I “met” Dani Beals of Grand Haven through the Michigan Runner Girl Facebook page, where she connected with fellow runner Sybil Ashworth. These two women didn’t know each other outside the online world, but soon became running partners and friends when they met up this past summer for a few training runs along the shores of Lake Michigan. I was thrilled to hear that they’d met up given that Sybil, vacationing in western Michigan with family, and Dani both were training for a marathon. (Sybil shared this story of meeting Dani over on her blog Sybil Runs Things) Dani, an avid 41-year-old runner here in the mitten state since 2009, inspired me with her running story—a journey that’s led her to strength both in body and mind.
Favorite Michigan race: The Betsie Valley Half-Marathon near Crystal Mountain in October. I have only run it once, in the fall of 2011. It was one of those most perfect fall days: cool, crisp and sunny. The trees were in all their fall color glory. The route was part road race and part trail. It really doesn’t get much better than that. I have also run and truly enjoyed the Park to Park Half-Marathon in Holland, MI. It too, offers beautiful views, including Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.