We arrived in Minneapolis a day before running the Boom Island Brewery Beer Run in July. A few weeks before leaving home we had booked our hotel through Hotwire. We frequently take advantage of excellent deals on hotels that are listed by star level, area, and price but without the actual hotel name revealed until you officially book the room. The unnamed “4 star boutique hotel” that Hotwire had offered at about half the rate for a traditional reservation turned out to be The Marquette Hotel. Its newly renovated sleek decor and professional, attentive staff made it a fabulous find.
Shortly after settling in we set off to explore on foot. We knew little about Minneapolis but headed toward the Mississippi River anticipating that there would be some interesting sights and activities along the river.
A series of signs provided extensive information about the history of the falls, the flour and logging industry, and the development of hydro-electric power. We had no idea that our stroll over the bridge would lead us to so much knowledge.
The street across from the river is lined with a wide assortment of tempting restaurants and outdoor cafes.
The appealing atmosphere of the outdoor patio of Aster Cafe easily lured us in for a cocktail and dinner.
Although we loved our seats outside we wished we’d had a chance to enjoy the ambiance of the bar.
As we strolled along the street we came across these chalk drawings on the sidewalk.
There was no sign of the artist, Phi_the_Chalk_Girl, but encountering these drawings added a lovely bonus to our visit.
After our race the following day we were determined to crack the bus code. Our attempt to get to the race by bus had been a bit of a fiasco that became a last minute Uber ride. Minneapolis has many numbered streets…and, as we finally noticed, avenues. Once it dawned on us that streets ran in one direction and avenues ran perpendicularly and that 1st Avenue was different than 1st Street we finally got it.
Arriving at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden by bus felt like a small victory. It was brutally hot by the time we arrived. Our progress around the grounds slowed to a crawl as we meandered through the exhibits.
We found these benches with quotations entertaining.
This iconic sculpture was especially popular because it sprayed cool water.
Although we were enthusiastic about viewing the exhibits, the heat was wringing every last drop of energy from us. Like a mirage, a simple sign stating “Sisyphus Brewery” and “air conditioning” appeared at the far end of the garden. Following the arrow across the street our relief must have been visible as we passed through the doors into a blissfully refreshing and lively pub. After a pint of William Wallace Scotch Ale for Mike and a strawberry soda for me we returned to the Sculpture Museum and resumed our stroll through the grounds.
Later that evening we enjoyed a dinner of local Minnesota fare at the FireLake Grill House. Our waitress, Amy, casually asked what had brought us to Minneapolis. We eagerly explained our quest to run a race in every state. As a fellow runner this concept seemed to ignite true excitement in her as she considered launching her own quest. Once again we couldn’t stop exclaiming about how truly life-changing this adventure has been for us and eagerly encouraged her to give it a try.
A sunset walk along the river after dinner completed our time in Minneapolis. The next morning we were off to North Dakota to begin our travels through the prairie.
Doing this quest to run a race in every state has literally been life-changing. When Mike suggested it at the Philadelphia Marathon seven years ago we had no clue what an amazing adventure this would become. We have become passionate about sharing our experiences and encouraging others to join the fun because we LOVE it!
If you’re intrigued by this concept but running doesn’t appeal to you don’t dismiss the idea. There are a multitude of ways to approach this goal. My friend, Anita, has begun her quest to hike in every state. We met someone who has their sights set on playing golf across the country. Others are planning to visit every national park. The great thing about a personal quest is that you can mold it into whatever inspires and works for you.
For us this quest has given our lives a whole new dimension. It has added a fun spark to everyday life. So regardless of how you approach this endeavor, we would like to offer 10 reasons why we think you might want to launch your own quest.
Increase your geographical knowledge Although Mike’s geographical skills definitely exceed mine, I will confess that given a blank map of the United States a few years ago I would have failed miserably at filling in the location of many states. Now I can solidly fill in virtually all of the states with confidence. Of course, spending a little time memorizing a map could have had the same result. However, the spots on the map wouldn’t be associated with actual visual images and memories of each location.
