Running a marathon and playing the blues, at first glance, have no connection.
But both activities will be prominent parts of the upcoming Labor Day weekend locally and there really is a bond between the two, if you look a little closer.
The bond? Both are examples of humans striving to be their best, one through meeting physical challenge and the other through creatively expressed the deepest of human emotions.
A certified Boston Marathon qualifying race, the Marquette Marathon has grown quickly in just its third year of existence. At least 560 people were signed up as of Wednesday to take part in the full, half, relay or kids marathon races that take place Saturday in the city of Marquette, starting from Presque Isle pavilion and traversing around the community.
Things kick off this evening with packet pickup for entrants, a race expo and the kids' fun runs, all at the Marquette Commons building on South Third Street a block south of Washington Street.
The races take place starting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Throw in a post-race picnic and an evening awards ceremony and you have a great day of fun, celebrating physical achievement. For more information, visit www.marquettemarathon.com.
On the musical side of things, blues lovers will have their favorite weekend of the year when the Marquette Blues Fest 2012 takes place Saturday and Sunday in Mattson Lower Harbor Park.
And really, everyone who claims to be a music fan should appreciate the blues. As Keith Richards once said, "If you don't know the blues ... there's no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music."
Some of the finest blues artists from our area will hit the stage, joined by some top national blues acts, making for a weekend of incredible music.
Topping things off will be the Festival After Party and Blues Jam which takes place at the Marquette Elks Lodge Sunday night, after the music in the park wraps up. Tickets for the jam are just $5 and afford the chance to hear more great music, improv-style.
To learn more about Blues Fest 2012, visit marquetteareabluessociety.org.
All in all, the Marquette area is in for another great weekend in what has been a fantastic summer season. We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy.