Once again, DINO put on a well organized event! I've enjoyed it so much each year that after every race I start looking foward to the next year -- this was my 6th straight running of this marathon.
When I look at the forecast for a race and it says at least a 30% chance of precipitation, that means 100% in my book. So when I heard the chance of snow was 40% on the morning of the Tecumseh Marathon, I fully expected it to snow -- it did. So much for my hopes to finish in less than 5 hours. The snow covered ground highlighted the topo of the area though -- it was very nice scenery for a run. The snow covered roads added 15 minutes for the bus ride to the start, but no motion sickness this time. Also, for this year only, I did not see any hunters!
The main issue for me this race was traction. There were not very many times when I felt I could push off with full force without some small amount of slippage. Snow on dry leaves seemed the par for the course. Even on gravel roads it was a bit slick. The treacherous spots on the course were where the snow was packed down & glazed over at narrow points along the trail -- I could usually spot those areas by seeing the snow & leaves scattered everywhere -- evidence of someone having found it the hard way. So I just "plowed" along carefully at a slow but steady pace all day.
I had expected a larger crowd with 600 entries compared to 450+ runners last year, but I really didn't notice any difference. In trail ultras, I usually find myself running alone after the 1st few miles at most. For this race, I did seem to be situated in one line of runners or another much of the 1st half of the race (as last year) & I even ended up in a line of 15 runners at about mile 20 -- I hadn't had that happen before. We seemed to be all going at an ultra pace at the time, which was fine by me! My official finish time was 5:12:30.
A Google Earth pic of the finish line at Yellowwood Lake:
Well, the first half of my double is now complete. I didn't feel this race completely exhausted me as I felt like sprinting near the end (but didn't as the road was slick!), so hopefully I can improve at Otter Creek.