Take part in regional activities When we chose our race in Alabama we had only a vague idea that Mobile had any connection to Mardi Gras. But we got to experience an incredible Mardi Gras parade and atmosphere first hand in what we learned is the first official city to celebrate Mardi Gras. It was fabulous! We specifically went to Iowa during a presidential primary season since its first in the nation caucus is so famously a part of the political process. By chance we had an opportunity to go to a Bernie Sanders rally and concert right next door to our hotel!We also got to observe portions of an intriguing event in Iowa called the Tweed Ride. We had no idea such a thing existed!
When we ran in Seattle we were able to see the famous flying fish in Pike Place Market.
And these are just a few of the experiences we’ve encountered.
3. Conversation Starter Whether it’s telling race organizers that we’ve chosen their race to check that state off our list, chatting with fellow runners after a race, or conversing with a waitress during our travels, we’ve loved the conversations that have followed. I’m pretty sure we’ve sparked the urge to try this quest in a number of people. We have been amazed by the enthusiastic responses we receive when we talk about our experiences.
4. Try Local Foods and Drinks We are devoted to trying local cuisine when we arrive at a new destination. Cheese curds in Wisconsin were delicious. Eating them the night before the 13 Dot 1 Half Marathon, may not have been such a good idea, however.
Po’boys, hurricanes, and beignets in New Orleans were basically a requirement of visiting NOLA.
Gumbo in Alabama was incredible.
Bill and Terry took us to one of their favorite BBQ joints when they hosted us in Houston.
We had our first taste of a Waffle House breakfast in Mississippi. I think the waitress was puzzled by my inordinate level of excitement at dining in a restaurant that is as common as Dunkin Donuts are up here in the north but I was thrilled to experience this icon of the south.
Sampling local beers has also become an integral part of our travels.
5. Experience the beauty and diversity of the country I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Deception Pass, Washington
Green Lake, Wisconsin
Mississippi River- Davenport, Iowa
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mount Rainier, Washington
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Cliff Walk- Newport, Rhode, Island
Portland Head Light- Cape Elizabeth, Maine
6. Meet Incredible People This benefit has truly been one of the most rewarding parts of our quest. The people we met in Maryland couldn’t have been more welcoming and encouraging once they heard about our quest. Multiple people approached us to wish us luck and ask about our adventures-even as we began to drive away!
The couple we met in Michigan after the 13.Wine Half Marathon gave us terrific tips for the rest of our trip. The fellow runners we chatted with at the awards ceremony in Ohio were so congenial we were disappointed not to be returning to visit with them again. And when we gave our name at the packet pickup in Wisconsin the woman at the table exclaimed, “You’re the people from Maine!’ and promptly took our picture.
7. Long Run Conversation Topic Many miles of running have been spent reminiscing about races we’ve done and places we’ve visited. Debating which race was our favorite or how many half marathons we’ve done has kept us occupied for miles and has provided us with the fun of reliving our adventures.
8. Reward for training in winter We have frequently tried to schedule a winter race in a warm(er) climate. Since we live in Maine that is not too difficult. As we crank out our snowy miles we try to keep images of warmer, non-snowy destinations in mind.
When we step into a relatively tropical climate where the monochrome winter landscape is replaced by lush vegetation and the sun thaws our chilled bodies we agree it was worth every frigid mile we ran at home.
9. Chance to Visit Family and Friends Some of our most favorite trips have been ones that have included an opportunity to visit family and friends. Janet and John and Bill and Terry provided southern hospitality when we ran in Houston. We paired our Vermont race with a visit with Katie, which is always a treat. Annie was a superb tour guide for our whole family when we ran in Virginia.
Attending our nephew, Branden’s, graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy allowed us an opportunity to run in Maryland.
