Welcome to Hell (MI)!

September 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm 1 comment

Today, I spent the day in Hell. Surprisingly, Hell is a pretty nice place – it looks something like this:

Hell is actually an “unincorporated district” in Michigan, about 15 miles West of Ann Arbor. According to Wikipedia, there are two possible reasons for its name:

  1. German travelers visiting the area in the 1830s proclaimed “So schön hell!”, which means “How beautifully bright”. People heard the statement, and the name “Hell” stuck.
  2. When asked what he wanted to name the town he helped to settle, George Reeves said, “…you can name it Hell for all I care” and they did.

Interesting, no? I wasn’t actually in Hell, I was actually in Pinckney State Park, and I was volunteering for the Dances with Dirt races. The DWD races are a 100k relay, a 50k ultramarathon and a 50mile ultramarathon through rugged terrain (hence Hell and Dances with Dirt – think trails that aren’t kept up, and water up to people’s knees in places!). The relay teams are made up of 5 people who each run 3 legs, about 12 miles each.

I volunteered not only because I’m looking to get into the running scene in Ann Arbor, but also because my Half-Marathon (in two weeks, omg!) actually also takes place in Pinckney State Park – I wanted to suss it out beforehand. And I have to admit, I’m sorta terrified. I didn’t realize my race was going to be quite such a trail race (though, admittedly, it’s not exactly the same route…). All I can say, is that if I actually finish the race, it’s going to be an accomplishment beyond just the Half…

But anyway. Basically, today, I got to direct traffic as teams approached our exchange (exchange 11-12). We were having people park in a soybean field, so there was much direction needed. I, of course, packed some snacks before I went

which was quite lucky, because I ended up being there from 11-5:30, with no break or food supply, except for a Gatorade provided by a volunteer-mate:

I don’t even like Gatorade, but after 4 hours standing in the sun, it was a little piece of Heaven in Hell :)

Car traffic in our little corner of Hell varied muchly throughout the day. It went from this:

to this:

Volunteering was a lot of fun, but now I’m so inspired to do a race like this! Perhaps next year I’ll actually have some people to run with…

I came home starving, and snacked on some Trader Joe’s Pita Mini Pita Bread and Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus while I made dinner.

The pitas were so good! Very fluffy and light and quite a nice snack.

For dinner I made an old favorite, revamped a little.

I roasted some zucchini and red pepper in the oven (425 with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of rosemary until soft and brown) and toasted up a Hemp Bagel. I spread pesto and pizza cheese on the bagel, and topped that with spinach and cucumbers. Put it all together, and you get that bit of deliciousness above :)

I also ate some leftover couscous

and some chocolate milk, made with TJs Midnight Moo.

Dessert was provided by the HomeGrown Festival in Kerrytown. I really wish I hadn’t been so tired and hungry after today; I would have loved to have eaten at the Festival – it was basically a celebration of local food in Michigan generally and food in Ann Arbor specifically. Many local restaurants had samples and products for pretty cheap, but since I had already eaten, I had to settle for a small sample from a local pizza place:

Coincidentally, the cheese in the tart was provided by Zingerman’s. It was delicious.

And now, I’m off to bed – hopefully tomorrow will bring a long run with a new running partner…!

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Somethings Old, Somethings New As if I need another addiction…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. This is It! « Following Foodie  |  September 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    […] was put together by the local running store. It’s the first year of the race, takes place where I volunteered a few weeks ago, and featured a 5 mile run, a half-marathon, marathon, a 50k, 50 mile, and even an […]

    Reply

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