Halloween Race Used as Motivation Through Pandemic

SUPERIOR, Wis.– The quarantine 15 was a phrase that came back in March as people were staying inside during the spring shutdown. But one Duluth woman used that extra time as motivation to become more active.

Ruth Maciejeski was like a lot of people at the beginning of the pandemic, stuck inside with a lot of time on her hands. As the days went by, she pushed herself to get in shape.

“The way that I encourage myself to get active is just to sign myself up for things I know I can’t do at that point and say ‘Now you got a reason. Now you have to do it,’” said Maciejeski.

One of the events Maciejeski signed up for was the north end nightmare, the 2 mile Grandma’s race held during the Superior Spooktacular. While it wasn’t her first race, it had been a couple years since her last race.

“We want people to be active and to live healthy lifestyles,” said Zach Schneider, Marketing and Public Relations Director for Grandma’s Marathon. “It has been tough through this pandemic because people have felt trapped and they felt like they can’t do anything. Running has been an outlet for a lot of different people.”

She began her training in June by jogging around her neighborhood. The training started by running a mile and every day she pushed herself just a little bit more.

“For me it was saying, ‘I’m going to make it to that tree, I’m going to make it to that stop sign,” Maciejeski said.

While it was hard to stay motivated some days, all the work that put in leading up to the race helped her lose more than 30 pounds and Maciejeski says she’s now in the best shape of her life.

One of her goals was to run the race without walking but she tells us that her bigger priority was just to have a good time.

“When I got started I was like ‘Holy cow, I thought I could do this but I guess I can’t and I couldn’t even make it a block and a half and I just kept on getting out there and doing it. Getting out and trying to run each day,” said Maciejeski.

The North End Nightmare isn’t the end of Maciejeski’s run. She’s signed up for the Thanksgiving Gobble Gallop and will run the William A. Irvin 5k on Grandma’s weekend and hopes to one day run Grandma’s Marathon.

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