Next run coming up on my calendar is the Vineyard 2 Bay 25K! Where do I start with this run? First, just let me say, it’s Amazing! This run is located in the sleepy little town of Suttons Bay, MI. It’s just a click North of Traverse City, MI and offers spectacular scenery as well as some challenging hills. This will be my third year going up North and I look forward to it every time.
The race is more of what you’d find at a smaller local event. It has a certain down home feel to it and the race coordinators Ross and Nancy Deye are quite possibly two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet! Ross has roots back here in the Toledo area where he was a member of the Toledo Roadrunners Running club. A cross-country runner and a Boston Marathon finisher! It seems he’s found his happy place in the upper parts of Michigan and after going there, I can understand why.
Back to the race…lol! This race starts out at an actual Vineyard! You catch a school bus down at Suttons Bay and are then shipped over to the Starting area which is located at the Brengman Brothers driveway and the tasting room. Yes, the tasting room…lol! The property provides some beautiful views of the vineyards and the rolling hills of Michigan. Watching the sun come up at this starting area is a must see. Once you roll out of the starting area, it’s just a few miles before you’re put on the Leelanau Trail. This trail goes through farm country and again, provides some of the most calming area I’ve encountered to run in. Nature at it’s finest!
There’s an area of this race that has a pretty serious incline. (Hilltop Rd.) While you may be cursing your brains out climbing up this (what seems like forever) hill, you reach the summit and WOW! A spectacular view of Suttons Bay! Beautiful water for miles! It just takes your breath away…well, whatever breath you have left after climbing Hilltop Rd!
The race finishes up in the town of Suttons Bay just about the same spot that you caught the bus in the early a.m. hours. Ross is right there at the finish to congratulate everyone and give you your finishers award. The finishers award is an actual tile made by a local artists from the area (Sporck Tileart). Each year they’re different and just wow! They’re worth the few bucks to enter this race alone.
We usually go for the weekend but this year have opted to go for an entire week prior to the run. The area just speaks to Karla and I and you all know we love adventures! August 27th will be the day of the 25K and I just can’t wait to hit this one again. Do yourself a favor and mark this run on your bucket list…you’ll thank me later for doing so. Absolutely take a few extra days to venture around and see everything that Northern Michigan has to offer. Enjoy all that is Suttons Bay, MI. I’ll of course post up lots of pictures for this one! If you’ve booked something already for this year, throw it on your calendar for next year. Get a cabin, a house or a hotel room early! This is a popular area to be in and places book up quick.
Thanks for keeping up with me and I’ll see you on the road!