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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
Sep 30, 2016
This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Farmland 5K Run and Free For All Bike event held each December on the east side of Traverse City. Lisa Taylor, high school cross country coach, frequent podcast guest/co-host  and founder of this race, joins Heather in the studio to talk about Farmland, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3. Together, they talk through the top 5 reasons for signing up for this race. These touch on the time of year it takes place (no matter the weather -- lots of snow or extremely cold -- it still goes on), the cool swag and post-race party runners and cyclists get to experience, the unique cross country terrain and cycling-run combo components, and lots more. Come north this early-winter (lodging rates in the Traverse City area this time of year are lower) and join Heather and Lisa at this super-fun December race. (Heather might even be giving the run-bike combo a try...just maybe.)

 

Link: FarmlandTC.com 
Sep 22, 2016
Kona Running Co. is known for its numerous races held throughout the year in Michigan, and two upcoming events are featured on this week's show. Marathoner and longtime runner Alan Whitehead, owner of Kona Running Company, joins Heather on the show to talk about the Wicked Halloween Run 10K, 5K & Monster Mile on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Plymouth -- billed as the "largest Halloween run in the state" -- and the Kona Chocolate Run 10K, 5K & Cocoa Mile on November 20 in Plymouth, an event now in its fourth year and known as "Michigan's largest chocolate party." Heather and Alan also talk about Kona Running Co.'s two running speciality stores, in Canton and West Bloomfield; Alan operates these in partnership with Road Runner Sports. Thousands of runners come out for both of these fall racing events -- some 3,800 at the Wicked Halloween Run, many in costumes, an about 5,500 runners at the Chocolate Run. Alan shares what runners can expect to experience at both of these races (sweet swag and delicious post-race food are things Kona Running Co. races are known for).
 
Links:
Kona Running Company: http://konarunningcompany.com
Kona Chocolate Run: http://www.konachocolaterun.com
Wicked Halloween Run: http://www.wickedhalloweenrun.com
Sep 8, 2016
You've likely visited northern Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, either as a kid or with your own family, but have you run this area known nationally (and beyond) for its scenic beauty? The Sleeping Bear Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K, held each October, is an opportunity to explore the Lakeshore on foot. Endurance Evolution is behind this race, which for the first time sold out this year. (But don't fear--there's still a chance for you to run this race! Keep reading for details...) Joel Gaff, race director and founder of Endurance Evolution, joins Heather in the studio to talk about this year's event, which starts in Empire, on the shores of Lake Michigan. The marathon and half marathon courses take runners along the incredibly beautiful Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, while the 5K course is in the quaint village of Empire. All races finish at the same spot at a Lake Michigan beach. Celebrate your race with fellow runners (and Short's beer), then wander over to the nearby Empire Hops Festival. Heather announces a special giveaway -- two free race entries -- during the show, so if you haven't been able to sign up, or you're on the waiting list, be sure to enter the Facebook giveaway.
 
Link: endurance evolution.com

 

Sep 1, 2016
Registration gets underway this week -- Sept. 1! -- for the 2017 Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids. This annual race tradition, set for Sunday, April 23, 2017, has added a 10K option to its roster of events. Now, runners can choose to take on the 5K, 10K or half marathon. Thousands of female runners take part in Gazelle Girl each spring, with the event raising tens of thousands of dollars for area charities. Runner Holly Visser is the event's new race director and she joins Heather to talk about the 2017 event organized by Gazelle Sports. Holly is a longtime runner who has been involved with the Gazelle Girl event since its beginning in 2013. More than 3,500 runners ran at Gazelle Girl this past spring -- 700 of them were running their very first race ever. Holly talks about why this race is so important to so many women from all around the state and the significance of involving local non-profits. She also shares what this sport means to her personally, her goals as race director, and what she's looking forward to running-wise this fall.
 
Links: 
gazellegirlhalfmarathon.com 
gazellesports.com
 
Aug 25, 2016
Three ultra runners -- Jeff Gaft, Dan Oberski and Erika Kuhnle -- join Heather to talk about their love of running long distances...super long distances. These Michigan runners each have their own stories of how they got interested in running ultras (defined as any distance longer than a marathon, or 26.2 miles) and what keeps them going back for more. Jeff, who is a longtime store manager with Running Fit in Traverse City, began running in 1976 when he was 20 years old and has completed no fewer than 75(!) ultras in the years since. Dan Oberski, a father and high school principal, began running just a few years ago, but discovered he especially enjoys the challenge (mental and physical) of taking on ultras. Erika, a triathlete as well as an ultra runner mother of two, talks about working her way toward a 100-mile race. The trio of runners share great tips about what makes for the optimal ultra running and racing experience (you'll probably be wanting to eat a Snickers candy bar after hearing Dan talk about his favorite way to re-fuel during a race) and they also talk about good first-timer ultras and memorable races they've all experienced. If you've ever thought about going the distance and trying an ultra, these runners' perspectives are sure to leave you inspired -- and ready to sign on for this kind of endurance event. Speaking of which, this episode's race segment is dedicated entirely to upcoming ultras this fall and winter in Michigan.

 

Aug 24, 2016
Runners have several opportunities each year to cross the Mackinac Bridge on foot, and the Mighty Mac Bridge Run 10K is one of them. This race, which has been an 11K in the past, takes place Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. Runners meet in St. Ignace on race morning and then are shuttled across the Mighty Mac for the start on the southern side of the Bridge, in Mackinaw City. (There will be some awesome photo opps here at Colonial Michilimackinac, with amazing up-close-and-personal views of the Mackinac Bridge.) Runners will then travel north across the Bridge and finish in St. Ignace. Quincy Westhuis, assistant director of the St. Ignace Visitors Bureau, joins Heather on this special bonus episode to talk about this event -- and share cool information about the experience runners can expect when they sign on for this 10K. (Great discounts from local businesses and restaurants, the night before the race and also on race day.) Quincy also shares some interesting facts about the St. Ignace area, including must-see attractions and one historical fact that surprised Heather. 
 
Links:
St. Ignace Visitors Bureau: www.stignace.com
Race registration: http://www.saintignace.org/event/mighty-mac-bridge-race/
 
Aug 18, 2016
In this special three-segment episode, Heather explores the idea of following your heart -- literally -- when running. She talks first with Michigan Runner Girl Lisa Payne Kirker, a New Era, Mich. runner, blogger and mother of two, who decided to try heart rate training this summer. She shares her motivation for giving this method a try, the races she planned to train for using her heart rate monitor, and what it feels like to sometimes be running a 16-minute mile (she's typically a 9:30-10:30 min/mile runner) as part of this new-to-her training. In the second segment, Coach Lisa Taylor joins Heather in studio to demystify heart rate training -- what does it mean exactly, why runners are considering it, and the potential benefits of following this kind of training plan. Finally, in segment three, Heather circles back to Lisa Kirker -- several weeks after their initial conversation -- to hear how her running has changed and her training evolved as a result of monitoring her heart rate while exercising. 
 
Link:
Lisa Kirker's blog Run with a Happy Heart - http://runwithahappyheart.blogspot.com

 

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. 
 

 

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