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Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon Newsletter


27 September 2012 
Foster Swift Half Marathon
Pepsi Max Marathon Relay
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon
A Day In The Life of My Mom's Favorite Race Director

A couple years ago, I called Dave down at Fox Valley about a week before the marathon and asked him how it was going.  "You know EXACTLY how it's going!" he said.

It's getting pretty intense right now.  Just over 3 weeks out and we're seriously ramping up our operations.  Tonight at the staff meeting we'll be doing a sign inventory--it takes a lot of signs and banners to put on an event.  The trash boxes and the boxes for race packets were delivered last week, along with the sheets of cardboard for stacking on the water tables. Yesterday there was an email that told me to expect a garage full of race shirts by Monday. 

We're working with the city to get a one-day licence to make the beer area a reality. All week we've been putting the final touches on the race program (to be published in Outdoor Athlete) and this afternoon the invitations will go out for our VIP race day preview event.  

Kids marathon shirts are next--we need to get those to the screen printer (my buddy Tommy over at Versatility) and get those done.  Race packet stuff seems to appear at my house stacked outside my garage door every time I leave for a few minutes.

Now, you might think that's a lot of stuff.  But we have some pretty amazing people in charge.  Alan Martens is working with the New Holland guys on the beer stuff.  Lynne Oosterhouse, Nan Hulst, and Chris Wright are making sure all the volunteers are in place.  Tom Bush is handling the coordination of the various public safety and security people. Francine Robinson, Jan Host, Pat Carey and Kristin Haight are working the Kids Marathon stuff.

It's a big bunch of stuff, and there are another 30 people I haven't mentioned, all working behind the scenes to make sure you have food, water, portajohns, showers, and all the other things you need to have the best race experience ever.

Your Long Run!
Many of you are closing in on your last long run.  This weekend is our 10 & 20 Mile Training run put on by Gazelle Sports.  

If you're feeling a little apprehensive about your long run, read the article below by Nasreen Fynewever.  Good friend.  Good words.

October starts Monday.  We're almost ready.  You're almost ready!

We can still use a few more!  Go to our volunteer page and sign up to help!


We still have shirts, socks, and a variety of other cool stuff available. grandrapidsmarathon.com 

ALSO  Gazelle Sports has some great gear on sale as well!  Check it out here.

New Holland -- Beer Runs  -- The Next Run

TUESDAY, 2 October at The Corner Bar in Rockford.  6:30 PM. 
We still have a few shirts left, if you didn't get one this year--they're $10.  We're not ordering any more, so jump at this chance.
Other than that, it's only $5.00. Half the money collected goes to charity, the other half to the bar which includes your first beer! Door prizes, cool people, lots of fun!
We were able to donate $250 from our last Beer Run to the Chordoma Foundation.  Overall, our beer runs this year have donated nearly $2000 to charities.  

10 & 20 Mile Training Run


The Marathon Minute


It all started with a small amount of resolve and an act that only took 15 minutes.  That 15 minutes changed Denise's life.  Now she's out motivating others to do what she did.  Truly, one of my heroes.   Listen  


The Marathon Minute is a regular feature on your favorite Cumulus Radio station. 

The "Long" Long run for the 1st time Marathoner (or the average runner with anxiety about it)

by Nasreen Fynewever


It was the best run of my life.  It was not timed with a race chip or witnessed by excited spectators.  It was not Kenyan speed or perfected form.  It was not a lot of things others might expect out of a noteworthy run, but it was a moment of pride in my running career.  The "long" long run that exclaimed to anyone who cared that I could do this.  I paid the price; I had put in the work and time.  Race day, with all its goals and hype became icing on the cake to this, the "long" long run. 

So here it is for you.  The calendar shows the date for your "long" long run is upon you and now you must get psyched up for it.  Do not dread it, do not avoid thinking about it, and by all means, do not skip it!  Pick 2.62 of these tips and give them a try.   Be stoked for race day, those 26.2 miles that will make you a marathoner, but make your "long" long run count for something too. 


TIPS for Making Your "Long" Long Run a Success Story

1.       Plan a course that will mean something to you and makes you go the distance!  Don't do laps or circuits of 5 miles; see new stuff at mile 15 than you did at mile 5.

2.       Run past a few friend's houses or business.  Call them beforehand and ask them to stash some water near the mailbox or door for you as well as a short note of encouragement.  The water and the "cheerleading" will be pure gold as you pound the pavement. 

