Duluth's Cattel Completes First-Ever Half Marathon Virtually With Support of Friends and Family

Updated: June 16, 2020 10:38 PM

"Oh my gosh, the crowds, and the cowbells, and getting that banana, getting that gel. The cookies and the chocolate milk, the expo, the after parties," explained Cattel.


Those were all things missy Cattel was looking forward to entering the 2020 Grandma's Marathon weekend. Her four running group friends convinced her to join a training group in January to prepare for this weekend in June.

However, for the first time in its history, Grandma's announced in March that the event would be canceled. Runners could still run the race virtually, so that's exactly what Missy and her friends did.

"We started where the half starts and we did lemon drop and ended just down there a little bit for a finish," explained Missy standing at the finish line in Canal Park. "We had family members and friends at all different parts where we felt needed a boost of energy."

Together Missy, Liz, Cindy, Ellie and Aubrey, a group of women of all different ages in different stages of their lives, pushed each other to their virtual finish line. Missy said mentally keeping her mind and body one was the most challenging part for her being out on the course by herself.

Not knowing what it was like to be a runner, she earned a new appreciation for serving as a volunteer for so many years.

"I never realized how important the volunteers and spectators and that encouragement is until you're out there," she said. "You hear runners and they're like 'oh, thanks for being out here. You're like yeah, okay sure, no problem.' You're so appreciative to have that." 

She celebrated with virtual high fives. Plus, after completing 13.1 miles May 16th, she said she's ready to run again.

"It was the next day, I was like I'm ready to do this again because you know what, you do it once you already know that you can do it," said Cattel.

She hopes next time she can hit the pavement when everyone is watching.

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