EMPIRE — One year ago Cassy McQuaid Stone said she would never run a marathon.
On Sunday, she will be standing at the start of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Marathon with about 400 others, ready to run farther than she ever has before.
McQuaid Stone was at the finish line of last year’s Detroit Marathon, watching others, including her husband Jeb Stone, cross the finish line when she declared to herself that she had no interest in ever completing the 26.2-mile race.
“I’ve participated in the half-marathon quite a few times at Bayshore here in Traverse,” she said. “(At the finish line in Detroit) I remember thinking, ‘There is no way that I would ever even imagine what that would feel like, nor would I even want to sign up for something that made me look like those people did.’”
But things changed over the next few months as she began thinking how she could pull it off if she continued training beyond last spring’s Bayshore Half-Marathon, just increasing her workouts and sticking with a training plan. Lo and behold, when it came time to sign up for Sunday’s event back in February, she went for it.
“When I did (sign up), I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t even talk to my husband about it,” she said. “He came home from work, I think it was February 28, and I said, ‘I signed up for a marathon Oct. 6.’ He kind of laughed and said, ‘Alright, sure.’”
This is the second running of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Marathon and Half-Marathon. Last year’s inaugural race featured just under 300 runners, but Endurance Evolution — which is running the event — saw a significant increase in entries this year. Participants are coming from as many as 18 states, with runners from as far as Hawaii and California having signed up.