Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The ferocious bears of the Marquette Marathon

So if you missed that last post, you missed that I’m currently really stoked about the Marquette Marathon or at least I was until my mom mentioned that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Marquette is located, happens to not only be the home of the marathon I’m looking to run this fall, but also to…wait for it…bears. Suddenly, I’m a little less stoked right?. But that story you can read here (and also check out the giveaway I’m running while you’re there.)

THIS post is the update on the whole will I get mauled by a bear while running 26.2 question which, generally speaking, is not the sort of marathon I’m looking to run.

First, the email I sent to the race director:

This is probably the silliest marathon question you're going to get, but at least maybe you'll get a a good chuckle :-) I was all set to register for your race today, but then I spoke to my mom. She used to camp frequently in the UP as a kid and she said I ought to be worried about bears. Now, I fully realize you are not responsible for the behavior of any ornery wildlife, but honestly, do you think I need to be concerned at all about this?
Thanks for your time!
Kelly Collins

P.S. If you get this question again today, or you've had it already, it's probably my mom :-)”

Her reply:

“OK.. I'll admit.. I did laugh out loud when I read your email.... No, you are safe... bears will not be an issue.. I have lived in Marquette for 19 years and I saw a bear cub.. once... in a tree in a neighborhood.... the entire town shut down and went out to take pictures... they ended up darting the cub and taking him about 50 miles west of here to some state land.... so, no worries... You will not need to carry your dart gun... : )   I know that there are MANY areas of the UP that do have spectacular wildlife...bear, wolves, moose etc... and we are blessed to live in such an untouched area, but Marquette is the largest "city"  ( and I use that term loosely) in the UP and is populated.... you will run along some beautiful trails ( paved bike path)  that goes around the entire city, but not thru the woods and remote areas.  I hope to see you soon in the beautiful Upper Peninsula..
Happy New Year.. : O )
Nancy Bailey
Race Director, RSF M2”

Of course, you all know I had to ask if she minded my blogging her reply to which she responded, “feel free” and “perhaps we can gain you a few more runners if we dispelled the 'wild animal' myth. Hahahaha.”
So there you have it. Beasts of the wild shall not prevent you from PRing in Marquette should you choose to race there. I even checked the fine print on the waiver for mention of bears just to be certain she wasn’t pulling a fast one on me (no, I didn’t).

Ultimately, you know what this means right? I’m totally in. Registered last night.  I’m now well into the “who can I suck into running this with me phase” which, for the record, is the period to right after registration just before you actually start training and then the race suddenly becomes a little less than all sunshine and roses. But just a little Winking smile

So…who’s with me? (That’s right. I’m talking to you RunSis!)

'Til next time...


MAllen said...

Oh well now that I know I don't have to carry my dart gun with me maybe I'll run it!

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Oh I'm glad you are coming to visit us in Michigan. I'll be in Northern Michigan but not that far up. I'll be interested to hear about this race.

Karen said...

Found your blog through Healthy Strides. My grandmother lived in Newberry (2 hours south of Marquette). We visited every summer and always went to the "dump" to see the bears. Now there is a ranch called Oswald Bear Ranch where there are tons of bears to see.I guess my advice would be to stay away from the dumps in Marquette! Sparty On!!!

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama said...

Found your site randomly and just had to comment when I saw the mention of the UP and Marquette. I grew up in the UP(Kingsford) and once lived in Marquette while I was an intern at the hospital. I'm quite positive there will not be any bears on the course. The wildest animal you will probably see is a squirrel or an overly enthusiastic race supporter! Thanks for the laugh and good luck racing!