Erin Henshaw and her daughter Chloe, a sixth-grade track runner, participated in this weekend’s inaugural BIG Little Hero Run on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. They were among a couple hundred runners who signed on for the event’s 10K, 5K and kids mile. The race, organized by NMC business students, benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan. Here’s a short recap from Erin.

Saturday was a beautiful spring morning in Traverse City to enjoy a new race, the BIG Little Hero Race. I signed up to run the 10K, such a fun distance that you don’t see often enough. I brought along my 11-year-old daughter Chloe to cheer me on and run the kids fun mile.

One strong supergirl!
One strong supergirl!

As we pulled into NMC’s campus, it was so much fun seeing all of the superheroes wandering around. I did not dress up, as my imagination was just not there. I actually struggled as it was trying to figure out what to wear. After months of wearing layers upon layers of clothes for my negative-something runs, I was thrown with what to wear in above freezing temps … tights? capris? run skirt? long sleeve? short sleeve? tank?

Maybe it would have been easier to dress up as a superhero instead!

All kids running the fun run got a superhero cape. How fun watching all of the superhero tykes take off from the start line with their capes flying! My daughter had a fast and great mile run. It is so much fun to watch her enjoy racing. The 5K and 10K race started together, about 200 of us in all. The course was beautiful, leading you out the main entrance of NMC (I always seem to run out of NMC through one of the other entrances) and down E. Front Street past the beautiful pine trees on NMC’s campus toward East Bay.

Chloe nearing the finish.
Chloe nearing the finish.

Between the views and weather you couldn’t help but run happy at this race. I passed a couple of Wonder Women and Batmen, was passed by a few Supermen, and chased down the Green Lantern. How fun is that?

We settled into the main route of an out-and-back on East Shore Road, the 5K heroes turning back before the 10K runners continued on to our turn around point at McKinley Road (whew, no hills today).

As I made my way to the turnaround, it was fun watching the leaders head back — I even got a high five from Captain America.

Some of the race swag for race winners.
Some of the race swag for race winners.

I will admit, I struggled with the race, I was tired. I had not run for two full weeks leading up to this race as my leg was giving me some issues and I chose to rest it as I am running the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon this coming weekend. I felt tired by the time I made it back to NMC’s campus for the final leg of the race.

The great thing is my training before two weeks ago definitely paid off — I got a 10K PR! The sun was shining, I just ran one of the most beautiful courses, my daughter cheered me in at the finish line, I ran a PR, and I was surrounded by superheroes.

Bottom line, this is a great family fun event. Chloe and I can’t wait to run this again, she is looking forward to the 5K next year.

Did you run the BIG Little Hero Run this past weekend? Did you dress up in costume?

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