7 Minute Miles

35th Annual Grandma’s Marathon

Posted Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 10:58 pm GMT -5 in Food,Running at 10:58 PM

The forecast didn’t look that great, but the 35th running of Grandma’s Marathon turned out to be almost ideal. I took the train to the start for the first time and it rained the entire trip. As soon as people starting exiting the cars, though, it stopped. There were a few drops during the first hour, but mainly it was a nice, cool, overcast morning with a northeast tailwind coming off the lake.

This race continues to be one of the best-run events in the country. It’s the talk of the town everywhere you go all weekend and the local media really cover it well (both print and TV). I spent a lot more time in Duluth this trip than usual and really got to soak in the atmosphere. The expo seemed a little smaller this time, but the 35th anniversary gear was nice and I picked up my traditional race poster with the bib packet on Thursday night.

We spent some time visiting with my sister (and stayed at her apartment), including a first-time visit to the Duluth Grill. Speaking of food, we also hit Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet and the pasta dinner at the DECC on Friday night (followed by a late screening of The Hangover 2). We also stopped in at the wonderful Duluth Pack store, where work was kind enough to pay for a new laptop backpack.

This was marathon number 18 for me (and seventh Grandma’s). As I wrote on Twitter, I had three goal levels: good – new Grandma’s PR (4:21), better – under four hours and best – overall marathon PR (3:47). I’d been running a fair amount this spring and was relatively healthy (unlike last year’s broken toe). Still, I didn’t really know what to expect for this one. As usual, my body would tell me what it would do once the race started.

I lined up behind the 3:50 pacer, but went in front of him almost right away. I felt decent and ended up with the 3:40 pacer for the first half of the race. I passed them briefly, but that didn’t last very long. They slowly pulled away and I ended up getting passed by the 3:50 guy with a few miles to go. Thankfully I never saw the 4:00 balloons…

My half split was 1:48:28 and I had to take a bathroom break at mile 20. I usually don’t have this problem, but the train didn’t give me enough time to wait in line at the start. I was feeling it in my knees and ankles the last six miles and my splits reflected that:

  • 8:31
  • 8:05
  • 8:05
  • 7:55
  • 7:59
  • 8:08
  • 8:05
  • 8:29
  • 8:26
  • 8:19
  • 8:22
  • 8:24
  • 8:30
  • 8:32
  • 8:42
  • 8:50
  • 9:12
  • 9:07
  • 9:13
  • 9:29
  • 10:40 (bathroom)
  • 9:37
  • 9:47
  • 9:56
  • 9:54
  • 9:47

With the great weather conditions, it’s a little disappointing I didn’t get an overall PR, but I’m still happy with the 3:52. Take off 1:30 for the bathroom break and it would have been a little closer. Twin Cities in October should be interesting…

Full Marathon Results
Marathon Photo Pix

P.S. – Congrats to my friend Jake, running his first marathon in 4:15:37 and to my high school classmate Cindy, who finished her third marathon in 5:00:02.

Originally published by DK on June 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm

40th Annual Tapemark Charity Pro-Am

Posted Thursday, June 16th, 2011 10:55 am GMT -5 in Golf at 10:55 AM

Last weekend I volunteered about 45 hours over three days at an annual event that is very special to me, the Tapemark Charity Pro-Am. This was the 40th anniversary of the tournament, which is held at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul. I’ve been there for the past ten years and have been responsible for the web site, online scoring, AV presentations and a big chunk of the photography. It’s always a very stressful weekend (especially Saturday night when we determine the cut), but it’s also very rewarding to know I’ve helped raise nearly $7 million for charities dedicated to serving people with developmental and learning disabilities.

I also love seeing this group of people – tournament officials and volunteers, great Minnesota (and regional) golf professionals, amateur players and the wonderful staff of Southview. The camaraderie and tradition in the scoring tent over the three days is unmatched – hot dog runs, White Castle (which I actually skipped this year), Cody vs. code, weather forecasts, live Twins scoring and lots of others make it a weekend like no other.

The pro golf this year on the final day was exciting – the Friday and Saturday leader, Tyler Obermueller, suffered from a bad hangover (premature celebration), Don Berry made his usual charge to the lead (but fell short after a rare bogey on six) and former Gopher Ben Meyers (pictured above) shot an incredible 64 (with an almost unfair bogey on his final hole, the par four ninth). But it was the golfer from Oxbow, Ben Freeman, who carded six birdies on his way to a 65 for the two-stroke win over Berry and Meyers. Not bad for your first pro tournament!

I usually don’t follow the team competition too closely, but team 14 had a career day on Friday, firing an amazing 30-under-par in the net best two ball format. The pro and the “A” am both shot 68s, while the “B” and “C” players both shot in the low 80s. They came back to Earth the second day, but still tied for the overall team championship on Sunday.

Mark your calendars now: the 41st Annual Tapemark will be held June 8-10, 2012.

Originally published by DK on June 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

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