Yankee Springs Fall Festival

 Susan and I came to Michigan for a week to visit my Dad and family, who live on Gun Lake which is surrounded by running trails. The same weekend we were visiting the Yankee Springs Fall Festival trail races were happening, so of course we signed up. We decided on the 25k for  2 reasons, one mainly because the 50k is 2 looks of the 25k and the other was I wanted more time to spend with my family. 

 

a family of runners

The Yankee Springs Fall Festival trail race is a small, local, backyard feeling trail race put on by Switchback Endurance, it's everything I love about trail racing. The feel of it reminded me a lot of the Peterson Ridge Rumble races.

Start line selfies

The course takes place in Yankee Springs recreation area on beautiful rolling single track trails, which loops by 2 different lakes, Hall & Deep Lake. There is actually a decent amount of elevation gain (for Michigan), around ~1200 feet. There were 4 different aid stations, which seemed like a lot, but it was fun to stop and chat with the different folks at each of the aid stations. One of the aid stations even had grilled cheese. 

running towards the finish

we got excited when we saw our family & friends at the end

The majority of the trails also are mountain bike trails and at one point a mountain biker passed us and said we were doing so well because everyone else was walking. What he meant was a lot of people were walking the hills. For us Oregonians the hills weren't anything, but for flatlanders they were hard. We certainly had an advantage at this race. As the miles went by we passed more people than I had in years. After we passed the last aid station Susan sped and started passing everyone within view. At one point I told her to slow down because I couldn't keep up, but she was having too much fun. 

our race medal and trophy

The only part of the race we had to walk was at the very end, there was a set of stairs going up to the parking area of the race start. As we emerged from the stairs and started running towards the finish, we saw my whole family and our friend Julie. That was the best part of the race. But then we crossed the finish line and were told we won our age group! We won pumpkin trophies, Susan was so excited. It was a perfect way to spend a Fall Saturday morning in Western Michigan. 

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