Monday, January 24, 2011

Icebreaker Recap

We had another successful event this year. The addition of the 5K race went well. It was low-key with only 41 runners and served as an excellent "dress rehearsal" for the weekend. Saturday was chaotic as usual with over 600 runners, including 400 marathon relay runners, taking part in the races. And then yesterday's marathon - our marquee event - went off without any problems.

I would like to congratulate all of the runners, including our winners: Dana Schulz (17:09) and Dawn Kussow (21:15) in the 5K; Eamon McKenna (1:09:26) and Julie Faylona (1:28:05) in the half marathon; Rodiez's Running Store in the marathon relay (2:16:58); Albertus Rohling (2:45:58) and Mary Flaws (3:15:56) in the marathon; and Steve Tietz (4:12:01) and Mary Flaws (4:49:05) in the Gold Medal Challenge. Albertus and Mary both finished 2nd in the marathon last year so it was nice to see them win, and Steve and Mary were repeat winners in the Gold Medal Challenge.

We had a very diverse field of runners which included many top area runners and people from 21 states and four countries (U.S., Germany, Denmark and the U.K.). The relay featured some national-class runners as well as a bunch of "weekend warriors" who were out there having a great time. The relay has turned into quite a show!

Everybody seemed to love the retro football jersey shirts that were given to the marathon and half marathon runners (although some of the women's shirts appeared to be a few sizes too small!). Hopefully next year we can find a way to come up with even cooler shirts.

If you are looking for photos of this year's event, go to Running In the USA. I would like to thank Bill Flaws for hanging around all weekend to take pictures and Mary Flaws for baking 60 dozen cookies in the shape of the United States that we gave out to runners all weekend. If you find any pictures that you like, you can purchase them right from the website.

I would also like to thank the race staff: Dana Schulz, Jaime Lee, Jeff Ferris, Brian Volkman and Bill Schneider, and Tracey Gessner and Anne Munkwitz from Fit Milwaukee. And thanks to Jenna Ochsenwald for your leadership role in packet assembly and packet pickup.

The sponsors also deserve our thanks: Running in the USA, Kwik Trip Stores, the Chiropractic Wellness Group, Serenity Now! Massage Therapy, GU, FRS Healthy Energy, the Give Shirt, Great Harvest Bread Company and of course the title sponsor, InStep Running & Walking Centers.

Special thanks goes to Rob Multerer, Randy Dean and the staff at the Pettit Center for making us feel so welcome. You went far beyond what was expected of a host venue.

We appreciated the folks from Bell Ambulance for hanging around all weekend and helping out with some medical concerns.

I would also like to thank:

  • Brew City Promotions and Jason Hisey for coming up with the retro football jerseys
  • Bay Six for the cool red tech shirts
  • Jamin, Erin and Sean at PT Timing for an excellent job of scoring the race (as I always say, a race is only as good as the scorers)
  • Larry at Technique Web for posting the results to the Indoor Marathon website in such a timely manner and for maintaining our website
  • The 50+ volunteers who helped with packet assembly, packet pickup, the water tables and other areas
  • The MedalCraft mint and Susan for the awesome finisher medals
  • Ruma Sports in Union Grove and Anne for the awards
  • TS Customs in Waterford for the signs
  • Rusty and Laurie at Fleet Feet-Brookfield for promoting the marathon relay in your store
  • Melinda Pedersen for picking out the coffee mugs and water bottles

Most of all I would like to thank the 800 or so runners who participated this weekend; this event would not exist without you. I know I have forgotten some others that played a key role in making this year's event such a success; there were many of you and your help is appreciated.

One of the highlights of the weekend was yesterday when Jenny Crain made an appearance at the race. For those of you who don't know Jenny, she is a world-class runner from Milwaukee who was seriously injured when she was hit by a car while running a few years ago. She has made a miraculous recovery and it was inspirational to see her at the Pettit Center yesterday with her mother and therapist. Thanks to runner and Lakefront Marathon race director Kris Hinrichs for your role in Jenny's surprise visit.

Based on the feedback I received from everyone this weekend, it was another successful event and we look forward to building on this next year.


ARose said...

Another great event! Well organized and easy to navigate. Any challenges you may have had were transparent to the participants.
Many THANKS to Chris and all the volunteers. Your upbeat attitude kept me going!

Paul L said...

Congratulations on a great event! I ran the 2010 indoor marathon, but this year I had the pleasure of volunteering at the water table on Sunday morning. My fellow volunteers and I developed a bond with "our" runners as we cheered, encouraged, and anticipated their hydration needs. And it certainly was not a thankless job as we had numerous runners stop by after their race to express gratitude for the support.
I'll be back in 2012, either as a runner or volunteer - it's too much fun to miss!