Monday, January 19, 2009

Race Director Comments

First, let me say that I have been humbled and amazed by all of the positive emails and comments about the race from the runners. This was a first-year event and this was the first time any of us had organized and planned a race. So to read all of these glowing reviews is heartening. We worked very hard for the better part of a year to put on this event. A group consisting of myself (Chris Ponteri), Jaime Lee from InStep, Dana Schultz (a volunteer) and Rob Multerer, who is the director of operations at the Pettit Center, met on a regular basis and worked out all of the details for the race. We had no idea they would come together this well on race-day. I offer my heartfelt thanks to Jaime, Rob and Dana for their dedication. You are the reasons this worked so well.

Of course the four of us cannot take all of the credit. Here is a list of people who all deserve to share in the success of the day:

*Don Weyer for his patient work in measuring and certifying the course
*Al @ Alan John Photography, the event photographer
*Matt Baum and Mizuno USA for their sponsorship
*The Outpost for providing the yummy post-race "bars"
*The Pettit Center staff, especially Randy Dean and Rob Multerer
*My wife Karen for her patience during these past few weeks
*My fellow InStep co-owners John Ochsenwald, Tom Labisch, Bob Corby and Calvin Deutsch, as well as the other employees (Meaghan, Serena, intern Mackenzie, Peter and others) who contributed their time and efforts to making the race a hit
*Sean Gavigan and his staff at PT Timing for scoring/timing and results
*All of the InStep Racing Team members and Badgerland Striders who volunteered their time on race-day
*All of the other volunteers who were there bright and early to help us
*Volunteer Kelly, who has been the subject of some of the most positive comments from runners who appreciated your positive attitude at the water table (and for complimenting me on my taste in music!)
*Tom Held and Mike Sears at the Journal Sentinel for their excellent coverage
*Lance Allan at Channel 4 for making sure we got pre-race coverage during his sportscast
*Channels 6, 12 and 58, as well as JP at Time Warner Sports for their race-day coverage
*Bryan Schneider, the race winner, for running a courageous race. The most amazing thing about an indoor marathon is you get to see the same runners 95 times, and with Bryan you could tell he was running his hardest every time by
*Milwaukee County Supervisor Chris Larson, who not only ran in the race but also issued a County Proclamation in honor of the race before the start
*All of my co-workers and friends (especially secret agent 2911) for their patience and support
*Runner Geoff Harris for the research
*Runner Nic Giebler for the inspiration
*Runner Dave Jesse for helping out with the TV interview and being such a good guy (even if you were trying to trick me into thinking you were a 4:40 marathoner)
*Runner Bill Schneider for all of your input on the logistics and also the pace charts
*Ann at Ruma Sports for worrying about the medals and plaques so I didn't have to
*The guys from Curtis Ambulance for being on-site....just in case
*Pat Pretty at the Wisconsin USATF for help with sanctioning the race
*Dick Daymont, the race director of the Zoom Yah Yah Indoor Marathon in Minnesota for all of your sage advice and wisdom. You are the premier indoor marathon race director in the land!
*Michelle at for your guidance in promoting the race outside Wisconsin
*Runner Matt Sveum for being the first person to register for the race
*Runners Paul Gionfriddo, Larry Macon and Dave O'Brien for your great attitudes. You are fantastic role models for the younger runners.
*Sharon Mirande for designing and creating the race logo
*Drew Olson at for "breaking the story" of the indoor marathon way back in August
*Runner Heather Kos for winning the women's race with a smile on your face; in fact, the entire day you seemed to be smiling, even when you arrived at 6 a.m. after a rough drive in
*Olu Siguwade for doing a bang-up job on the national anthem
*Volunteer Jeff Ferris for taking on any role we gave him, including substitute PA announcer. See you on Boston in April!?!?!?!
*The guy who last January suggested on the Badgerland Striders message board that someone put on a marathon at the Pettit Center to rival the one in Minnesota. That was my inspiration to create this unique event.
*Most of all I would like to thank the runners who participated in the event. The InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon was created for you and was a success because of you.

I know I have forgotten some people and I will update this post as they come to me.


Chris Ponteri, Race Director


Anonymous said...

Way to go everybody! I can guarantee that the race will fill up MUCH faster next year because of the great job you all did this year!

Anonymous said...

just curious...was this the inspiring post from the strider graffiti board?

ultra at the pettit
cameron 2/16/2007 10:36:44 AM
with the cold temps as of late, i've been spending more time running in circles at the pettit...which got me thinking...what a great place to stage an ultramarathon event! the temperature is perfect and the bathrooms are a step up from port-a-poties. heck, it could even be a summer event to shield competitors from the heat/humidity outside.( about moving the f/x 24/12 hour event to the pettit???)just my 2 cents...

IP= -- Post viewed 200 time(s)

Race Director said...

No, that was not the inspiring post. Someone (probably the race director) had posted about the indoor race in Minnesota, and someone suggested they do the same thing at the Pettit Center.

Anonymous said...

this must be it then...

RE: Indoor Marathon
pettit fan 1/22/2008 09:51:30 AM
At the Pettit Center, a marathon would be a mere 93.5 laps. I could see a small group doing it, raising pledges to pay for resurfacing the track.

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Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the news story about the race.

Race Director said...

I believe that is the post that was my inspiration, or possibly it was an earlier post, and that one was the response to it. Thanks for digging that up.