Another way to embrace the outdoors this winter: snowshoe running. Join Heather and co-host Cassy Stone as they talk about their love of running in the snow -- on snowshoes. They welcome guests Jeff Gaft, race director of the Bigfoot Snowshoe 10K & 5K race held later this month on the east side of Traverse City, and Jeb Stone, a northern Michigan runner who who is a 3-time winner of the Bigfoot race (and has the Sasquatch statues that are race prizes to prove it). These four runners (Jeb is Cassy's "better half," as he jokes on the show) talk about why they enjoy running on snowshoes, tips for getting started and finding the right pair of snowshoes. Jeb also shares a few racing tips for anyone looking to get out there and challenge themselves in a snowshoe race. Jeff, who is a manager at Running Fit in Traverse City, gives inside information about this year's event -- the Bigfoot takes place Saturday, Jan. 23 at Timber Ridge Resort -- as well as interesting details about how this race got started nearly 20 years ago. Be sure to listen through the end, when Heather offers up a special race discount code for a snowshoe race held in the U.P. In February. The Tahquamenon Snowshoe 10K & 5K, organized by Great Lakes Endurance, is among her favorite races and she hopes to head north to take part in it again this year. Finally, a listener informed Heather of another snowshoe running event this winter: a 3.5-mile or 7-mile snowshoe race part of the Meijer State Games festivities on Feb. 20 in Muskegon. The race takes place on some of the most challenging snowshoe terrain in the state, offering views of Lake Michigan and dunes.
If you're looking for a late spring/early summer race -- a race that places you on scenic trails in northern Michigan -- you'll want to tune into this episode featuring the North Mitten Half Marathon & 10K. This Memorial Day weekend race takes place on Sunday, May 29, 2016. The races are held each year at Crystal Mountain, a four-season resort in Thompsonville, Mich. Heather welcomes two guests to the show to talk about this race: Keli Elphinstone, a runner from Davison, Mich. who ran the North Mitten Half Marathon this past spring, and Race Director Janice Davidson. Keli, who started running about 6 years ago, shares why she signed up for the race in the first place (hint: the cool finisher's medal played a big role) and she also talks about the benefits of signing up for trail races like the North Mitten. Janice, who also serves as director of recreation at Crystal Mountain, gives the inside scoop on the 2016 event and shares her own running journey (she's signed on for a half marathon this spring and also has found a love of coaching young runners). Be sure to listen to the end of this episode to hear the two winners of the YakTrax giveaway!
Thanksgiving dinner never tasted so good. This is how runners feel after completing a turkey trot in their hometown on Thanksgiving morning. On this episode about turkey trots held in Michigan, Heather Durocher checks in with organizers of two Thanksgiving morning running events: Jenae Schultheiss from the Gobble Wobble, a 4.1-mile untimed fun run around Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, and Patrick Zanotti from the Traverse City Turkey Trot, a 5K or 5-mile run in Heather's hometown (this is where she'll be with her family, including husband Joe and their three kids, as well her dad and brother-in-law Jason, on Thanksgiving morning.) Keep listening for a special race code to save $5 off your race entry to the Traverse City Turkey Trot. Heather also mentions several other turkey trots held throughout the state -- a few even get underway this coming weekend.
Get Race Ready for Your Next 5K
5K races have become the most popular road racing distance for beginner and recreational runners. In this episode, Coach Lisa Taylor is back to talk with Heather about gearing up for the 3.1 mile race distance. There is a 5K available throughout Michigan almost every weekend, particularly during the racing season. Even during the off season, there are usually 5K races available -- you can find one on most winter holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas and even Valentine's Day. Lisa gives the low-down on her 8-week 5K training plan, which the newly-formed Michigan Runner Girl Race Team is following for the Farmland 5K on Dec. 5 in Traverse City. The plan, which listeners can find online at MichiganRunnerGirl.com, is best for runners "who can currently run at least 25-30 minutes without stopping ... If you are not currently up to that level, slowly build up to running this duration without stopping before you start this program. This program is general in nature," Lisa explains on the show. The importance of rest days and sleep, and the benefits of speed work, are explored as well.
