Mark's Badgerland Blog
Greetings from my hometown of Saxon, WI! I'm going to write about running events throughout Wisconsin and the Western U.P. of Michigan; many of these events you may have never heard of but aren't too far away from the Twin Ports. I look forward to share my thoughts and experiences with you as both a recreational runner and race organizer.
May 5, 2012: Mark's 2012 Race Season - Lots of Charity Events and Fun
I can't believe it's been Thanksgiving since I've written a blog, but just think of it as my coming out of a long hibernation. I've been going out for some walk/runs three to four times of week, but I've been unable to attend many races. Fortunately, I've been to a couple of races in the past month I've going to discuss here, and I'm going to attend a very big race in Appleton next Saturday, May 12. However, I'm going to be selective on my races this year, focusing on run/walks for charity and maybe an event or two I've haven't been before. For the second straight year, I probably won't run in a half marathon or marathon but I won't rule out doing one in 2013 or beyond.
The first race I'm going to tell you about is the Second April Fool's 5K Run held on Friday, March 30 in Appleton. On Thursday, I made the trip to Orthopedics and Sports Institute (OSI) in Appleton from work in Oshkosh to pick up my packet. I got in and out within five minutes, so that told me immediately that organizers “were on the ball.” The weather was absolutely perfect, too, with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 50s. The only reason I'm bringing up Thursday's weather because the next day Mother Nature threw a double whammy on the participants: very light drizzle, wind from the North, and temperatures in the low 40s. Typical runner's luck!
However, we runners and walkers always adapt to changing weather conditions, right? I wore my bright yellow windbreaker and black running pants at the start line at OSI so I was plenty comfortable. The route was relatively flat with several turns. The finish line was at the Players Choice Sports facility near Appleton North High School. The big highlight after finishing was live music by a 5-piece rock band. The finish line food was pretty basic but good: bagels, orange slices, and bananas. The sports fabric t-shirt was beautiful with a yellow background with multicolor lettering. The race started around 6:00 p.m., my finishing time was under 45 minutes, and I was on my way home before 7:30 p.m. Overall, I had a great time and a good way to jump-start my weekend.
Two weeks ago (Sunday, April 22), I participated in the 5K portion of the 6th Oshkosh Half Marathon and 5K Run. Usually this event falls on the same weekend as the Fitgers 5K but I decided this year to stay close to home. Between both events, there were over 1,800 participants. The start line was on Main Street in downtown Oshkosh and the finish line was at the beautiful Leach Amphitheater right near the Fox River. We ran (or in my case, walked) with the half marathoners for the first mile, and then we went our separate ways. The weather was really comfortable with temperatures in the low 50s, and, most importantly, no wind! I had plenty of company during my jaunt, and Gloria West and her Midwestern Sports Events team were very generous with the finish line food. The best thing about starting a 5K race at 7:00 a.m. is I'm all done before 8:00 a.m.! Participating in an event like this and Fitgers in good weather is why I love April so much.
Finally, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, next week I will enter the very popular St. Joe's Run in Appleton. Last year's event drew over 8,000 people, and all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. My friend Gary Agkuilian is the race director and one of the nicest guys I know in running. Gary loves to participates in endurance events, too, such as the Fox Cities Marathon and Birkie. In closing, I want to wish all the moms who read Northland Runner a very happy Mothers' Day and I promise it won't be another six months before I write another blog!
Are you going to take part in any of the local runs. I always enjoy seeing you and visiting with you.