Bridge Run Meet and Greet

When I was a child, I remember a time a classmate sneered at me and said I was “too nice” when I introduced myself. It upset me because I have always been a sensitive person, but I think what tore me up more was how she didn’t understand how foolish she sounded spewing a contradictory statement like that. She was upset with me for being “too nice.” It might bother most people when another person is a bubbling overload of joy, but I don’t think you can ever be too nice to anyone, especially when meeting someone new.

Governor Snyder handshaking a wheeler participantThe Bridge Run is an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to fellow runners.  It is also an opportunity to cheer on a stranger and throw a high-five at the finish line or invite another family to eat with you at the Pasta Dinner. Each runner is participating because of their passion for physical fitness and northern Michigan. Smile at a fellow runner and ask them a question about their running history to strike up a conversation. The event is an untimed, non-competitive race so make a friend to enjoy it with! There’s no denying it will be a fun-filled weekend regardless of how you choose to spend your time in Mackinac, but memories are always more memorable with a combination of new faces and old.

With that being said, a few runners have asked us about ways to get in touch with others from their area to carpool together to Mackinac or run with during the Bridge Run. Since the beginning of the summer we have encouraged you to comment about your running experiences on the blog or ask questions regarding the Bridge Run. We want you to take this a little bit further by providing basic information about yourself to try to meet up with each other at the Bridge Run. We encourage you to connect with participants in the comments section. The following list should help you get started connecting with others:

1. Name

2. City

3. Favorite Governor’s Council endorsed event

4. First time Bridge Run participant?

5. Do you walk, bike, use public transit, carpool, paddle or use green cabs to travel? Describe how you try to reduce your carbon footprint.

6. What is your approximate mile pace?

7. What are you most excited about for the Bridge Run?

8. How did you become a runner?

9. Any other weekend plans while up North?

Don’t forget that if you have any additional questions, comments or concerns please feel free to post them too. The Bridge Run is only two weeks away! Get pumped!

-Tom Sleva, Intern

9 responses to “Bridge Run Meet and Greet

  1. 1. My name is Dawn
    2. I am from Kalamazoo – born, raised, never left, LOVE my city!
    3. My favorite Governor’s Council endorsed event is the Girls on the Run 5K. I thoroughly enjoy both running with these girls and cheering from the sidelines.
    4. I am thrilled to be a first time Bridge Run participant.
    5. Reducing carbon footprint? I incorporate grocery store stops into my run schedule and use the walk home with groceries as my cool down period. I have also learned to plan my routes and consolidate trips. And recycling/composting is becoming a larger part of daily life.
    6. My approximate mile pace is not consistent, varies from 11 to 13 minutes depending on the day. I am a “cheer hound” so when others are pushing me, I run faster.
    7. I am beyond excited for this event. I look forward to soaking up the atmosphere, reveling in the excitement and meeting others.
    8. I always insist that I am not a runner. Where others make it look so easy, I just don’t. LOL I had run 5Ks and volunteered at longer running events. When I saw others running the long events, I realized that I could do this too. I ran a ½ marathon this year, but I think my true place is 5Ks and 10Ks.
    9. Camping with my family Friday & Saturday nights at a state park. The rest of the family will participate in the Bridge walk.

    I am a firm believer that one can never have too many friends!!

  2. Hi! I am Michelle Emily. I am born, raised and currently living in Central Michigan. This is my second year running the Bridge, and couldn’t be more excited!
    This year I will be lucky enough to run it with my husband as he was selected also.
    I started my running journey last year early spring as a personal challenge. I wanted to complete a 5K. Currently I have 10 under my belt and my first ever Warrior Dash, just to up the anty. :) Last year I was scared to death about running the Mighty Mack, I cringe to cross it in a car. I signed up with the thought “Ha, what’s the chances I will get selected!?” Then I did. And it is by far the GREATEST experience I have had running! So this year, I was conscience to run an event that would qualify me. And ran to the computer to sign up HOPING I would be selected this year.
    I am not a “fast” runner, my pace floats between 10:30 and 12 m/m. I run for fun, not to impress any one with my speed. Lol!
    As we did last year, we make a weekend away out of this event. We will camping with family and enjoying everything northern Michigan.

    Can’t wait to meet you at the start line! (And say hello as you pass me!)

  3. I am really excited about the opportunity to run the Bridge for the first time and a chance to meet some fellow runners!! I have only been running since last year to try and get back in shape at age 44. I live in Clinton Township, MI with my beautiful wife and amazing 13 year old daughter. I started running last year after leaving my job as VP of Accounting/Finance. My continuous busy work schedule took its toll on me over the years and I found myself feeling run down and tired all the time, always eating late at night, gaining weight and neglected my family. In addition, my Mom has Alzheimer’s in a nursing home and helping take care of her with my siblings has been a rough road but we take it one day at time and try to make each day the best we can for her . Running has provided me a chance to clear my head, gain confidence and slowly get back in shape. I run a 12 to 13 minute mile pace which I am trying to improve on but seem to be stuck at this point. I still have a ways to go to lose more weight at over 235 pounds and 6 feet tall but can see the changes which motivates me. Running, walking my dog and/or riding my bike with my wife and daughter more often has given me a chance to spend some quality time with them which Is priceless!!
    Looking forward to our family trip up north next weekend around Traverse City and Mackinaw/Saint Ignace Can’t wait to experience the view from the Bridge and the thrill of running across it with all of the amazing people.

    Any words of advice from others on how to prepare for the run several days before (i.e. eating the morning of the Bridge run, do you run less the week before the event, etc…)??

    See everyone at the Bridge!!
    Carl Russo

  4. I am Kevin Rabineau, and I now live in Battle Creek, MI. I am originally from Sault Ste. Marie. I have been running for 41+ years, and am a member of the Brooks Inspire Daily (ID) team. I have run every distance from the mile, to ultramarathons. I love Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge, and people of both Mittens. Your friend in the long run, Kevin.

  5. 1. Nate

    2. Hudsonville, MI

    3. 5/3 RiverBank Run in Grand Rapids!

    4. First time Bridge Runner, and excited for it!

    5. I try to bike to work when appropriate, and take the bus from the university I work at to meetings in Grand Rapids.

    6. I’m hardly a speedster — usually run between 9:00 and 11:00 miles, but I’ve found that crowds and races can increase the pace. Get the adrenaline going!!

    7. I’m excited to see the sun come up over Lake Huron from the bridge, and get to experience something that few Michiganders get a chance to take part in!

    8. How did you become a runner? Same as everyone else — by putting one foot in front of the other a few hundred thousand times :)

    9. Any other weekend plans while up North? Grabbing some fudge and pasties as a reward for the months of training that have gone into prep for various races all summer!

  6. Mason McDonough

    My name is Mason and I live near Marshall, MI. This is the third time I have been selected to run the Mighty Mack. I started running when my son’s were on a high school cross country team. I took action photos for the team and became very inspired by the heart and spirit I saw in the faces of the distance runners during their races. Ultimately I started running on weekends and then taking part in a few 5Ks. 3 years ago, I was selected to run the bridge for the first time and I was scared to death. :-) What had I gotten myself into ???? I wasn’t sure I could make it so I did all I could to be ready. That first run was a life changing event. I remember how the energy I got from the rest of the runners helped to carry me up the first part of the bridge. That incline I had worried so much about turned out to be nothing at all. The sunrise at midspan was fantastic !!! I crossed the Finish line thinking…”Wow I just ran across the Mackinaw Bridge !! I wonder what else I can do?” I went home that weekend and started running farther than I had ever run before. I also got more serious about losing some weight. I believe that first run over the Mighty Mack helped me find my own Runners’ Spirit. Today I am 40 pounds lighter and I run events from 5 to 25K. This spring, I was running at a local event and had my 2012 Bridge Run t-shirt on. I was walking back to find a fellow runner in the crowd when I heard someone yell “Hey Bridge Runner”. Looking around I saw another shirt like mine and a young man smiling from ear to ear. We waved and smiled. We both had been on the bridge the year before. We both understood that once you run the Mighty Mack, you are a “Bridge Runner” from there on. This year I look forward to seeing another wonderful sunrise from Mighty Mack and running with another great group of Bridge Runners. But most of all I look forward to just running for the fun of it. See you all there.

  7. Jay Bartlett, I will be driving up that morning I will be leaving at 3 to get there in time from Sterling. If some one needs a ride.

  8. 1. Barb Byrum
    2. Onondaga
    3. Race for the House was a blast. I am looking forward to the Auto Show Shuffle.
    4. No, 2013 will be my 2nd and I absolutely love this event. Last year, it gave me something to work toward. Since then, I have two Half Marathons under my belt with two more already scheduled.
    5. I wish I did more to reduce my carbon footprint.
    6. 10:30 minute/mile (I get slower after 5 miles and even slower after 10 miles).
    7. The sunset, meeting new people and the calories I will be able to eat as a result of the run.
    8. In April of 2012, I agreed to participate in an extreme 5K with a friend. She said I would be fine because I am “tough.” I replied “Yeah, but I don’t run!” A few days later, I started the Couch to 5K program on my iPhone. I started running with my dog in the woods. My friend, on the other hand, never started running. We ended up not doing the extreme 5K.
    I needed a new goal to look toward to, so I was very excited to be presented with the opportunity to run the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day 2012. That is where I was focused: Only 3 miles, slight incline, but should be doable. I did the race alone. I was terrified. I survived and encourage all runners to run the Bridge at least once!
    Running the Mackinaw Bridge in 2012 was just the beginning, I continued to run and a friend introduced me to another female runner, who has turned into one of my closest friends. Although we try to run at least three times a week, we usually run a minimum of 3 miles together once a week.
    I ran quite a few 5Ks the summer and fall of 2012 and have joined two running groups. As a matter of fact, I now seek out people to run with me when I travel.
    In a moment of insanity, I registered for the Bayshore Half Marathon and the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon! I convinced my friend to run Bayshore with me (she was doing the training with me for the 13.1 miles, anyway). Having a women’s only half marathon to be my first 13.1 race was perfect for me as it offered the support I needed and the positive encouragement. The Bayshore Half was an absolutely beautiful race that I would love to do again.
    I have been fortunate enough to run in some awesome races and am looking forward to the Detroit Women’s Half Marathon in September and the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon. I am smaller than I once was, but I have no idea how much I weighed before I started running or how much I weigh, now.
    Because of running, I am happier, calmer, nicer and a better mom.
    9. I was in Marquette, earlier and will head home immediately after the race as I have a little guy who is excited about starting kindergarten on Tuesday!

  9. Sandra


    Bay City St. Pattys Day

    First time Bridge Run participant!!!WOO HOOO!!!

    Currently running just under 10 mpm

    Were heading north tomorrow and I cant even sleep! I’m so excited for the experience all around. For the run, my family to have a mini get away and of course to just experience the drive and see all of beautiful Michigan as we head north.!

    I’m slow! :) I just started running a year ago but really only got excited about it this summer :)

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