When we traveled to Pittsburgh for our son-in-law, Matt’s, graduation from Carnegie Mellon we popped over to Ohio for a fun race with the added bonus of having his parents join us on our side trip.
The opportunity to spend some time with Jessey when we were in Washington ended up truly being a highlight of a trip that is one of our very favorites.
10. Really Making a Difference Some of the races we have run have been very small but have been among the most meaningful events. The Hope for Hunter race in West Virginia was a tiny local race that was organized to support children with Hunter Syndrome, a genetic condition that primarily affects males for which there is currently no cure. An absolute highlight of the event was meeting a young boy with this condition.
We ran a similar type of race in New Jersey to support research for ALD. The daughter of the gentleman who founded the Run for ALD foundation and who sadly had passed away from this condition spoke eloquently about her passion for supporting research for a newborn screening that could save hundreds of lives each year. Mike and I left feeling so pleased that we had contributed to this effort.
Our most recent race in St. Louis, Head for the Cure, is devoted to raising awareness and funding to support the brain cancer community. Listening to incredible tales of people impacted by brain cancer once again confirmed that signing up for races that had a direct impact on others has truly been one of the most fabulous outcomes of our quest.
We began our quest seven years ago and have run in 34 states so far. Although we are hopeful that we will cross the finish line in our 50th state race at some point, we can unequivocally state that the journey itself is actually what it’s all about for us. We wish you safe travels and memorable adventures no matter what your journey may be.
While the iconic Space Needle is synonymous with Seattle, flying fish, a ferris wheel that soars over Puget Sound, and a phenomenal blown glass exhibit were what really made our Seattle trip memorable.
Having checked all but four states east of the Mississippi off of our quest list but only three to the west we signed up for races in Washington and Oregon. We flew from Boston to Seattle on Virgin America. This was our first time using this airline and we had a great experience.
The cool purple lighting added a neat ambiance.
Strangely, one of the highlights of our flight was their safety video. And stranger still, when we got on our connecting flight we were actually excited that we would be able to watch the video again!.
We headed directly to Pike Place Market on Saturday morning following a tip from some Washington runners that we had met in Maine earlier this summer.
As soon as we entered the market we knew we were in the right place because the fish market was surrounded by scores of tourists with their cameras poised to snap a picture of a flying fish. When a customer chose a fish the fish monger at the front of the display tossed it to the guys behind the counter. Often the fish flew back and forth a few times accompanied by a distinctive call. I wasn’t able to capture this on video but this excerpt from YouTube depicts it perfectly.
The market is also known for its flowers.
Everyone seemed to be walking by with giant, gorgeous bouquets. One man told us he had paid only $10.00 for his stunning collection of blooms.
We walked a mile from the market to the Space Needle but after discovering that there was a two hour wait to take the elevator to the top we opted for the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit adjacent to it. We paid our admission and planned to wander around the display for a bit. But we were immediately transfixed by the overwhelming color, design, and extravagance of the creations. We truly could not refrain from taking photo after photo. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere where so many observers also seemed to be overcome by the magnificence of the exhibition.
We left the exhibit a bit stunned by our unexpectedly fabulous experience and made our way back to the market. We were tired, thirsty, and hungry so after climbing a small mountain of stairs back up to the Market we arrived at Red Cedar and Sage.
Just sitting down at the bar felt great but sampling two local beers accompanied by a remarkably delicious egg salad sandwich felt even better. When we were joined by a pleasantly chatty fellow traveler we couldn’t resist convincing him to venture to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. As we conversed, two complimentary orange rosemary sorbet mimosas were placed in front of us. They were fabulous.
It would have been easy to have wiled away the afternoon drinking and conversing at the bar but we departed and walked the short distance to the Seattle Great Wheel.
The views as we rode over the water were spectacular.
The almost surreal sight of Mount Rainier never failed to thrill us-even when it was more than 60 miles away.
