There's no place like home, right? Well Northern Michigan might just as well be home for me. I spent all my summers there growing up. We always rented a cottage up on Torch Lake, near Traverse City. I have always LOVED the area. Now that i'm a distance runner, I have the opportunity to turn races into vacations. I plan a vacation pretty much every year around the Charlevoix Half Marathon, about 30 minutes north of Traverse City.
Charlevoix is one of the prettiest small towns you'll ever see. The main street is filled with quaint shops. There's even a drawbridge in the center of town that is a very busy thoroughfare for boats and yachts passing though from Lake Michigan to Lake Charlevoix and back. It's simply stunning.
The race starts about one block north of the drawbridge. There were about 700 runners doing the half. There was also a full marathon, a 10k and 5k. I love the small town feel of the race. We start running through neighborhoods filled with large luxurious homes with views of Lake Michigan. Then we continue to wind through smaller neighborhoods with lush trees, around Mount McSauba and then finally out on the Little Traverse Wheelway, a beautiful paved trail spanning over a hundred miles. We head out on the trail for a few miles until the turnaround point and then head back. Since I live in Arizona now, seeing so much greenery at once is really good for the soul. I cruised into the finish knowing that my sister and son were waiting for me at the finish line.
I've ran this race 3 times now, and this was my best by far - 1:55:54. I'll take it. The first half flew by, and I really tried to focus on my beautiful surroundings, but the second half was tough. Being familiar with the course helped a alot. Great to be back in Northern Michigan and you'll definitely find me at the Charlevoix Half Marathon again next year!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!