to conquer," says Dan Skoglund, assistant executive director at Muskegon Rescue Mission, which is behind the event that'll take place at Pere Marquette Beach Park on Lake Michigan. Heather talks with Dan about this year's event, which is family-friendly and features more climbing and more water fun compared to the inaugural event, thanks to runner feedback. On the show Dan shares the an important aspect of this race: Proceeds go toward providing shelter, food and care "for the most vulnerable in our community — homeless men, women and children." ForeShore Adventure Run is offering a special race discount to MRG readers and listeners this year -- Heather shares this code during the episode. 

Link: http://foreshore.org

 

Mar 2, 2016

Episode #31: The Pure Michigan FITness Series

 
Log miles at races throughout the state and get cool swag like a hoodie, water bottle, medal, even the chance to win a trip up to the top of the Mackinac Bridge -- what's not to like about that? Heather gets the lowdown on the Pure Michigan FITness Series, offered through the Michigan Fitness Foundation, when she has Lansing runner Michelle Coss on the show. MIchelle, who is is training for this spring's Bayshore Half Marathon, is the event director at the Michigan Fitness Foundation, where she focuses on the Labor Day Bridge Run, the Governor's Fitness Awards, the Pure Michigan FITness Series and the Auto Show 5K in Detroit. She also directs Lansing's only marathon, the Capital City River Run. Michelle and Heather talk about the numerous races throughout the state that are part of the FITness Series -- these are endorsed by the Foundation and are local, regional and state events consistent with the Governor’s Council mission to promote healthy choices, while offering a physical activity event open to all participants, regardless of skill level or age. What this means for all of us: when we participate in these events, we can join, for free, the Pure Michigan FITness Challenge Series and start earning cool stuff. A searchable event calendar of these races is available at michiganfitness.org -- you can be a runner or a volunteer at any of these races to earn points.
 
Also in this episode: an inspiring story of a South Haven runner who overcame a traumatic brain injury and ran her first 5K. Listeners are encouraged to send in their own inspiring stories to Heather at michiganrunnergirl@gmail.com
 
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