Macinac Island, Michigan
By Dave McCauley - RunMichigan.com!
The Mackinac Island 8 Mile Run means many different things to many people. For me, this event in 1990, brought me for the first time ever to Mackinac Island, a place I'd only heard about or seen from far away on my one previous trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Seven years later, the magic of Mackinac Island still remains strong and the Mackinac Island Road Race is still one of Michigan's best.
Participants in this one lap tour of the island are started in "waves", to lessen the congestion on Mackinac's narrow roads. The first to cross the finish line on the day was Barry Deese of Linden, Michigan. Deese, who just completed a very successful running career at Central Michigan University, took charge of the men's race around the 3 mile point. Deese stayed very consistent from there on to take this year's overall title in a time of 41:16. Runner-up honors in the men's race went to former Saginaw Valley State runner Todd Graham of Saginaw in 43:11. Running a great race for third overall was 18 year old St. Ignace High School senior Aaron Litzner. Aaron's time was 43:16, a 5:25 pace. Rounding out the top 5 were former Richmond High School and CMU standout Bill Schutt (43:28) and 31 year old Patrick Benedict of Ann Arbor. Benedict's time was 43:37 and good enough for first overall in the 30-34 age group.
In the Women's Race the overall title went to Fenton's Lisa Veneziano. The 32 year old Veneziano has been having a great summer of road racing which has included victories at the Crim 8K and also the Scotty Hanton 8K. Her time here at Macinac was 50:37, just under a minute and a half better than runner-up Kris Clark of Mackinac Island. Clark's time was 52:02. In third place with a time of 53:06 was the Women's Masters Champion, 41 year old Robin Sarris of Ann Arbor. Fourth place went to Ann Arbor's Catherine Herne (53:54), and fifth was taken by Katrina Briggs in 54:28.
The Master's Championships on the day were taken by Sarris and by Tim Zindler of Holland, Michigan. Zindler's time of 44:56 not only gave him the Men's Master's Title, but also placed him in the top 10 overall.
The Mackinac Island 8 Mile Run is one race that everyone should run. With the scenery of the Island and the usually cool weather, it's hard to come away from this race not feeling good.
How'd Dave do? - Well, after coming through the mile as part of the lead pack in 5:10 and still with them at 2 miles, I had a great view of the top 5 runners pulling slowly away from me. I ran most of the rest of the way trading surges with Jerry Connors of Walled Lake. We came through the 5 Mile Mark in 27:25. After my lame "pseudo surges" failed to shake him, he used a great kick to pull away for good with a 1/4 to go and finished 4 seconds ahead of me in 44:06. Jerry took sixth overall and second in the 30-34 age group and I ended up 7th overall in 44:10 and 3rd in the same age group.