Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Polar Bear Run 11/21

I spent the weekend in Texas, so to come home to frost on my windshield Monday morning really made things around feel like winter around here. But, things aren't truly Polar Beary around here until the snow hits the ground. So, surprise theme here, we are headed out for some trails this Saturday.

I may or may not run. While in Texas, I ran the half marathon as part of the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon. It was hot. It was humid. And the race was pretty expensive. So the only way for me to get my money's worth was to be out on the course as long as possible. A slower time = less dollars spent per minute running. So I went out and set a PW for the half marathon.

So my legs are beat up and I have some blisters that need to heal. If they do, I'll run. But either way, I'll be there and I hope all of you do make it for the run. Here are the details:

WHEN: Sat 11/21 at 8 am sharp
WHERE: Minnesota River trail
DIRECTIONS: 35W to 106 St.
East on 106 St. to Lyndale Ave.
South on Lyndale down a steep hill to parking lot.
From the lot, run right onto the trail.
ROUTE/DISTANCE: These trails run along the river. I recommend you run for time. Find a crew of runners with your pace and time. If you are uncertain of which group you should run with, come to me before the run and I'll help locate some friendly runners who run your pace.

Hope to see you Saturday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Polar Bear Run 11/14

I will not be at the Polar Bear run this weekend, as I will be in the great state of Texas running the half-marathon as part of the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon weekend. I'm excited mostly because I grew up there and it's nice to see family and friends. Plus I'm not in very good shape, so I'll be on the course for quite awhile. The longer I'm out there, the cheaper the dollars per mile rate I end up paying. So that means I'll have more money left over for food and drink. Or does it not worth that way? Anyway, on with the Polar Bear details.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I won't be there, but my partner in crime, Gary Nathan will be there to give directions and guidance.

When: Saturday, November 14, 2009. The run will start at 8 AM. Please arrive a few minutes early for announcements.

Where: Parking lot at Hyland Hills; parking lot entrance drive on the right side of the road after taking a left onto Chalet Road. Please see the Hyland Park directions link below

Distance: 5-8 miles or 8-10 miles. There is an option for a flatter course and fewer miles. Please ask one of the people doing all the talking (Gary or Marty... Marty keeps getting roped into Polar Bear duty. Blame me.) for the flat option.

For Hyland Park directions, click here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Polar Bear Run: November 7th Version

We are sticking with the trails-theme this week.

WHEN: Saturday 11/7 at 8 a.m.
WHERE: Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Jensen Lake Trailhead
1350 Carriage Hills Drive (off of Pilot Knob Road)
Eagan MN 55123
LINK: http://tinyurl.com/ygslcw6
The map and directions for Jensen Lake is the third map from the top as you scroll down.
BAGELS AND COFFEE BUFFET POST-RUN? 90% chance of not likely.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Polar Bear Sightings

Today the role of Colin will be played by Mike Nawrocki, only I'm not as witty or charming. But I do come armed with a lot of words and information.

Last Saturday marked the beginning of MDRA's annual Polar Bear program. The Polar Bears is a free, informal MDRA winter running group. We meet every Saturday at 8 a.m. through the winter (until the Spring Marathon/Half Marathon Training Program starts in late Feb/early March).

This year the Polar Bears will be organized by Gary Nathan and Michael Nawrocki (hey that's me!). Mike (hey that's me again!) and Gary are committed to making sure all runners of all speed and experience can find a group of people to run with.

If you are interested in joining the group, the information about each weekly run will be distributed in a Google group. Click here: http://groups.google.com/group/mdra-polar-bears to access the group and request to join.

Remember: the goal of the Polar Bears is to get as many of us out running in the winter. Power in numbers. No one is too fast or slow for this group. So bring your friends and family to this free runner friendly program.

As the winter season progresses, I'll send some updates and maybe some pictures of those brave enough to take on the elements. Last Saturday's Polar Bear Run didn't take a lot of courage since the conditions were perfect. We had a great turnout... around 40 runners, ranging from 7:00 mile pace to 11:00 miles. Folks ran anywhere between four and 10 miles. So come out and join this Saturday. There's a pace and a distance for everyone!

Until the snow covers the trails, we are going to try take advantage of all the great parks we have in the metro area (once the snow and ice hits, our options will be limited to paths that are plowed). This Saturday we are and Elm Creek Park Preserve in Maple Grove.

Details about this week's run:
Polar Bear Run 10/31/09
Halloween Saturday

Eastman Nature Center - Elm Creek Park Reserve
13351 Elm Creek Rd
Maple Grove, 55369

Free Parking Lot

8:00 am sharp (arrive 10 minutes early for route info)

4 - 7
7 - 10+
All paces welcome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wayne on homeplate or rather IN homeplate

Here is a historic shot of our RunMinnesota (& Minnesota Twins) photographer Wayne Kryduba standing at home plate at the Dome. This picture was taken following the game after homeplate was torn out on Sunday following the Twins playoff loss to the Yankees.

We finally captured Wayne on the other side of the camera!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MTCM Press Conferences

Twin City Marathon Press Conferences report by Pat O'Regan

The press conferences for the TCM racing weekend were held at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel in downtown St. Paul on Friday before the races. Elite athletes, both open and masters divisions, were featured, as were “Faces in the Crowd,” citizen runners with stories to tell. (But all the 25,000 runners participating in a variety of races have stories to tell.) Bits and pieces of what the athletes had to say would catch the attention of anybody who’s put on running shoes and dreamed of running a race well. Some of the content would even stir the hearts of non-runners.

Virginia Brophy Achman, executive director of TCM, Inc. and a runner herself, was the emcee. Kristine Smith, marketing and public relations manager, who seemed to be everywhere at once, managed the proceedings.

The weekend’s races featured three national championships:
· Men’s 10 Mile
· Women’s Marathon
· Men’s Masters Marathon

“Faces in the Crowd”

The Kummer Family

Lee, the patriarch, started running as a vastly overweight 205-pounder, going two miles in a devastating effort. Now, he’s run the Chicago Marathon ten times. The kids picked up on the Dad’s enthusiasm. A son and a daughter will be trying to qualify for Boston.

“Run with your kids,” Lee said. “It’s just the greatest experience you’ll ever have.”

Result: Meghan Kummer: 5:01:21, 2793 of 3557 women finishers

Tiffany Nagle

At age 26, Tiffany had a stroke. It happened while she was watching the TCM on Summit Ave. She had never seen a marathon before that day and showed, till that day, no interest in running. Everything changed as she made her recovery. This TCM will be her third marathon.

Fairview Hospital employees, Tiffany related, with some emotion, will be along the course to cheer her on. They must marvel at such determination and progress.

