This trip and race were a little bit spontaneous. I was originally scheduled to run the Akron marathon, but realized that training for a marathon was a bit more daunting than my spare time would allow. Since I was already in half marathon shape, I figured, why not...let's run somewhere else and knock out another state!
Enter, South Dakota. And this family is psyched! My race will take me along Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse - two amazing sights here in the United States. And Greg, who is a HUGE fan of Kevin Costner, has signed up us for a Chuckwagon Feast for Sunday night (after the race). The sight of the Chuckwagon Feast is the same place that Dances with Wolves was filmed...and he's pretty darn happy!
So here's a few fun facts about South Dakota.
1. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are sculpted into Mount Rushmore the world's greatest mountain carving.
2. Jack McCall was tried, convicted and hanged two miles north of Yankton in 1877 for the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the Yankton cemetery.
3. Tom Brokaw of NBC graduated from Yankton High School and the University of South Dakota.
4. The site of a rich gold strike in 1875, Deadwood retains its mining town atmosphere. While Deadwood is one of the most highly publicized mining towns of the trans-Mississippi West, much of its fame rests on the famous or infamous characters that passed through.
5. South Dakota is the home of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes, which make up the Sioux Nation.
6. The Crazy Horse mountain carving now in progress will be the world's largest sculpture (563' high, 641' long, carved in the round). It is the focal point of an educational and cultural memorial to and for the North American Indian.
7. Custer State Park is home to a herd of 1,500 free-roaming bison. Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Historically, the bison played an essential role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who relied on the "tatanka" for food, clothing and shelter.
8. Badlands National Park consists of nearly 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.
9. The George S. Mickelson Trail is South Dakota's premier rails-to-trails project. This award winning tail stretches 114 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont.
10. The name "Black Hills" comes from the Lakota words Paha Sapa, which mean "hills that are black". Seen from a distance, these pine-covered hills, rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie, appear black.
Enjoy the weekend - and look for a race review posting and pictures!