The Dexter- Ann Arbor Run
At Delhi Metropark, rows of portable toilets attest to the 10K race that started here about the time our half-marathon left from Dexter. Soon after, at mile 7, we come to the first of the run's three big hills. I hug the inside of the steep curve and hope I won't have to walk. At mile 9, near Maple Road, friendly spectators give out water and offer us a run through the sprinkler or a dip from the bucket.
At Bird Road, near mile 11, we run through a secluded, tree-shaded stretch of road. I wish I would run faster, but I cannot, and I just continue, preparing myself for the two big hills and the end of the race.
Signs for the curve near Camp Hilltop mark the first hill. To cheer us on, an aid station here dispenses loud music and outrageous snacks. I run by, declining the food. I know that after the flat stretch on North Main, the last hill awaits.
The fast finishers are walking down the hill, heading for home, as we make our slow but steady ascent. When I finally cross Miller Road, I am elated to see the Finish banner ahead. People line the streets, and an announcer is calling out our names.