Runners arrive on Grand Island in the Fall after the tourists have left. The deep blue and aqua green of Lake Superior frames the brilliant red and yellow of the island’s abundant maple and beach forests. Half marathoners take the classic tour up past Murray Bay and into the dense Hemlock forest near Duck Lake. The course then heads into the Tombolo and then out onto Trout Bay to a 1 mile wide beach, framed by amber sandstone cliffs, facing north to an infinite horizon. A steady climb up into the heavily forested island interior is then rewarded with a 2 mile gradual descent on dirt roads to Mather Beach on the island’s west coast. The last four miles hug the cliffs and shoreline of Lake Superior, before heading east to the finish at Williams Landing. The 10K follows a new route, similar to the half, but without the Tombolo and Trout Bay Beach loop. The 10K course splits from the half marathon traverse of the islands highlands and follows a dirt road down the spine of the island past the fabled wildflower fields and on to the finish at Williams Landing.
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