One of the great things about this race is accessibility. They actually have 3 distances you can choose to run while out on the course - 2 miles, 4 miles, or 7 miles. I chose the 7 mile course again this year and they made it far more difficult. The race is held at the Twisted Trails Off-road Park and is most frequented by ATV's. The number of hills on this course was certainly the most difficult obstacle and by the end my quads were cursing at me.
Because of the accessibility of the race, I was fortunate enough to have some family and friends also run the course, some at the same time I did, others earlier in the day - though because I was the only one to take on the 7 mile course, I didn't actually see them except for right before the race started and after I finished. They also added a kids course this year, which one of my sister's friend's son absolutely loved. The number of times he ran the course he probably could have at least taken on the 2-mile course. Not bad for a 6 year old - Good work, Oliver!
At the end, I had the chance to meet the 2 race directors, who have been supportive of Run to Remember since I first contacted them. They're awesome guys, who just want to put on a great event, and they certainly are doing just that...especially in an area of the state where you don't see obstacle races. They're putting on a shorter 5K exhibition event on October 5th in Grand Ledge, MI, which I'm excited I'll get to be a part of. Anyone near that area should definitely consider it, and it's only $30 to enter, which is relatively cheap when you talk about an obstacle race of any distance. Thanks for your support guys!
I was also fortunate enough to have my parents do the driving for me this weekend, so I could get some rest between races. I can't thank them enough for their support. In a quick stop to Applebee's, so I could carb load for the next day, the manager actually came out and talked to us and my mom was explaining what I was doing (I was too busy scarfing down my meal as fast as humanly possible). That's been one of the great things so far, as I run and people read the shirts, they start asking questions and I get to explain my reasons for running and they often share their own stories, offer up encouragement, or even take pictures of the back of the shirt so they can visit the site later. While $1 million is an important measurement of the goal, creating awareness is an immeasurable goal that is extremely necessary to support the cause of gaining further support to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.
From there it was on to Toronto (well, Barrie to be exact) for race number three of the weekend and the 5th race overall, which you can read about it a blog to be posted later.