Result: 4:25:48, 1797 of 3558 women finishers

Steve Kalina

Many of you might have seen Steve in earlier TCM’s. He’s the guy with the short-cut hair carrying the American flag as he ran. Apparently, that was too easy. A Marine, as part of a promotion for the Corps “Toys for Tots” effort, Steve will be carrying a pack full of toys over the course of the marathon. “I’ll have to add sandbags,” he said, “to get the weight of the pack up to where I want it (about 50 pounds!). … I’m a Marine – I have never yet failed to finish a marathon.”

Result: 4:53:43, 4235 of 4921 male finishers (presumably, none of the others carried 50 pound packs)

James Engleking

James is a member of the Charter Club of the TCM – one of a select group who has run every TCM since its inception in 1982 (27 through 2008). This year he’ll be a spectator. In May and June, James spent five weeks in the hospital with a staph infection. To say that the enforced bedridden idleness must have been hard for such a determined and talented runner is to trivialize the matter. He choked up talking about it. His recovery started with ten feet of walking with the aid of a walker. Perhaps to him that was his first workout on the road to recovery. In any case, he’s now up to three mile runs. He spoke of running the TCM next year.

Men’s 10 Mile

Three of the top competitors spoke.

Abi Abdirahman

Abi is a three-time Olympian. He has a personal best in the marathon of 2:08 and holds the TCM 10 Mile course record (47:34). His goal in this race is 45 minutes, two minutes faster than his record time, which was set in 2007.

Abi said his training has been going well. He’s had several weeks of 140 miles, including 12 mile tempo runs and an hour of hill work.

As a native of Somalia, Abi sees himself as a role model to the large local Somali population – especially the kids.

Result: 46:35, first place

Jason Lehmkuhle

A member of Team USA-Minnesota, Jason was an All-American at 5,000 and 10,000. In 2006, he was second in the TCM, running 2:19. He was fifth in the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials and third this year at the USA 20 k Championship.

Jason was second to Abdi in the 10 Mile race in 2007, just 14 seconds behind (at 47:48).

Jason said his training has gone well, with “big weeks” of over 140 miles. Like Abdi, he has tapered for the 10 Mile, but will ramp back up in preparation for the New York City Marathon in November.

“I feel like I’ve run the course a thousand times,” Jason said. He lives near the 16-mile mark.

Result: 47:16, fourth place

Josh Moen

From Iowa, where he ran for years on rustic roads through cornfields, Josh was a 10 k All-American and five-time national champion. Recently, with five other elite marathoners (including Ryan Hall and Brian Sell), he participated in a relay marathon that set the U.S. record.

Josh wants to improve on his tenth place finish in the 10 Mile in 2007, when he ran the course in 49 minutes. He also is preparing for the New York City Marathon.

Result: 46:38, second place

At this point, Doug Logan, CEO of USA Track and Field, showed up, unannounced, catching Virginia by surprise. He smiled in greeting. With tailored suit, white hair, trim physique and stylish red glasses, he is the very model of gracious, debonair suavity. After a while, he comes forward obligingly, with a slow grace, more a glide than a walk, and speaks briefly. He is a man smoothly, quietly, easily in charge. He alludes to running himself. He looks fit; I wonder if he still runs.

Women’s Marathon

Three elite women marathoners spoke.

Robyn Friedman

Robyn was ninth in the Marathon Trials for the 2008 Olympics, after being 39th in the 2004 Trials. In 2007, she was fourth in the TCM, running 2:42.

She thought the winning time would be in the low to mid-two-thirties. She was third, behind Mary Akor (also competing in the marathon here) at Grandma’s Marathon in June.

As the TCM is the only opportunity in 2009 to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials, Robyn has that goal in mind.

“I plan to take it easy early on,” she said, “if the pace is okay for the A Standard for the Trials, and then run the last 10 k hard.”

Result: 2:36:44, sixth place

Sally Meyerhoff

Earlier this year, Sally won the 2009 25 k Championship. She was fourth at the USA 10 Mile Championship.

“A lot of the women have some time in mind,” she said. “I’ll run my own race and try not to make any mistakes.”

Sally mentioned the financial support the prize money would provide. Without a shoe contract, she said, she could use it.

Sally looked forward to the 2012 Olympic Trials. She was confident that she would have a shot at making the team.

Result: 2:35:49, fifth place

Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle

A member of Team USA-Minnesota, Kristen has had a stellar year in 2009. She was eighth at the USA 7 Mile Championship, seventh at the USA Half Marathon Championship, sixth at the USA 20 k Championship and fifth at the USA 10 Mile Championship (in 55:50).

Kristen commended the strong field for National Championship. “I need to focus on my plan,” she said, “and not get ahead too early.”

Her training distances have cycled up and down, reaching a maximum of 110 miles a week.

Result: 2:35:06, third place

Men’s Masters Marathon

Carl Rundell

From Michigan, Carl is a leader among the contenders for this championship. Last year, he was first in the Masters Division, running 2:28.

The weather is likely to be chilly, but Carl said he is used to the chillier weather.

“My training has been good,” he said. “All the hard work pays off. … I am looking forward to getting a win here.”

Result: 2:25:40, 22nd overall, second in the masters division

Women’s Masters Marathon

Susan Empey

Last year, Susan, of the state of Washington, was twelfth woman overall and second of the women’s masters in the TCM (running 2:50). That finish gave her the USA Masters Championship.

She said she is in great shape; her training has been going well, and she expects to compete at the front of the field. She recognized the tough competition she’ll have to repeat as champion.

Colleen De Reuck

From South Africa, Colleen is one of the premier masters runners in the world. She is the world masters 20 k record holder. Her personal record in the marathon is 2:26. She is a four-time Olympian. She is a threat in both the Open and Masters Divisions.

“I want to give it everything I have,” she said. “I want to know that I have given it my all.”

Colleen has been thinking of moving up to ultra-distance running after this year.

Result: 2:32:37, second overall, first in the masters division

Men’s Marathon

Two of the top men’s marathoners spoke.

Augustus Kavutu Mbusya

Augustus, a Kenyan runner, won the TCM in 2004, running the course in 2:13. He’s run marathons all over the world – Berlin, Houston, LA, Dubai, and so forth – and has a personal best of 2:11. He finished third in the TCM in 2007.

Augustus likes the TCM race a lot and thought the cool temperature would not be a bother.

Result: 2:13:03, second overall

Antonia Vega

Antonio was seventh at the USA Half-Marathon Championship. He races at various distances but likes the marathon best.

“Last year didn’t go the way I wanted,” he said. At 20 miles his legs were fine, but three miles later, they were gone. “It’s not over till you cross the finish line,” he said. “This year will go better.”