Coach Lisa's 5K Training Plan for MRG readers and listeners - http://michiganrunnergirl.com/coach-lisas-5k-training-plan/
Farmland 5K - http://www.xcchallengetcruns.com
Cross the finish line, grab a banana and bagel, and ... get your beer! This is the case at more and more races in Michigan and across the country, and we runners are loving the chance to sample some local brew after logging our miles. Sometimes races even offer tastings on-course. This is the case with next month's Great Beerd Run 5K at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, near Traverse City. In this episode, Heather Durocher sits down with fellow Michigan Runner Girls and beer lovers Jill Cobb and Kelly Yauk to talk about running races and beer. Jill is the marketing coordinator for Short's Brewing Company, a Bellaire, Mich.-based brewer that often provides samples of its beers at both running and mountain bike races in northern Michigan. Short's is one of three Michigan breweries that will have on-course beer tastings at the Great Beerd Run on Nov. 14. (Other breweries featured are Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City and Beard's Brewery in Petoskey.) Kelly, e-marketing manager for the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and the event's race director, gives the low-down on the second annual Great Beerd Run, including runners' clever choices for beards (awards are given!) and the costumes she and her family will be wearing on race day. A race discount code and lodging special just for runners are shared during this episode, too.
Cross-training: Power of Pilates
Cross-training, as we're often told, is essential if we want to stay healthy and strong, and wish to continue running for as long as possible. In this episode, Heather Durocher talks with certified Pilates instructor Jennifer Cutler, owner of Pure Pilates in Traverse City, Michigan, about the benefits of this form of exercise. Heather began twice-weekly Pilates sessions about seven years ago and believes she's a stronger runner as a result. "With a stronger core, I feel stronger running. Jen's voice sometimes comes to mind, her words of 'shoulders back and down, belly button pulled to your spine' reminding me that my core muscles are what propel me forward and play such an important role (along with my legs, lungs and arms) in putting one foot in front of the other," Heather says. "The stretching and strengthening that I experience leave me feeling re-aligned, centered, balanced and ... just happy."
Jennifer shares the Stott Pilates philosophy, how moves on the mat as well as on what's known as the "reformer" machine helps build core strength, and what listeners should look for when searching for a Pilates studio in Michigan. Jennifer Tank, a fellow northern Michigan runner and Pilates devotee, also joins the conversation, sharing her own take on how Pilates has helped her in everyday life as well as in her athletic pursuits.
Pure Pilates, Traverse City - http://www.purepilatestc.com
Heather Durocher welcomes Cassy Stone, a marathoner and mom of three, to the show to talk about her Michigan running story. This Traverse City runner, whom Heather got to know through MichiganRunnerGirl.com, grew up in Marquette in the U.P. and came to the sport later in life. Part of her journey is living with Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. Managing her chronic disease comes with immense challenges, but Cassy doesn't allow it to prevent her from living boldly and going after her goals. She's determined to live life out loud -- and she's doing just that while modeling a healthy, happy lifestyle for her three school-age children. Ultimately, she's an inspiration to her many friends, and really anyone she meets.
Don Kern, race director of next month's Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon, knows a thing or two about putting on a great race -- not only as one of the founders of this October event in GR, but also because he's an avid racer himself, here in the U.S. and abroad. Indeed, this "adventure runner" has run more than 200 marathons in each of 50 states of the U.S. twice, in 25 countries, and at the North Pole. Heather Durocher interviews Don in this episode, talking with him about his extraordinary running accomplishments as well as the upcoming Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon, now in its 12th year. He is also behind the Groundhog Marathon, held each February in Grand Rapids. This race, which debuted in 2013, features a 4.4-mile loop that needs to be completed six times for a full marathon, a nod to the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day." The Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon is set for Sunday, Oct. 18. This episode also includes a special race discount code for listeners.
Mary Culbertson, race director of this month's American Home Fitness Detroit Women's Half Marathon & 5K on Belle Isle, shares race details in this episode. The event, now in its third year, attracts thousands of runners to its expo and race the weekend of Sept. 19-20 in the heart of Detroit. Heather ran the half marathon last fall, along with several of her running friends, and this year she'll return to run again. Her daughter Emma, a high school cross-country runner, will again join the fun by running the 5K. Michigan Runner Girl also will again have a booth at Saturday's expo, held at the Marriott Renaissance Center. Mary, a five-time marathoner who lives and runs in Saline, Michigan, talks about the Belle Isle race course and expo as well as her own running journey.