From the Back of the Pack
I might always be in the back of the running pack, but I'm addicted to it! When I miss more than a day it affects my energy, attitude, and the rest of life in general! I have had a lot of "character" building runs in the deep snow, extreme nose hair freezing cold, ankle high rain, and gale force winds over the past twenty five years and find some of those days to be the most peaceful rewarding outings of all! I'm one of those runners who is slow and steady, but goes forever and ever without ever getting tired.
November 27, 2007: CHI RUNNING
Duluth has the opportunity to learn all about Chi Running which is a way to run virtually injury free! If there is enough interest, we will have a clinic on December 15 for two hours for $60 or $50 with a friend. It will be an inside only clinic since we need a clean, non slippery road or trail to run on and cannot guarantee one at that time of year.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday December 1 to let me know if you would have an interest in this.
This link has information about Chi Running.
November 14, 2007: THE YELLOW JACKET WHOSE IS IT?
Someone left a bright yellow long coat at Snowflake Sunday...we think it was Sunday and not Saturday...if you know who the rightful owner is, can you please let me know? It is probably a small female!
November 12, 2007: They are all smushed up!
We had almost 80 people and about 15 dogs at the Smush Da Tick's Fun Run Sunday. The weather was cooperative with temperatures in the balmy 50's. The course had a bit of snow on it, but everyone seemed to find their way back without any major slips causing injuries! Everyone made it back...we think...!
Thank you to everyone who suppported Gene and thanks to those who brought goodies to eat...!
A huge thanks to Midnight Sun, Ski Hut, Renegade Theatre, Snowflake, Fit in Duluth, Austin Jarrow, Grandma's Marathon and Advantage Printing for their various donations of door prizes, space, the clock, and water!
Another gigantic thank you to my day of crew who kept the course safe, cleaned up the course, helped with registration, and moved things here and there. Tim Krohn, Staci Gilpin, Chris Kelly, Kris the northlandrunner.com Kris, Jeanne Tonkin, Brett who works with Kris the northlandrunner.com Kris, and Candi Geary.
And thank you to those Vikequeens for allowing the 34-0 victory to happen!
November 6, 2007: THE COURSE IS READY
Ok...in two weeks I think I have pulled together one heck of a fun little event! The course is in beautiful shape and will be "idiot" proof...meaning that unless someone actually goes under a ribbon or runs blindfolded...they will finish! I got the nickname "flag" when I put on races in the cities because I overmarked the courses...we would run out of flagging!
The trail is mowed, wide, has some good hills at the beginning and is almost completely dry. There are a couple of bridge like things that one should tread delicately over, but it is in tip top shape!
I have many unique things planned for this event...! There will be door prizes, food, music, THE PACKER GAME ON THREE TELEVISION SETS I BELIEVE, and little suprises along the way!
Spread the word!
October 27, 2007: Mixed up Monster Dash
In my 25+ years of running and race directing or volunteering, I can honestly say this was the absolutely most disorganized, disappointing event I have EVER participated in. The DAY OF the race the course was even changed significantly!!!
There were many wonderful volunteers from the local hospital, however, the main contact and most of the volunteers were not athletic nor runners so they needed the guidance and communication from the race director at Team Ortho. One of the runners told me a lot of the volunteers backed out last minute because a few teams made it to state, there were so many volunteers I could not tell the difference!
The course reminded me of the Well's Fargo half...formerly the Minnetonka half I think??? It's been awhile...we ran through the neighborhoods, tons of turns, some hills, the houses were probably worth about $500,000 less or so though. The route duplicated itself for maybe 5 miles or so, and we ran the last few miles uphill into the wind! It was a 50' or so sunny day...felt a lot warmer though so the breeze was welcomed.
We ran into Team Ortho at the Grandma's marathon just like everyone else did and what they presented for the Monster Dash sounded like a blast to us! They appeared to be very competent race directors with a neato batch of Halloween runs for us to choose from...so we signed up and got our free socks,....unfortunately it was like a situation with a bad politician...all talk and no walk. We should have been clued in when we tried to register right away to be one of the first and get the jacket and it was not active for quite awhile!