He runs 125 to 130 miles a week.

Result: 2:15:45, eighth overall


At the exhibition in the Riverfront Center there is a throng among the booths and tables. Many people are toting the plastic bags – race packets – that mark them as runners of one of the races. Runners are the happiest of people. Without the deep stuff being at ease, people would not be inclined to put themselves into physical grief. But here there is tension in the air. Many of the people with packets have fixed expressions, as if something harrowing were about to descend on them. They are, no doubt, thinking about the race. Almost a third of the runners of the marathon are running the distance for the first time.

The lady at the Minnesota Distance Running Association table was very friendly and encour-aging. She handed out copies of RunMinnesota and got people to fill out the raffle tickets. I added my name to the drawing.

Walking back to my car, I encountered a young man of perhaps 25.

“Are you ready for the marathon?” he asked.

“Oh, I’m not running,” I said. “I’m getting too old for that distance. – Are you running it?”

“Yeah, I’m going to try to get under four hours.”

“That’s respectable,” I said.

“Thank you.”

“What’s your last name? I’ll look for your time in the results.”

“Schliessen,” he said, smiling broadly. “Thank you.”

“Good luck.”

We went our separate ways.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

help me wrap my head around this...

Greetings, readers! Long time, no blog. I'm hoping one of you could shed a little light on something.

Last week, my wife and I were out for a walk around Lake Hiawatha. It seemed like a normal day, until a shirtless man came running down the path playing a guitar.

Running. Playing an acoustic guitar. At the same time. Groove on that image for a while.

I was just about enough to melt my brain. We need to find this guy and ask him what in the world he's doing! He was around 6 feet tall, long-ish dark hair, skinny as hell, and playing a nylon-stringed acoustic. My guess is he's going to try to break the world record for most miles run while playing a guitar - assuming such a record even exists.

It was the weirdest thing I've seen since this guy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Labor Day Victory Races - 10K & 5K

The MDRA Victory 10K & 5K are coming up Monday, September 7, 2009.

Both of these races offer a chance to finish the summer racing season with a fast time and great morning of camaraderie with your running friends and family. Immediately following the race enjoy a free picnic supplied by the Folwell and Camden neighborhood associations.

Time is running out to sign up for the Victory races at the pre-registration price of $25.
You can also do both races (the doubleheader) for an extra $5 but must pre-register to take part
in the scoring of the Doubleheader.

The kids half mile race is at 10:15 a.m. and is only $7 (kids shirts included)!

Pre- Registration:
To download and print a form go to raceberryjam.com for online registration through
Sept 5, active.com or in store registration at Marathon Sports through Saturday, Sept 5

Race day registration starts at 6:30 a.m. at the Webber Park Library

10K - 8:00 a.m.
5K - 9:30 a.m.
Kids half mile - 10:15 a.m.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Matt Gabrielson taking on the World

Sent from Berlin last night by our good friend, Nobby Hashizume (of the Lydiard Foundation).
Great photos of Matt on his way to a 2:18:41 and 36th place marathon finish at the World Championships.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Victory Races

The MDRA Victory races are three weeks from today! Join us for the 10K, 5K or kids fun on Labor Day, September 7, 2009.
This is a great end of summer event or a fast way to kick off your fall racing season. This fast course yields many p.r.'s and the weather is often perfect.

Pre-registration is $25/$23 for MDRA members or $30 for all on race day. You can do the double for $5 extra but must pre-register to be included in the double results.
Fun kids half mile and kids shirt for $7.

There is prize money for the 10k and it is also an MDRA Grand Prix event.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bumper Sticker Winners

The MDRA Board met last night and among other weighty matters had the duty of selecting the new slogans to grace the ever popular MDRA bumper stickers that are given away at Expo's.

The Winners are...

Running Spoken Here (MDRA Logo on the end)

Get your Run on...... ( a very popular one from many years ago that we recycled for the contest)

Look for these along with other great giveaways at the MDRA booth at the MTCM Expo in October.

If anyone has any other fun slogans please us know at runminnesota@gmail.com we may be doing some shirts and can always make room for one more catchy bumper sticker!

Thanks to all who participated in the contest!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Diane Goulett

Sad news that long time MDRA member and past Runner of the Year Diane Goulett passed away last week. The Star Tribune has a nice story about Diane that highlights her great running career but also shares with the readers the other passions in her life.

Friday, August 7, 2009

MDRA 15K and MHI 5K - Sunday, August 9

This Sunday is your opportunity to run a fast certified MDRA 15K or the family friendly MHI 5K in Edina. Both races start at 8 a.m. at the Abbott Northwestern Center for Outpatient Care just south of Braemer Arena off of hwy 169 and Valley View road.

There are only a few certified 15K's in the state, be a part of one this Sunday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Torchlight Run Slide Show

Wayne Kryduba the multi dimensionally talented photographer for the MDRA publication, RunMinnesota, has been busy this summer! Please check out his most recent slide show of the Torchlight 5K this past Wednesday, July 22 along with all of the races he has been shooting this summer.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Buzzards attack joggers!

And I thought it was scary having a few geese sneer at me occasionally during a run......this doesn't look like fun.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Bumper Sticker Contest!

Time to freshen up the MDRA Bumper sticker collection. Starting today, July 12th through July 30th we will have a contest for the two best slogans to be used on bumper stickers to promote MDRA.

The last winning slogan was good for alot of smiles and chuckles at the Grandma's expo, "I can run faster than your honor student!" other recent popular slogans were:
"get your run on......"
"I'd rather be fartlekking" - the all time most popular.

So get your thinking caps on and come up with something clever. The winners gets a fabulous prize pack of: A MDRA running hat, singlet and jacket!

Please email your selections to runminnesota@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

MDRA 10 Mile Training Program

MDRA is starting a new program to train for a fall 10 mile or half marathon. The program starts on July 29th and runs through September 30. The class will meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in Edina and Saturdays at 8 a.m. from various locations around town. Coaches Bill Knight and Debbie Bohmann are USATF certified!

Join us for an informational session on Wednesday, July 22 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Edina Community Center, room 351. You can find more info and registration information at www.runmdra.org

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rock for Broc - Tonight!!

Come out tonight and support a great cause, the Rock for Broc is to support Cindy Brochman and her fight against cancer.

Minnesota runners, triathletes, skiers and friends of Cindy are invited to the Rock for Broc fun run to help raise money for Cindy Brochman and her fight against cancer. The event is Tuesday, June 30th at Macalester College in St Paul, MN. The Rock for Broc Run is a one mile event with different time and age categories.

