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.
July 7, 2012: Aurora Run/Walk for Cancer and an Old Favorite
The Fourth Annual Aurora 5K Walk/Run for Cancer was held on Saturday, 6/23 on the west end of Oshkosh. I'm very familiar with the area since I drive past the Aurora Health Center every day on the way to work. All proceeds go to Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds for the benefit of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Oshkosh. If you don't remember, Vince Lombardi was the legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins who died from colon cancer on September 3, 1970. About a year after Lombardi's death, his widow Marie gave Aurora Health Systems permission to use her husband's name in its fund-raising endeavors for cancer research.
Compared to many run/walks I've attended, the Aurora 5K Walk/Runs had more of a festival atmosphere to it. There were many raffle items on display including tickets to a University of Wisconsin football game and Wisconsin Timber Rattler baseball game. WVBO 103.9 FM radio from Oshkosh was there with music and live reports. Some participants had their faces painted by an artist, and a clown was there to entertain everyone.
Since the event is primarily a fund-raiser, most participants entered as part of a team and are encouraged to seek sponsors. Although everyone ran the same course, organizers gave bibs to the runners only. Awards were given to the top overall female and male and then the top female and male in various age categories. The biggest trophy, however, went to the team with the most spirit.
Speaking of the course, it's one of the most runner-friendly courses I've ever been on. There are no hills whatsoever and only four turns. With the long straightaways and minimal turns, this course is definitely tailor-made for a P.R. With temperature in the upper 70s and some humidity, the organizers did a really good job pre-planning because there were two water stations and plenty of food and drink at the finish line.
Finally, my guess on the turnout is between 120 and 140 participants, much more than last year. Although I'm getting more leg-turnover, I decided to walk the event. I had a great time, and I'm looking forward to supporting next year's Aurora Run/Walk.
Now I'm going to transition from a fairly new run to one of the oldest running events in the Upper Midwest. As I mentioned in my first paragraph, the Sunday Lake Run celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. When I became a blogger for Northland Runner in 2008, my first blog was about the Sunday Lake Run. Two reasons why I almost never miss the Sunday Lake Run:
It's relatively short (2.8 miles) course with one complete loop of the lake.
It has a big post-race buffet (plenty of juice, sports drink, and lots of fruit and doughnuts).
This year, the Snowflake Aquatic Club took over sponsorship of the Sunday Lake Run from the Fire on Ice Women's Hockey Team. Fortunately, the transition seemed to go very smoothly as former race director Clarence Dalbeck was there to assist new race directors Jim and Diane Oliver. There were two well-supported water stations on the course, and two Beacon ambulances were on patrol in case of emergency. Despite temperatures in the low 80s, fortunately, everyone seemed OK at the finish line. Once I finished, I took about 20 to 30 minutes to cool down before heading back to Saxon. I had a great time seeing a lot of long-time friends, and my thanks go out to the Oliver family and Snowflake Aquatic for hosting another great Sunday Lake Run.
My next blog will be three weeks from now (weekend of 7/28) when I will write about two events in the Fox Cities. The first one will be the 9th Annual Bret Younger Run in Appleton Saturday, 7/14, and the second one will be a very rare Friday night race for me in Kimberly, WI called the Scheels Sunset 5K on Friday, 7/20. Take care, and good running!
Nice to see you at the Sunday Lake Run. Sorry I didn't get a chance to chat with you more after the race.