We left downtown Seattle to pick up our race packets and shirts for the Lake Union 10K which we were running the next day. We loved the gender-specific race shirts.
Finding the race location the next morning was a breeze. We thought it was fitting that we could see the Space Needle from that location, too.
As the name suggests, the race takes place around Lake Union. While we waited for the race to begin we wandered down to the waterfront where we were pleasantly surprised to find a display of historic boats.
Strolling along the dock learning about various noteworthy vessels was certainly a new but entertaining way to spending the pre-race time. We encountered a local couple and when they noticed Mike’s Beach to Beacon volunteer shirt we began talking about running in Maine.We urged them to attempt to get into what we think is one of the best races ever.
When the race started we joined about 1200 other runners on the course around the lake. The mostly flat course traveled through lake-side neighborhoods, across two draw bridges, and along various paved trails.
We were pleased with our finishing time and the completion of our 26th state.
Notice the Space Needle popping up behind my head.
A signature feature of this race is the post race breakfast provided by Portage Bay, also the major race sponsor.
We were thrilled that the beneficiary of this race is Girls on the Run. I even chose Girls on the Run on my Charity Miles app and wracked up an additional donation while I ran.
We left the race feeling delighted to have completed another state and eager to continue with our traveling adventure.
The story continues in our next post-Whidbey Island and Mount Rainier National Park.
Have you been to Seattle? What was your favorite part?
Do you use the Charity Miles app to earn money for terrific causes?
Quest Race: #26
Date Run: August 14, 2016
The Bottom Line: The Lake Union 10K was a pleasant, scenic race in Seattle which provided us with the opportunity to explore Seattle and support a fabulous cause.
Shortly after we began our 50 state quest, Mike gave me a trip to Newport, Rhode Island as a birthday gift. Although during the years we have been running we had previously run races in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and South Caroline, we were now purposefully pursuing our quest. We chose a small 5K race in a town just outside of Newport that benefited Silveira Kindergarten and Nursery School.
We settled into our B & B, the Samuel Durfee House, late on a Friday night in March. Our room was charming and comfortable.
When we arrived at the race early the next morning, we savored the perks that come with running a small race: easy parking, no lines for the bathroom, and a true sense of community. The weather was dreary but the vibe among runners, spectators, and volunteers was upbeat. The slightly hilly course traveled through several quiet neighborhoods. Mike and I had been training at different paces so I urged him to run ahead instead of sticking with me. It was a good plan because he ended up having a terrific time and placed second in his age group. I had a more leisurely run. In fact my pace was slow enough that I read a text that had come in from our house/pet sitter while I was running. She informed me that there had been THREE mice in the dog food bag that was stored in the woodshed of our old farmhouse when she scooped up that morning’s food. EEK!! Obviously something more daunting than a paper bag was going to be needed to thwart those determined little creatures from creating an all-you-can-eat buffet in Bentley’s dog food.
Mike ended up winning a $50 gift certificate to the Custom Coffee House, a local coffee shop. Although we thought that it was terrific, we knew it was unlikely that we would return to the area soon enough to use it again, so we went on a mini-shopping spree before we left town, buying coffee, pastries, and assorted non-perishable treats. What a fun extravagance!
We loved the atmosphere. It was Restaurant Week so we were able to enjoy a three course lunch for $16.00 apiece. It was a wonderful spot to recap our race experience and to plan the next part of our visit to Newport.
Since neither of us had ever been to Newport we were anxious to tour one of the fabled grand mansions. We chose The Breakers. We donned the headsets they provided at the entrance and wandered throughout the opulent rooms, stunned by features such as platinum-leafed panels.
It truly was stunning but since I love to cook, my truly favorite spot was the enormous kitchen with copper pots hanging over a long wooden work table and a butler’s pantry with two floors of glass front cabinets filled with dishes and glassware.