What: Rock for Broc 1-Mile Run
When: Tuesday, June 30th at 6pm
Where: Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN
Race entry is donation-based with a $10 minimum.
Preregistration is suggested and appreciated. For information on registration please visit:


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MDRA Fall Marathon Training starts tonight!

Join MDRA for Fall Marathon Training starting Tuesday, June 23, 2009.

We DO have TCM entries available. To find out more come to orientation at 7:00 p.m. at the Edina Community Center room 351.

For more info check out the website: www.runmdra.org

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Great Speaker line-up at Grandma's Marathon

Running Experts, Olympians, Gold Medalist to Speak at Grandma’s Marathon

(Duluth, Minn.) Athletes and running enthusiasts will have an opportunity to hear running tips and stories from some of the sport’s top experts during Grandma’s Marathon weekend. In conjunction with Austin-Jarrow, Grandma’s Marathon’s offers a series of guest speaking presentations on Friday, June 19, beginning at 1 p.m. in Edmund Fitzgerald Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). The presentations are free and open to the public.

Grandma’s Marathon Guest Speaker Presentations - Friday, June 19

1 p.m. - Scott Douglas, writer for Running Times Magazine
Scott Douglas is Web editor for Running Times. He is the co-author of four books on running, including Advanced Marathoning, and has published articles on running in publications as diverse as Runner's World, Weekly Reader, Slate and the Washington Post. Scott has logged more than 90,000 miles since he started running in 1979. He lives in South Portland, Maine.

2 p.m. - Carrie Tollefson, 1500-meter Olympian, 2004
Carrie Tollefson is recognized as one of the best runners ever to come out of Minnesota. She grew up in Dawson, Minnesota, and won 13 Minnesota high school championships in cross country and track. While at Villanova University, she won 5 NCAA championships individually and was a member of the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships team. Carrie joined Team USA Minnesota in 2001 and since then has been a three-time national champion (1500 meters, 3000 meters and 4k cross country) and a member of three U.S. World teams. She specializes in the 1500 and 5000 meter distances, and earned a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team for the 1500. In addition to being a professional runner, Carrie is also a television broadcaster and has provided commentary for many racing events throughout the nation. She will be part of the on-course radio broadcast team covering the 2009 Grandma’s Marathon women’s field.

3 p.m. - Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist
According to Runner's World Magazine, Joan Benoit Samuelson is "the greatest American marathoner in history." Joan will forever be remembered for her dominating performance against an all-star field in the inaugural Olympic women's marathon in 1984. She is the only American woman to date to win an Olympic gold medal in the marathon. Her resume also includes numerous national records (10K, 12K, 15K, 10 miles, Half-Marathon, 25K) and victories at the Boston Marathon (1979 and 1983). A Nike consultant and a clinician, Samuelson is a frequent speaker at running, health, and fitness clinics and does sports commentating. In 1998 she founded the popular Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She is the author of an autobiography Running Tide (Knopf, 1987), and Joan Samuelson's Running for Women (Rodale Press, 1995).

4 p.m. - Dick Beardsley, Grandma's Marathon course record holder
Dick Beardsley is known as one of the best marathon runners in U.S. history. Winner of Grandma’s Marathon in 1981 and 1982, Dick holds the course record with a time of 2:09:37. His most famous race, however, took place at the 1982 Boston Marathon where he crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 54 seconds, just two seconds behind Alberto Salazar. This personal best is still ranked the 10th fastest U.S. men's marathon time in history. After a series of accidents, injuries and life-altering events, Dick remains a prominent figure in the running community and travels around the world to share his amazing story.

For more information on the 2009 schedule of events for Grandma’s Marathon weekend, visit www.GrandmasMarathon.com.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Friends and Family running Grandma's this year?

Verizon Wireless to Offer Runner Tracking at Grandma’s Marathon
Registration Runs June 8-19 Online for Family and Friends of Race Participants

(Duluth, Minn.) If you’re looking to keep an eye on the progress of your favorite runners during Grandma’s Marathon weekend, Verizon Wireless has the perfect solution.

A tracking system will enable race fans to receive periodic runner updates through a text message or an e-mail. These updates, made possible by Verizon Wireless, will be accessible for all participants running in the 2009 Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, both on June 20.

Beginning June 8, family members and friends can log onto GrandmasMarathon.com and simply enter the name(s) of the runner(s) they want to track. They will be able to choose whether they want to receive the information through text message or e-mail by entering a valid wireless phone number or email address.

The signup period for 2009 runs through 6 p.m. on Friday, June 19 by logging onto the Grandma's Marathon web site or by stopping by the Verizon Wireless booth at the SMDC Health System Health and Fitness Expo on Thursday and Friday, June 18-19.

“By extending the signup period through June 19, we expect even more family and friends to track runners via text messaging this year,” said Nancy B. Clark, president-Verizon Wireless Great Plains Region. “As a 17-year sponsor of Grandma’s Marathon weekend, we are pleased to provide new data communications services to enhance the race weekend for all participants and their fans.”

This marks the second year that major sponsor Verizon Wireless is sponsoring runner tracking via text messaging and e-mail. Last year, the service proved popular with more than 4,000 spectators signing up and more than 9,000 e-mails and nearly 28,000 text messages delivered during the half marathon and marathon.

"The runner tracking technology was a wonderful addition to our event last year and we are excited to showcase this unique program again in 2009," said Laura Bergen, director of event and program development for Grandma's Marathon. "Having access to runner updates in virtual real-time is a great way check the progress of a family member or friend on the course.”

This enhanced tracking technology is a joint effort between Grandma’s Marathon, Verizon Wireless, ChampionChip Minnesota and MarathonGuide.com.

In all, nearly 17,000 runners and 50,000 race fans from around the world will participate in the 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon weekend, which is presented by Target, Toyota and Wells Fargo Bank Duluth.
For more information, visit www.GrandmasMarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon adds 10K to Saturday events

Inaugural TC 10K offers further opportunity to take part in Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon weekend, October 2-4

(Minneapolis, MN) As part of National Running Day, Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. announces the addition of a new 10K running event, which will headline races on Saturday of Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon weekend (October 3-4). The TC 10K will start the day, known as “A Day of Fun for the Whole Family”, as an opportunity for those who’d like a challenge to the 5K distance that has been part of race weekend for more than 20 years.

“We recognize participants of marathon weekend continue to challenge their endurance and increase their distances, so we are hoping the addition of this new 10K will offer runners a bridge between the 5K and the popular Medtronic TC 10 Mile, which takes place on marathon Sunday (October 4),” said Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. executive director Virginia Brophy Achman. “An addition to race weekend is something we know we’ve got space for on Saturday and the continued strength of this sport in Minnesota, and on marathon weekend, means we have the chance to include even more participants in this annual fall marathon weekend tradition.”