The good parts of the event were:
* It was chipped
* They had Powerade, not Ultima
* Awesome Jackets
* We got a wicking shirt because of the mess up with the hats
* A ton of water stops
* Great idea and concept with the 5k timed, 1/2, 5k untimed and dog run.
* The decorations on some houses were nice.
* The timing company was out of Madison and very competent, I asked him why it was in Wausau rather than Madison and he hoped it would be in Madison next year...
* There was a nice man on a bike supporting one of the runners who also took other people's things as they got too hot. He was not affiliated with the race.
* 5k seemed to go well.
* Plenty of local friendly volunteers.
The bad parts of the event were:
* Mile markings were incorrect, they were short for the first four miles...or at least they seemed to be short to many of us and the biker who had the odometer.
* We were all there by 8:30am or earlier because registration started at 8:00am, and the chips and numbers were not ready until after 9:00, the race started at 9:30. We were very cold because it was like 35' in the open parking lot with the wind!
* The 5k numbers were ready before ours were, and they started at 10:00
* The volunteers were plentiful, but given no guidance and could not answer questions....examples ...at water stops, some did not know what to do, but some did....most of those at corners just sat in a chair reading and did not cheer us on or tell us to turn...water stop volunteers often did not know what mile they were at either.
* Mile markings were missing on middle miles
* No signs stating race in progress and with all the turns, there were MANY close car-runner calls.
* Some intersections cars did not have to stop, we did and they did not slow down.
* Rest stops had water and candy but , no vaseline, or some of the other things that would help out in a half that are not needed in a 5k.
* There were supposed to be hats, they forgot them or something, we never got a straight answer but were told they would mail them. I kinda counted on mine for after the race when I was sweaty!
* The costumes were supposed to be judged between 8:30 and 9:30...we worked hard on ours and thought it was one of the neatest ones we saw! Unfortunately, we were in line for the chips and numbers from 8:30 until 9:10 or later and then Staci had to warm up and I had to get ready too, so we were not seen much at all and not together!
* No one from the half marathon won any costume prizes which pretty much confirmed what we thought...we were not seen and ran in felt, WHICH DOES NOT BREATHE, for 13.1 miles for nothing!
* I was so hot from my costume and just thrown off by the disorganization that I messed around on the course, visiting with people at water stops and other runners, I took a leisurely walk through the woods at one of the parks too...had a record slow time for me by quite a bit.
* There were people behind me....and when I finished, they had things mostly taken down, were done with awards, and only had a few bars left to eat!
* Staci won 2nd place for women...and all she got was a $20 gift certificate to an online place, but that place is super neat... I'll put the site up here.http://revelsports.com/ check it out!
* There were no age group winners, just overall top three men and women.
* There were only chips and numbers...the numbers looked super cool, but there were only pin holes on the bottom of the number, not the top!
* No door prizes for those of us slowpokes!
* No information on where to find results. We are still searching!
* We heard there were only 140 registered, we thought maybe 100 ran which is really sad and had it been in a different town such as Madison they would have filled it.
Things we were hoping for since Team Ortho made such a HUGE deal out of this event having it in three cities simultaneously, having a booth at Grandma's, heck they gave us socks there...and more...these are a few things we thought we'd get or see...and were very disappointed that they were not there:
1. Race Packets/bags
2. Cheering from neighborhoods, the small town involved.
3. Cheering from all waterstops and turn people
4. An inside location to stay warm or a heated tent.
5. Door prizes
6. Medals or something for finishing
7. Age group awards
8. Music on the course since the radio stations were the water stops.
9. Better/more food at the finish line.
10. 1st aide!!
11. Better awards for winners especially since there were only six awards given for the half.
**This event had SO MUCH potential for creativity, fun, and more! It was such a HUGE disappointment to both of us and most of the other runners we talked to that at least Staci and I will not be participating in anything else that Team Ortho puts on.
We are wondering what their purpose was? The jackets and shirts? Those were totally awesome..probably the neatest race stuff I've ever had...but was it worth the rest of the crap...not really.
Our advice to you...there are plenty of events out there to do, skip those by Team Ortho and find another one!