The second annual Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon couldn't have gone any better! We had a lovely day and just the right number of T-shirts and volunteers. There was a headwind for the last 6 miles, but I'll gladly take that over rain or ridiculous heat. When you're organizing an event, runner security is the thing that keeps you awake at night, and Saturday was simply perfect!
2015 results are listed here. You have to select "Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon" from the drop down menu. I will eventually put up the official results on GandyMarathon.com, but it seems like I always have a billion things to do so it might be a while (plus we're gearing up promotions for our Fat Bike Race in December: The Solstice Chase).
The story of the day was Tammi Braund. It's been a year since she won her first marathon (the inaugural Gandy Marathon) and she's won The Eau Claire Marathon, The Birkie Marathon, and the 2nd Gandy Marathon since then. We're so impressed with our local hero. When Eric announced that a woman was coming into Luck and going to take the overall win, the city erupted in cheers. What an inspiration!
I'll be going through the results and mailing out certificates for those of you that broke course records in your age classes. We had enough T-shirts this year, so that was a big relief!
Just a quick note, our race director Eric T. Olsen is attempting his 75th marathon this upcoming Sunday at the Mankato marathon (so if you see him down there, tell him he did a great job at Gandy), He was the guy on the microphone cheering everyone in and he looks like this:
Now I'm going to stop there because I could go on thanking people all day long. Each and every one of our volunteers is deserving of a huge pat on the back. Without them, this race could not have happened and they all brought their "A" game on Saturday. I'll be posting more photos of volunteers and racers on our Facebook page, so please give that a "like" so you get the updates. I was out there taking pictures in a green and white CyclovaXC jacket.
I do want to take a moment to also thank everyone who came out and raced. What a spectacular group of people marathoners are! There is so much positive energy in the air that it does the soul good just to take it all in. This is our local event, so there are more familiar faces here than at other event, and that makes the Gandy Marathon truly special.
I will never get tired of standing at the finish line to watch somebody finish their first ever marathon. People simply do not know what they are capable of, and you can see realization dawning on their face as they push through the finish line and receive their medal in a wave of exhaustion and emotion. Completing your first marathon can change you forever. If you've got somebody in your life that you care about, or perhaps that you're worried about, sign them up for a marathon, train together, and finish together. The results will astound you.
Also, thanks for all the positive comments, emails, and Facebook posts! We really appreciate your feedback. We want this to be the best marathon out there, and we especially want to see all of you coming back! Thanks again!
If you're looking for something to do this Thursday, October 15th, I'll be promoting my new book Reckless Traveler at the River Falls Library at 7:00 PM. I'll be talking about the Inca Trail as well as The American Birkebeiner, so it will be a fun night. Dan Woll author of North of Highway 8 will be there as well (here's the Facebook event page). CyclovaXC is also doing a "Team Night" with great deals on cross-country ski product on the 15th, check out the Facebook event here.
See you soon, and keep on running!