Registration for the TC 10K is online at www.mtcmarathon.org and via paper registration, as well as day of opportunities to register. Cost for the inaugural 10K is $25.00. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. in front of the State Capitol in St. Paul (MN), ahead of the TC 5K, Diana Pierce Family Mile, Half Mile, Toddler Trot, Diaper Dash and Mascot Invitational.

About Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon WeekendThe Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America® is recognized as one of the top marathons and great road races of our time and registration is currently underway. Join us as the tradition continues October 2-4. The three-day weekend celebration of fitness includes a 5K run/walk, children's fun runs, pasta dinner, health and fitness expo and Medtronic TC 10 Mile, in addition to the marathon. Medtronic is the title sponsor of marathon race weekend events. New this year, the “Best Seat in the House” contest will award one marathon participant the opportunity to experience their run the same was a professional runner in our Championship races. Visit mtcmarathon.org for more information.

Monday, June 1, 2009

City of Lakes 25K registration now open!

Time to start thinking about that fall marathon tune-up and this is the perfect race to get you to that p.r. time. Registration is now open! New wrinkle this year is MDRA members get a $2 discount off the already super reasonable entry free! And if you are a USATF member chop another $2 off.....


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Are you ready to Tri?

You don't have to admit it but you may have some tri geeks as friends, check out this new tri site by Tri Announcer Extraordinaire, Jerry MacNeil. He will keep you up to date on who is moving and shakin on the tri scene this year both locally and nationally.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Procrastinators have 6 days left!

May 26, 2009

Grandma's Marathon Registration Closes Monday

Sign Up Online at www.GrandmasMarathon.com

(Duluth, Minn.) Time is running out for runners to sign up for next month’s 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon. Less than a week remains until registration for the nation’s 13th largest marathon closes June 1.

The 26.2-mile race from Two Harbors to Duluth is Saturday, June 20 and has more than 8,200 marathoners registered. Capacity for the 2009 event is 9,500 participants. The online entry form and registration information are available at www.GrandmasMarathon.com.

Last year’s champions, Lamech Mokono and Mary Akor, are both expected to return to defend their titles from a year ago. Akor, the women’s division winner in 2007 and 2008, will be looking to become just the second runner in Grandma’s Marathon history to win the race three times.

Registration is closed for the two other races held during Grandma's Marathon weekend — the 19th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the 16th annual William A. Irvin 5K. The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is Saturday, June 20 at 6:30 a.m. and the William A. Irvin 5K is Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m.

In all, more than 16,000 runners and 50,000 race fans from around the world will participate in the 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon weekend, which is presented by Target, Toyota and Wells Fargo Bank Duluth. Grandma’s Marathon weekend kicks off with the SMDC Health System Health and Fitness Expo Thursday, June 18 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC).

For more information on any of Grandma's Marathon’s races or events, visit www.GrandmasMarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Running Streaks

Check out what MDRA Grand Prix founder and still current scorer Hal Gensler has been up to for oh say the last 19+ years.....

7,000, 9,000, 11,000 days in a row - runners won't quit
by Connie Midey - May. 14, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
For anyone unable to muster the energy or time to jog an occasional mile, what some runners do is unfathomable.

Craig Davidson, 55, of Phoenix, has run every single day since Nov. 5, 1978. That's 11,149 days in a row, as of today, of rising at dawn, lacing up his running shoes and hitting the streets.

Hal Gensler, 62, of New River, hasn't skipped a day since Dec. 4, 1989, a total of 7,102 days.
And Robert Bartz, 74, of Phoenix, racked up 9,246 consecutive days before an injury told him it was time to slow down. He ended his streak with a run on his 70th birthday.

"It was really hard to stop," he said. "I took the attitude that you brush your teeth every day, and you need to move every day."

They are among an elite national group known for one thing: running every day regardless of bad weather, injury, illness or any number of life's obstacles that can trip up the most dedicated enthusiast.

Mark Covert, a 58-year-old teacher and coach in Lancaster, Calif., may lead the pack of these resolute runners. He holds the longest registered streak, starting July 23, 1968. Unless something stands in his way, he'll reach 41 years, or 14,975 days, on July 22.

But streak runners let nothing stand in their way. Not a broken kneecap nor 119-degree temperatures nor the imminent birth of a child.

And when something finally does, "they're devastated," Gensler said. He has talked with a few of them, and he hopes to avoid their ranks until his streak hits 25 years. That's more than five years away, a realistic goal, given his current good health.

His and the other men's perseverance - and this until lately has been largely a male preoccupation - has earned them membership in the U.S. Running Streak Association. (The gender imbalance may be due to a previous lack of competitive distance-running events for women, women's predisposition to knee- and hip-overuse injuries and their worries about running alone, the group's founders and fitness experts say.)

Joining the USRSA registry (runeveryday.com), which is operated on the honor system, is like publicly declaring a New Year's resolution: This is what I promise to do, come blizzards, cross-continental flights or repetitive-trauma injuries.

Members must run at least one continuous mile each calendar day under their own power, the only exception being for runners with prosthetic legs, said association president John Strumsky.

But for certain members, a 1-mile run is barely squeaking by, something you do only when an ambulance is waiting to take you to the emergency room.

Strumsky, 69, wasn't satisfied with just one streak. For more than 15 years, he ran a minimum of 1 mile twice a day. He also ran in at least one race a month for 22 years.

"I'm a little bit hard-core," he said from his home in the Baltimore area.

One stormy day this winter, ice glazed the street where he usually runs, so he dressed in layers and headed to a nearby soccer field. There, he knew, his feet would crush through the ice to the dead grass underneath, giving him at least minimal traction for his run.

The end of his running streak occurred Feb. 9, after 9,395 days, or 25 years and 263 days.

Davidson, who works at Runner's Den in Phoenix, averages 12 to 13 miles a day. He can count fewer than five times, which he dismisses as "soft" streak days, when he ran the minimum.

"Running with a torn hip flexor was the toughest," he said.

The broken kneecap and the suspected burst appendix presented challenges nearly as daunting. But the day his wife, Irene, was in labor with their daughter might only have made Davidson run a bit faster.

Gensler averages 7 miles a day, cutting back during tax time - he's a certified public accountant - and taking the miles a little more slowly than when he started his streak.

Running when you're sick or injured "is not any fun," Gensler said, "but I don't get sick very often. And if I get an injury, I just run through it."

A windy, 25-degrees-below-zero day in Minnesota didn't deter him. Nor did a 119-degree day in Phoenix. But an unexpected snowstorm in Happy Jack, where he and his wife, Janet, used to have a cabin, came close.

On that day, Gensler decided running a mile's worth of circles in the unfurnished, 12- by 15-foot basement of the cabin would have to do. He duly logged it in that year's record book, one of a collection that tracks his every mile, including track workouts and races.

He knows it all sounds crazy. But Larry Woodruff, an exercise and wellness faculty member at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus in Mesa, gets it.

"I'm a bit obsessive myself," he said. "If I don't do some kind of physical activity every day, I don't feel quite right."

While managing fitness centers years ago, Woodruff saw how daily exercise improves people's brain waves, reducing the potentially harmful epinephrine secreted under stress and increasing the feel-good endorphins. For distance runners especially, exercise becomes addictive.

Besides, he said, solid research indicates that one of the most effective ways to develop and maintain a good habit is to turn it into a ritual, and that's what streak runners are doing.

"Running every day is something you just do, period," Woodruff said. "You don't think about it. You just do it."

He stays fit, however, in a way he considers safer: varying his activities. His main cardio-respiratory exercise is bicycling, which is easier on the joints and less likely to cause micro-tears in the connective tissue than running every day. The USRSA encourages participants to ease into a running streak.

But lest anyone think all this is too much pain for the gain, streak runners say their rewards go far beyond the health benefits that may have motivated them in the beginning.

The desert surrounding his New River home is a Siren luring Gensler outdoors every day.

"I like to run where there aren't a lot of people around, so I can think about different things and take it easy," he said. "It's relaxing, most of the time."

Bartz, who traveled as vice president of marketing for General Foods, Nabisco and Nestle, saw sights and experienced moments he won't forget during runs at home and in about 55 other countries, on all seven continents, before ending his streak.

"It's like living on a different plane," he said. "I would love to get back to it."

Reach the reporter at connie.midey@arizonarepublic.com

or 602-444-8120.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

USA 1 Mile Road Championship

Story filed by RunMinnesota writer, Patrick O'Regan

On May 7th the USA 1 Mile Road Championship races were held on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The races – women’s, then men’s – took place on a lovely evening, perfect for a short run, and with crowds of full-throated fans lining the Mall. It was a positive thrill to see the elite runners, among the best in the country, charge past, just a notch or two less than full speed, hell-bent for the win and for the times (4:28 and 4:00) that were set for the $10,000 bonus prize.

Preceding the Championship races, some 3,200 citizen runners – many outstanding athletes among them – coming in waves, starting a few minutes apart, swept down the Mall, helped along, like the elite runners to come, by a rolling cacophony of cheering. The citizen-races were fitting preludes to seeing some of the best milers in the country compete. In all, the evening was a memorable event for a fan of the sport.

The afternoon before the races, the runners held a press conference with the local media in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Mall near the finish line. Panels of the top women and men runners answered questions and generally made themselves available for interviews. A few words on the press conference, then the races themselves, might be of interest.

The Press Conference

The press conference was well-attended – perhaps 30 people – but the ratio of outstanding runner to spectators and media was about one to three. Seldom will you see so little attention paid to so much talent. In other countries – African countries – these runners could not walk down the street without being waylaid by admirers. Perhaps it’s better. The nicest people in the world can be corrupted by money and fame. The gracious Hall and Rowbury, Rankin and Torrence might become impossible characters.

All the top runners slated for the race were there. Some people in the audience were notable, too. Ryan Hall, the best American marathoner and husband of Sara Hall, one of the elite milers, was there. Ryan was third in the Boston Marathon this year; seventh at the Beijing Olympics, following a terrific run around Central Park in the Olympic Trials. This is a runner way beyond the imagination of a citizen jogger. He looks small, shy and a little scruffy in his blue jeans and baseball hat. He is sloughed in his chair and has a pained expression. Perhaps he’s annoyed because he has to sit still.

I can no longer run one lap of a track, shattering myself with the effort, as fast as Ryan Hall runs 105 of them, without a break. In other words, if I ran the marathon in relays – 105 of me, in turn, giving it all I had – I would still be way behind him when he crossed the finish line. He and the other elite runners in the room leave a citizen runner star-struck.

What must life be like to run as these elite men and women do? Is running just another part of life besides the things that count for much more? Are these runners preoccupied with being among the best in the world at something as fundamental as running? Are they self-involved? It doesn’t seem like it.

Taking the women’s panel first:

Shannon Rowbury (4:20)

Shannon won the 1500 in the Olympic Trials and is currently the highest ranking American woman in the mile and 1500. She placed seventh in the Beijing Games (4:03). She had to be considered the favorite in the race, though, as she pointed out, she hadn’t raced since last fall.

Shannon gets away from running by attending live concerts from time to time, but says that she is prohibited from having much of an active life, apart from running, because of the rigors of the sport. She leaves the impression of someone consumed by running. Many years ago, marathoner Frank Shorter said, “That’s what it takes.”

Sara Hall (4:25, road)

Sara’s goals in running are to make the Olympic Team in 2012 and win a National Track and Field Championship. She might have a marathon in her future. The Twin Cities marathon? she asked herself.

Sara works for her church as a way of getting something besides running into her life. She was recently training with her husband at altitude.

Carrie Tollefson (4:27)

Carrie, a native of Minnesota, made the finals of the 1500 at the Athens Olympiad in 2004. She’s had a raft of injuries, but is getting back to full speed again. Her goal for the race is a fast time – to come away from the race feeling she had run it well.

Having for years been steeped in running, Carrie’s motivated now to have more balance in her life. “We should use all the gifts we have,” she said.

“The race will be over so fast,” she said. “It’s pretty cool. … My wheels are more for the 5 k.”

This brings back memories. I recall standing before the TV watching the women line up for the finals of the 1500 in Athens. Like a lot of fans, I’m sure, my thought was – Why is she running this race? Wouldn’t she have a better shot at a medal in the 5000?

“Okay, ladies, now it’s a 400 m race. Run like mad.” Given that scenario, and knowing that the runners are after medals and not records – so the race will likely be tactical: decided by a mad sprint in the last 300 m – isn’t it likely that the top three in the 400 will probably be in the medals or close? And isn’t it also likely that the last three will not be in the hunt for a medal?

Jim Spivey, the fine American miler, had made the Olympic team in the 1500, but went up to the 5000 before the next Games. “I could no longer run a rested 400 under fifty-two seconds,” he said. He was fourth in the Trials in the 5000.

It’s just a fan’s assessment – and presumptuous.

Emily Brown (4:37)

Emily qualified for the steeplechase in the 2008 Trials. She combines being a professional dietician with running. She uses what she has learned from her career for her training.

Emily’s goal is the U.S. Championship in the 5k.

Now the men’s panel:

David Torrence (3:57)

David is the indoor 3000 m champion this year and the winner of the Puma Mile.

