Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon race recap: part one

Race weekend started at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. I worked from home that morning and then we headed up north as soon as my husband got home from work. The Grandma’s half (technically called the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon) is held in Duluth, but we were staying the weekend with my sister-in-law and her family in Esko, MN.

After some frustrating Friday afternoon “heading up north” traffic…

…we made it!

I  have to say, my sister-in-law was the best host ever. In fact, I now always want to run races in Duluth so she can take care of me 🙂 When we got there, she had already gone to the race expo since we didn’t know what time we’d make it there, and picked up my race packet and the shirt I won from Twin Cities in Motion Freebie Friday!

She then made us a fantastic spaghetti dinner on Friday night. Yay for carb loading!  After a much later night than I had planned, I laid out my race gear and was finally able to fall asleep around midnight.

My alarm went off at 3:30 a.m. and thanks again to my husband’s sister, waking up in someone else’s house before a race wasn’t stressful at all. We had written down a schedule the night before and she laid out everything I needed to make breakfast and had the coffee set to go off for me! She also set out a key for me to drive their car to the place where I needed to catch my shuttle to the starting line. I had my cup of coffee with two scrambled eggs and a piece of toast. I also drank a glass of water and then was out the door!


As I drove north towards Duluth I was feeling great. I had left plenty of time to make it to my shuttle and the weather was ideal. The forecast all week had been calling for thunderstorms but it looked pretty clear and the temperature was cool but not cold. However, as I saw the brake lights ahead of me as I neared my exit, I started getting nervous.

Minutes passed and I was barely moving in the line of cars. I started to see people jumping out of cars and running to the buses. My brother-in-law was running the full marathon and the start time was an hour later than mine, so the plan was that my husband was going to drop him off at his shuttle and then go find parking to cheer me on. Therefore, I had to drive myself and was going to have to wait to find parking and then try to make it to the bus. I watched the clock turned to 5:15 a.m. (when the last shuttle was scheduled to leave) and I was finally off of the freeway but not yet parked. I pulled into my parking spot (in the wrong lot) at 5:20 a.m. I joined a group of panicked runners in finding the right shuttle and was the last one on the bus before they closed the door behind me!

More to come…this post has gotten incredibly long!


One thought on “Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon race recap: part one

  1. sweetsweat

    Wasn’t Friday’s traffic ridiculous?! What an awesome sister-in-law you have! And, glad you made the shuttle! I remember being stressed I’d miss it when I ran in 2006 🙂


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