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Holly, after the Glen Arbor Summer Solstice Half Marathon in June 2013. "Not a PR with that ENORMOUS hill but one of the most beautiful races ever."
Holly, after the Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon in June 2013. "Not a PR with that ENORMOUS hill but one of the most beautiful races ever."

Mother runner Holly Schurg, 39, trained hard for her first marathon—the 2013 Dallas Marathon—but it wasn’t to be. The December race was cancelled because of safety concerns related to cold, icy weather. The news, she says, was “so, so disappointing,” but this Traverse City, Mich. mom of two—Aidan, 10, and Abbey, 8—is staying positive and looking to future events. She’ll run a race with her son this spring—the Run the Ridge 10K Team Relay in May—and has her sights set on a summer marathon.

Best recent run: Last week I got up for an easy 4-miler and finally the streets were clear of snow and ice—and the temp was 39. It was my first run without my spikes or an extra Smartwool layer. It was bliss.

What it was like to train for a marathon and have it be cancelled last minute: We found out the Dallas Marathon was cancelled while we were at the airport in Chicago. I think I would have cried right then but I had to figure out how to reschedule our cancelled flight. I then spent the next week frantically looking for an alternate race. The hardest part was the feeling that all those loooonnng runs were for nothing. I finally gave up and my husband and I decided to run the Charlevoix Marathon this June. It is a small town race that goes by my in-laws' house. It isn’t going to have the bands or the crowd support of a big race but our family will be there and it is a route I am familiar with.

Holly and her kiddos at the start of her hometown turkey trot last November.
Holly and her kiddos at the start of her hometown turkey trot last November.

Best race swag: My favorite swag was the beer ticket for Short’s Huma Lupa Licious at the Traverse City Trail Running Festival last year.

Hammer Gels or Gu Chomps: I have been using Hammer gels for a couple years, but with my last marathon training they didn’t sit well. I ended up using a combination of Honey Stinger chews and pretzels.

My Running Idol: I would love to meet Lauren Fleshman, not just because she is an amazing runner, which she is. Mostly because she is just so cool! I admire her positivity, openness, and confidence.

Wine or beer: I love a microbrew—in a race pint glass, of course.

What I thought about during today’s run: I thought about whether or not I should start rotating two pair of shoes during this marathon training cycle.

My ideal running route is…..: my favorite 6-mile loop from my house. It goes through downtown, up a couple hills, through a meadow and by the water. I love having the scenery change.

Holly and her BRF Julie between their run and swim at Pyramid Point in July 2013.
Holly and her BRF Julie between their run and swim at Pyramid Point in July 2013.

Toughest race moment, and how I got through it: I changed up my pre-race breakfast before the exceptionally hilly, but beautiful, Sleeping Bear Half Marathon. I had a really yummy breakfast cookie that apparently had too much fiber. Around mile two, I got a side stitch that never went away. Then around mile eight I started feeling nauseous and couldn’t choke down a gel. Finally at mile 11, I decided that it wasn’t going to get better until I finished. So, I started a “one foot in front of the other” chant and fired up my music. I turned on my kid’s playlist with “Party in the USA” and “Dynamite” and pictured my kids singing and dancing. It got me through.

My running, in three words: Uplifting, Determined, Liberating.

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7 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Hi Holly + Elena,
    sorry I just got around to looking at the comments. E-mail Heather @ michigan runner girl for my contact info. I would love some more running buddies 🙂

  2. Ran the Sleeping Bear Half Marathon also. What a beautiful course even if the weather was not the best. It was my husband’s first time running a half-marathon. He is hooked now. Thanks for the great read.

  3. Hey Holly, I’m a traverse city resident also, would love to hook up for a run sometime! Great read and thank you for sharing!

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