We returned to our B & B for some afternoon tea and cookies and a chatty visit with one of the innkeepers, followed by the decadent treat of a nap.
Later that evening we continued to enjoy the benefits of Restaurant Week at the Gas Lamp Grille, which provided a delectable meal in a pub-type atmosphere.
The drizzly weather was gone the next morning and we eagerly headed to the Cliff Walk. The views of the mansions and the ocean were breath-taking.
We even indulged in a few shots that included us.
We returned home to Maine later that afternoon having checked Rhode Island off of our quest list. But more significantly, we had supported a small, local race that benefited a worthy cause and we had explored a new area that we had talked about visiting for years. We are finding that these aspects are two of the benefits of our 50 state quest journey that we are particularly cherishing.
Date Run: March 31, 2012
State: Rhode Island
Quest Race #: 6
The Bottom Line: Although this race does not appear to be run at this time, it was a perfect little race for our smallest state.
Our adventures in Michigan continued the day after running the 13.Wine Half Marathon. We enjoyed breakfast at the Blue Plate Cafe which was just minutes from the Lakeside Inn on the Red Arrow Highway. The food was appealing and the service was prompt and friendly.
Fruit, granola, and yogurt breakfast.
At the suggestion of our new 13.Wine Half Marathon friends, Ron and Lori, we continued north on the Red Arrow Highway to St. Joseph’s or St. Joe’s as the locals seemed to refer to it. We were impressed by the immense sandy beach and the recreational facilities such as a fountain pool and a remarkable carousel housed inside a glass enclosure. We walked out to the end of the jetty (?), pier (?) that offered a chance to venture out into Lake Michigan without leaving land. After our stroll, we thankfully sought refuge in the air conditioned carousel building to escape from the still oppressive heat. Sitting in comfy chairs watching the carousel whiz by with enraptured children was an ideal way to recover from the heat before meandering up the hill to choose a spot for lunch.
View looking down into St. Joseph’s
Mike on the jetty.
We settled on Caffe Tosi which is a bakery, restaurant, and coffee shop. The atmosphere was welcoming and the food was just what we were looking for.
We had lunch at Caffe Tosi.
After lunch, our travels continued to Saugatuck, the second place that we had been encouraged to visit. We found it to be an enchanting water-side town with a multitude of galleries, wineries, and restaurants.
Uncharacteristically, we had no lodging reservations – a situation that we found liberating. After strolling through the town and scoping out a few establishments, we stopped for tea and then perused the local Yelp listings for some suggestions.
We enjoyed refreshments here while we contemplated our lodging options.
Stellar reviews and a quick call answered by a most welcoming innkeeper directed us to the Beechwood Manor Inn. A drive of only a few blocks brought us to a quiet, tree-lined residential street. The Inn was beautiful and as soon as we walked in the door, we knew we had made a wise decision.
The Beechwood Manor Inn
Our room was gorgeous, spotless, and luxurious.
Quiet new-age music was playing when we entered causing me to instantly feel I was in a spa. Bliss!
We enjoyed coffee on the porch the next morning before savoring a gourmet breakfast in the dining room.
Our hosts could not have been more welcoming and accommodating. They provided suggestions for activities and dinner. They offered beach chairs and towels for a visit to the beach and had a bottle of wine ready for us after we returned from more touring. They recommended the Everyday People Cafe for dinner and arranged for us to have a table within moments of arriving there. The restaurant was buzzing – obviously the hot spot of the area. We loved our waiter whom we decided was a toss-up between Richard Dreyfus and Billy Crystal. He was personable and unobtrusively attentive. Perfect! The food was, as my grandfather used to say, “an epicurean triumph”.
As we drove back to the inn we had to stop to take pictures of the stunning sunset. It had been a truly outstanding evening.
