TRAVERSE CITY — Maria Lindberg's getaway turned into a run-away.
The 31-year-old from Elmhurst, Ill., and her husband ventured to Traverse City for a weekend alone, without kids.
Lindberg ended up exactly that Saturday morning. All alone — in first place.
She won the 32nd annual Bayshore Marathon in 2:50:46, more than three minutes ahead of her closest competitor.
"I've never been to Traverse City and my husband and I are taking a getaway," said Lindberg, who gave birth 16 months ago. "It's the first time away from my son overnight. We were excited to get away, and the marathon was a bonus."
Not only was the race a victory, but she also cut a whopping 15 minutes off her previous best time.
"I ran a marathon last month down at the U of Illinois-Champaign — and I went out way too fast and I just blew up," Lindberg said. "I really tried to go even pace on this one a little more. I think I slowed down a little the second half, but it was close to even splits. I just kept it comfortable until about 20, and then started picking it up a little bit."
The Bayshore was her fifth marathon and the second since giving birth.
"Since then, I've come back stronger," Lindberg said.
Rebekah Smeltzer led the race early on, holding onto first at the 10-mile mark. She eventually slid back in the pack and finished fourth, behind Kimberly Peterson, who steadily climbed up the leader board.
Lindberg passed Smeltzer at the 12-mile mark.
"It was perfect," Lindberg said. "Crisp. There was a nice breeze. The wind was at our back a bit on the way out."
Karrie Hamstra-Wright pulled into second and stayed there, almost four minutes ahead of Peterson.