3.       Run past a few locations that trigger memories for you.  Good times or life lessons can quickly melt away a mile or two.    

4.       Run at a time other people are out running.  Watch them.  Make up stories about them.  Have fun being part of the running community. 

5.       Plot the course on a map.  Yep, go buy a city map.  Trace the route in pencil and let your eyes soak in the great distance you are about to conquer.  Then go over the route in a red marker once you have rocked it!  Show other people how far you hauled your sweaty legs; a map really puts 20 or 22 miles into perspective for them.  

6.       Plan a reward that helps keep you accountable to finishing all your miles.  Do not have the reward in the house already; wait until you finish to buy it so that the whole reward of earning it is felt.  Or better yet, add people to the reward, plan a dinner out or catch a movie with friends.  Knowing a few of your friends are going to ask about the run later will help you finish it.

7.       Dream a little.  Dedicate a mile or 2 to dream of a job, an opportunity, the Boston Marathon, whatever.  Act like you would if your dream came true, be confident and think through what your life would look like.  Pick the miles beforehand and when you get to those miles, unleash your inner day-dreamer. 

8.       Wear race day clothes and shoes if possible.  I know they are "sacred" but get your groove on and have a dress rehearsal for success in your shoes, socks, clothes, and routines.

9.        Go to a bookstore a day or two before this run and browse the running section of magazines and/or books.  Buy one if you are compelled to but at least flip through and read some expert tips, reminders, and quotes to get your adrenaline flowing.  And no, the internet does not count.  Get up, get out, and get moving.  Be on your feet and physically in a bookstore!

10.   Let the strategy, Plan A, B, & C, or whatever you call "it" wait until race day.  Yes, it is nice to have a decent time on the "long" long run, but don't create a pressure cooker for a workout that is intended to be a confidence booster.   Be free of expectations and just run.  Keep running!

Upcoming Events



Breast Cancer Awareness Ride
October 13, 2012 -- 10 or 20 miles

Hope Flying 5K
October 13, 2012 
Holland, MI 

Aim High Endurance Awards  --  November 7, 2012
Website links
Event homepage: www.aimgr.org/aimhigh
Sponsorship Opportunities: www.aimgr.org/sponsors
Online Reservations: www.aimgr.org/reservations
PDF Nomination Form: http://tinyurl.com/8z564gx


The Groundhog Day Marathon

February 2, 2013 - Groundhog Day

Marathon & Half marathon


What Do You Do For Fun?
It's race day, the race has started, the runners are out on the course. The race staff is on task, still making everything happen.  Months of training and preparation have gone into this day.  Maybe I'll get to sit down for a few minutes, but there are radio and TV interviews to do, people to thank, last minute details to check on.
But soon, at the FINISH LINE, the magic will happen.  Thousands of people will cross that line and will know something more about themselves.  It's a place of rejoicing.  A place where all those months of preparation end successfully!  People will laugh, cry, call their mom on their cell phones.  Some will collapse for a couple minutes, having spent all they had on the course.  They'll be fine in a few minutes.  
All the time, while those runners are finishing their race, I get to be there, with handshakes and hugs.  I know I miss some, but I stay there for the whole day, from the first finisher to the last, sharing the joy of accomplishment with all of them.  It's the most amazing day of my year.
What do I do for fun?
You're looking at it!
I'll see you at the FINISH LINE in October.


and the adventure continues....
Don Kern
Race Director, Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon 
  P.S.  If you want to respond to this newsletter, change the subject line so I don't just end up thinking it's a bounce notice or something.  Thanks!
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Beer Runs
The Marathon Minute
The "Long" Long Run... by Nasreen Fynewever
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And now...a word from our SPONSORS!
The Schedule
October 20th 2012  9 - 6
Health & Fitness Expo and Packet Pickup at the David D Hunting YMCA

October 20th 2012  9 am
Run Thru The Rapids 5K & 10K 
David D Hunting YMCA

October 20th 2012  Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Kids Marathon
Final 1.2 miles at 1:30 pm

October 21st 2012 Eighth
Annual Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay 



Enter Once, Run Forever!
You can enter the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon for LIFE.
For $755, you get to enter the full or the half marathon for as long as we're still in business! 

You'll get a permanent number, some extra swag, and the adoration of your fellow runners.
If you've already registered for this year but would like to upgrade, we can make that work too--just email me and we'll get it figured out.