The next morning we enjoyed a gourmet breakfast at the inn then began our travels back towards New Buffalo where we planned to spend the night before flying out of Chicago the next morning. We had been reading about the dunes as we traveled in this southwestern area of Michigan but had not really encountered them first hand. The Warren Dunes State Park was on our way to New Buffalo so we decided to stop to see if we could actually experience the dunes. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that there truly are impressive dunes in the area.
When we reached the top of the first dune we were greeted with more dunes.
The view of Lake Michigan from the top of the dunes was impressive.
The weather had been threatening all day but as we walked near the beach some impressive cracks of thunder and bolts of lightning sent us scurrying for the car. Our next plan was to visit more of the wineries in Baroda.
Gravity Winery was our first stop. The skies were becoming dramatically dark and thundery as we entered the winery. We were met by an enthusiastic employee who explained their tasting system where you choose 4 wines and they pair them with cheese for the whites and chocolates for the reds. After making our tasting selections we enjoyed the weather excitement as we sat on the covered patio to do our wine tasting.
We were impressed with all of the wines that we tasted and after some pondering we purchased a bottle of Lemberger to take with us.
We had run past Free Run Cellars during the race and we knew we wanted to visit it. The name caught our attention and also provided a photo op for the typically camera-shy, Mike, who volunteered this perfect pose.
We sampled the wines and loved them. Sadly, we were unable to ship them home so we left with only a cork screw. We were truly impressed with all of the wines we tasted while on the Michigan Wine Trail. We had been clueless about this fabulous wine country. The ability to visit multiple sophisticated and distinct wineries within one town was an unexpected surprise. We loved the intimate feel of these small wineries which clearly invested so much personal devotion to their products.
Our trip continued the short distance back to New Buffalo. What a difference a couple of days made. What had been a town teaming with tourists on Saturday was now, on Tuesday, a relative ghost town. Apparently midweek in late August was not the peak of tourism. We ventured down to the beach and were met with literally hundreds of seagulls covering the beach…as well as signs indicating that the beach was closed due to E.coli. Ah ha! That may have explained the shocking difference in tourists.
Once again, we did not yet have plans for where to stay. After some research we happened upon the Lake Country Inn.
The Lake Country Inn, New Buffalo, Michigan
Due to the quiet pace of the town there was a sign directing visitors to call a number if interested in the inn. We called and were assured the owner would be over momentarily…which she was. She gave us a tour of the available rooms which are all a different, distinct color. They were all lovely but we/I selected the “Green Room”. The inviting over-sized chair and ottoman were a big selling point.
This inn also offered towels for the beach, as well as a community kitchen with a fridge for saving leftovers or chilling wine, wine glasses, cork screws, dishes, etc. A continental breakfast is served in the kitchen in the morning.
We settled in and enjoyed our bottle of wine from Gravity before heading across the street to Brewster’s Italian Cafe for dinner.
We needed to leave for the airport early the next morning so we enjoyed a quiet last vacation evening in our indulgently cozy room.
The Bottom Line: What had started out as a chance to run a fun race in Michigan evolved into an enlightening and highly enjoyable mini vacation. We would highly recommend a visit to this region for a chance to taste fabulous wines, view the stunning beauty of Lake Michigan and the dunes, and to experience the establishments, sights, and culture of the local towns.
Living in New England has allowed access to a number of states that were a reasonable drive from home. However, now that those states have been checked off, a flight is generally necessary to reach our destination.
This summer it was decided that we would travel to Michigan for some R & R (running and relaxation). Our new goal is to attempt to incorporate more than one state into our trips, if possible. Incredibly, we located a race in Indiana that would be directly on our route as we drove from Chicago to our race in Michigan and it was the day before our half marathon in Michigan.
The Running in the USA website has become our absolute go-to resource when we are looking for races. You just click on the state you are interested in and then choose the month you want to run. They list multiple races, generally with race website links. We love that when you click on the city that the race is in a map is provided and there is a “get directions” section right there so you can easily plot out distances.