“What’s important to me,” he said, “is staying healthy, recovering, stretching, doing the little things right.” He says he loves to compete, and run against a great field.

Kyle Alcorn (4:00)

Kyle won both the NCAA Indoor 3000 and the NCAA Steeplechase Championships.

“The mile is a great test,” he said. “With this, I’ll see where my conditioning is at. He plans on concentrating on the steeplechase after this, with an eye on the U.S. Outdoor Championships.

Jon Rankin (3:54)

Jon has the fastest time in the mile and 1500 coming into the race. He won the Falmouth Mile Road Race in 3:57.

Jon’s strategy is to go out hard and run the whole race fast.

Jordan Fife (3:59)

Jordan was third in the mile on Nicollet Mall last year. The course has changed, however. Now it is a straight route till a slight curve at the end.

“The slight advantage I had” (from running the course last year), he said, “is largely lost.”

Jon thought the winning time would be sub-four-minutes or close.

Darren Brown (3:58)

Darren won the Boston Road Race Mile earlier this year. In that race, he got away early enough to hold on for the win, taking the last two laps of the roundabout course alone.

Darren broke four minutes last summer. His strategy is to stay relaxed as long as possible.

A question was asked about Olympic 1500 m Champion Rashid Ramzi, who was caught – appar-ently – for drug use during the Games. (The drug allegedly used was Cera, an EPO-like red blood cell enhancer.)

Darren Brown said the situation was sad but not surprising. (Ramzi has long been the subject of suspicion.) His approach would be to legalize the practice, but require the athletes to declare what they are taking.

True enough, this approach would devalue any drug-enhanced performances. But I’m reminded of the two-page photo spread in Outside magazine a couple years back. It showed the cyclists – men of 20, 21 and 22 years old – who had died in recent years. There were ten of them. Leaving aside Marco Pantani, who died of a cocaine overdose but was suspected of using performance enhancing drugs, these young guys died of heart attacks brought on by the use of EPO. Like Ramzi, they were boosting their red cell counts. But their blood became so thick that it could not flow freely through their coronary arteries.

Jon Rankin said it breaks his heart to learn of the cheating in track and field and other sports. “We have God-given gifts,” he said, “and we should use the gifts we were given. … This puts our own efforts down. People think it applies to us, too. It’s not fair.”

Friday, April 17, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon registration opens today

28th Annual medtronic twin cities marathon registration opens Friday

Registration for Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America® to open to first 11,000 registrants.

What: Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Registration (online only)

Who: Runners from across the country and around the world; and Medtronic Global Heroes

Where: Online at mtcmarathon.org

When:Beginning at 12:01 a.m. , Friday, April 17 until full (Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon takes place October 4)

About Twin Cities Marathon, Inc.
Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. is the non-profit organization that organizes running events throughout the year, including the 5th Annual Medtronic TC 1 Mile, 28th Annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, 11th Annual Medtronic TC 10 Mile, 23rd Annual Medtronic TC Family Events & TC 5K and Medtronic TC Kids Marathon program and related events, as a community service for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Visit mtcmarathon.org for more information and on our Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. page on Facebook.

About Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend
The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America® is recognized as one of the top marathons and great road races of our time. Join us as the tradition continues October 2-4. The three-day weekend celebration of fitness includes a 5K run/walk, children's fun runs, pasta dinner, health and fitness expo and Medtronic TC 10 Mile, in addition to the marathon. Medtronic is the title sponsor of marathon race weekend events. Participants come from 50 states in the United States, as well as 18 countries. New this year, the “Best Seat in the House” contest which will award one marathon participant the opportunity to experience their run the same was a professional runner in our Championship races will. The 2009 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in host of the USA Women's and Masters Marathon Championships. Visit mtcmarathon.org for more information.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Get in Gear update

Press release from GiG. Long story short, go register. Soon.

Inaugural Get in Gear Half Marathon Almost Full;
April 25 Race Starting Times Change

Minneapolis - April 2, 2009 - Get in Gear's new Half Marathon, which will be held in conjunction with the 32nd running of the Get in Gear 10k on April 25, is expected to reach its limit of 1,000 participants within the next two weeks. In addition, registration for the event's signature 10k is already 10 percent ahead of entrants at this time last year.

Race officials also announced changes in the start times of the various Get in Gear races as follows:
* The 2k with the Fit for Fun participants will begin at 8:00 a.m.;
* The 10k and Half Marathon will start at 9:00 a.m. (with the 10k elite wave at 8:56 a.m.); and
* The 5k will get underway at 9:20 a.m.

"Once we finalized the course for the half marathon, we realized it made sense logistically to start the 10k and half marathon at the same time rather than 30 minutes apart," said Paulette Odenthal, Get in Gear executive director. "This will be the first year for the half marathon and I think it is going to be real successful. We're certainly pleased with the response and are confident it will fill prior to race day."

The half marathon participants will run the same course as the 10k until the 5.5-mile mark when half marathoners will continue on to an out-and-back portion to complete the 13.1 mile distance. All races start and end at the same location in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. Runners will be timed by disposable chips - with a Get in Gear logo - that they can either keep as a memento or recycle at the event.

Participants in the inaugural half marathon will receive a commemorative drawstring backpack. Course maps for all the events, including the half marathon, can be found on the race web site at www.getingear10k.com.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

new product announcement

Looks like thee folks at Gatorade decided to capitalize on the demise of Sparx and Zima. They just put word of this new product out to running clubs:

According to Gatorade spokesperson April Fhules, "Gatorade is expanding their post-workout beverage line with the introduction of GatorBrew®. This family of refreshing, lightly carbonated beverages features electrolytes, complex carbohydrates and an alcohol content of 5.2%."

There's no way I'm saving this for after a run. It takes a long time to run a marathon. Might as well crack a GatorBrew at mile 18 and get nice.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

something for the ladies

Romain Mesnil is a French pole vaulter looking for a sponsor. So, he did the logical thing and produced a video of himself vaulting nude.

This fella has chutzpah.

Friday, March 27, 2009

another free race is this weekend

The 2nd free MDRA race of the spring, the MDRA 7 miler, is Saturday, March 28th. Sign up at the race (Cross of Glory Baptist Church in Hopkins) registration begins at 7:45, race at 9. Due to construction, there's new (still hilly) course this year!

Not that you need another reason to run a free race, but there will be Great Harvest cookies and bread at the finish.

Awwww yeaaah.

Friday, March 20, 2009

weekend racing

Looking for a bargain race? The Lake Johanna 4 mile tomorrow! It is the first race of the MDRA Spring race series, and is FREE for MDRA members. Anyone who wants to race and isn't a member can join MDRA race day ($25 for one year membership). Registration at 10:00 a.m. Race at 11:00 Info at www.runmdra.org.