The Tour de La Porte is a 3 day event that included a trail run, half marathon, 10K, and a 5K, as well as various cycling events. The race supports those with cancer in the community through the La Porte Hospital Foundation. We signed up for the 5K race since we were running a half marathon the next day in Michigan. There is a special award to people who compete in events on all three days.
We flew into Chicago and then headed to La Porte. Neither of us had been to Indiana so we chose the more scenic route that traveled near Lake Michigan. We were intrigued by the signs for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and pulled into a parking area. Although we enjoyed our stroll along the wooded paths we were puzzled that we didn’t encounter what we would call a dune. But based on literature for the park if we had ventured closer to the lake we would undoubtedly have seen more traditional dunes.
Mike walking on a path at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
I was enthralled by the wildflowers which were unlike the ones I was familiar with in Maine.
The room we had booked at the Best Western in La Porte was clean and comfortable and the staff was friendly and accommodating. The best part, however, was that it was less than a half mile walk to Soldier Memorial Park where the race events were based. Picking up our race packets and t-shirts late Friday afternoon was a breeze. We drove the course to get an idea of what we would encounter the next day and then did a little exploring of LaPorte.
Great t-shirt (Photo by Hannah Knight)
We scoped out T-Bones Pier as a possibility for dinner. It’s waterfront location on Pine Lake was appealing and the menu looked appetizing. It was empty when we walked through during the afternoon but we were assured they would be open for dinner. When we returned a few hours later, dinner was in full swing and the only available seats were on the deck beside the lake. It was VERY warm outside and while I notoriously petition to sit outside whenever possible, Mike often votes for the admittedly more reasonable choice of air conditioned comfort. He (reluctantly) agreed to sit outside at a table that we were assured had an umbrella. Unfortunately, the angle of the sun was below the umbrella resulting in a scorchingly hot meal. Our server was prompt and attentive and made sure we were well supplied with water and ice. The dinners were tasty and the view was pleasant, but I had to admit the heat did diminish the enjoyment of the evening.
View from the deck
The next morning was cool and misty which was a welcome change from the intense heat of the day before. We strolled to the start of the race at Soldiers Memorial Park and had sufficient time to warm up, find bathrooms with no waiting lines in a nearby bath house (!), and enjoy the view of the mist rising off the lake with a lone fisherman in his boat emerging from the fog.
Cool morning mist rising from Stone Lake near the start of the 5K.
Our 5K race started promptly following earlier starts of the other races. The mist had burned off by the time we were running and the hot, humid conditions returned. The course was scenic and often shady with only a few small hills so we felt wonderful during the race. Feeling wonderful was particularly terrific for me because the week leading up to the race I had experienced a sudden, acute hip and lower back pain that was significantly impeding my running. Thankfully, following a treatment by Tom of Family Acupuncture Center of Kennebunk, Maine and a fabulous massage from my amazing friend and massage therapist, Janice, I ran virtually pain free.
Portions of the 5K course ran beside Stone Lake.
We crossed the finish line hand in hand feeling strong and pleased with our run. The post-race refreshments were plentiful and we enjoyed stretching and relaxing by the lake as we awaited the awards ceremony. As we took a few photos we chatted with a number of fellow runners. Everyone we encountered was exceptionally welcoming and friendly, really going out of their way to chat and interact.
Celebrating the completion of the Tour de La Porte 5K
I was thrilled to place 3rd in my age group. Mike so kindly likes to suggest that I can do this in races where the “good runners” compete in the accompanying half marathon. Regardless, I was happy with my time and my medal!
My age-group medal. (Photo by Hannah Knight)
Date Run: August 22, 2014
Quest Race Number 17
The Bottom Line: We loved the welcoming people, the scenic course,the spiffy t-shirt, (my cool medal!) and the overall organization and feel of this event! What started off as a plan to conveniently check Indiana off our list turned into an exceptionally enjoyable race. We highly recommend this race and if we were in Indiana again we would certainly sign-up again.