Also this weekend is The Human Race 8k. Its the 2nd race of the MDRA Grand Prix.
If you want to sign up before the race to be counted do it online today at http://www.needtorace.com/MDRA/.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

William A. Irvin Press Release


Field Increased to 1,500 for June 19 Race

(Duluth, Minn.) Online registration for the 2009 William A. Irvin 5K opens at 12:01 a.m. (CDT) on Wednesday, March 18.

To register, runners should sign up at www.GrandmasMarathon.com. The $30 entry fee includes an official event T-shirt and commemorative pin.

This year’s field capacity has been increased to 1,500 — an increase of 300 from 2008, when the race filled in just over two days.

“Even with the additional spots we still expect this race to fill quickly, so we encourage runners to sign up as early as possible,” says Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma’s Marathon.

The 3.1-mile run begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 19, near the permanently docked William A. Irvin ore boat on Duluth’s waterfront and is the first of three major running events during Grandma's Marathon weekend. Registration remains open for the 33rd annual Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday, June 20, while registration for the 19th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is closed.

Runners and race fans from around the world will participate in the 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon weekend, which is presented by Target, Toyota and Wells Fargo Bank Duluth. For more information, visit www.GrandmasMarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I was hoping it wouldn't come to this

All week long, I've been jawing on about why you should join MDRA. Unfortunately, our membership hasn't dramatically jumped like we'd hoped. So, its time for plan B.

MDRA's top scientists have been working on plan B (code-named "Project Grey Duck") all week. Last night they succeeded. Wondering what terror awaits?

We've re-animated the corpse of John Dillinger, and if you don't join MDRA he's coming to get you.

I'll spare you all the gory details about how they revived Mr. Dillinger. I will say that it was surprisingly easy, what with all the medical companies headquartered in Minnesota. Dillinger is being held in a secret location and is not a happy camper, I assure you. He just wants to get back to his old bank robbing, dame-chasing, tommy gun-toting ways. We told him he could, just as soon as all runners who aren't MDRA members get a good "talking to".

Come on, runners. Don't make me be the bad guy here. Don't make me set un-dead Dillinger loose on Minnesota.

Join MDRA.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

you don't have to be Minnesotan to join MDRA

Here's a bit of member drive day four MDRA trivia for you; You don't need to live in Minnesota to be a member of MDRA.

Many of our members live in, not surprisingly, border states like Wisconsin and North Dakota. We also have members who once resided in the land of 10,000 lakes, but moved away.

There are a number of Arizona-based MDRA members, and at least one in New Jersey. We even have a confirmed MDRA member living in New Zealand, which is about as far away from Minnesota as you can get before you start coming back again.

Why would people thousands of miles from Minnesota be MDRA members? Check this out...

If you've been following our member drive, you might have noticed the first comment on Monday's post. Here it is;

"So, just found you when I did a google search for Rocktane. After breezing through your blog, makes me wish I were running in Minnesota...well, sorta. Minnesota's really, really cold! Keep up the great blogging!
Running Happy (in warm North Carolina)

(If you're wondering about the Rocktane refernce, I talked about it here and here.)

Wow. Someone in a nice, warm climate read some rambling about the Minnesota running community and thought, "That sounds nice." She (I'm guessing she since Toni is spelled with an "i") wrote that after reading about our winter running... in a place that has freakin' palm trees!!!

As much as I'd like to take credit for Toni's reaction, my writing has nothing to do with it. If it weren't for all of you Minnesotans out there supporting our events, classes and races, there wouldn't be a thing to blog about. There wouldn't be enough stories to fill an issue of Run Minnesota magazine. Other MN blogs like Down the Backstretch and Running Minnesota would have sparse content at best.

Runners in far-flung locales want to be MDRA members because Minnesota is the kind of place they wish they could run. Thank you, MDRA members. You make us look good.

P.S. If Toni leaves North Carolina for Minnesota, I'll buy you all a drink or something.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

operators are standing by...

Welcome to day three of our MDRA member drive! Today we'll be sharing some conversation snippets from the MDRA phone bank. Remember, operators are standing by to renew your membership or sign you up as an MDRA member.

Operator: Thank you for calling the MDRA member hot line! How may I help you?

Caller: Yeah, Hi. I'm an MDRA member and I need to renew my membership.

Operator: I can help you with that sir!

Caller: Sweet. Hey do you have any group runs in the East Metro? My running buddies are injured and out of commission for a couple weeks.

Operator: I don't know of an East Metro group run, but you could always look for people to run with on our Facebook group.

Caller: I'll do that. Thanks!

Operator: Thank you for calling the MDRA member drive! How may I help you?

Caller: This is chief of police. We need your help, Batman!

Operator: I'm sorry, sir. You called the wrong number. This isn't the Bat Phone.

Operator: This is the MDRA member drive. How may I help you?

Caller: Hi. I'm a competitive runner and I just moved to Minnesota. Do you guys have a race team? I just finished college & really want to continue racing to stay in shape.

Operator: Absolutely! The MDRA team races the USATF-MN summer race circuit and the fall cross country circuit.

Caller: Killer! I want to join.

Operator: Thank you for calling the MDRA! What can I do for you?

Caller: Hello. I used to be a member, but I took almost a year off from running after my baby was born. Do you have any programs that could get me moving again?

Operator: You're in luck, we have a Beginning Women's Running class starting soon.

Caller: That sounds perfect! Can I still use my MDRA Membership to get a discount on running shoes? I'm going to need some new ones after such a long break.

Operator: Yes, you can still receive a discount on shoes at local running stores.

Operator: Thank you for contacting the MDRA member drive! How can I help you?

Caller: Good day to you, sir! This is the ghost of William Randolph Hearst.

Operator: Uhh...How can I help you?

Caller: I wish to join your organization. I'm quite fond of a good foot-race, you see. However, I do not wish to receive any electronic correspondence. I'm a publisher! Also, Alexander Graham Bell owes me $2.00 and I shall not line his pockets by communicating by tele-phone wires. Do you have news-paper to offer your constituents?

Operator: Well, as an MDRA member you'll receive Run Minnesota magazine and our annual running log/race calendar.

Caller: Bully! I adore the printed word!

Operator: I'll sign you up, sir.

Operator 2: Is that the ghost of William Randolph Hearst again?

Operator: Yeah.

Operator 2: These things were so much easier before he learned how to use a phone.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

and the MDRA member drive rolls on...

Welcome to day 2 of our first ever public call for membership. I wish we could do a fun, live member drive like MPR. Unfortunately, we can't.

Fortunately, my mind (which is all tuned up on caffeine and endorphins) can imagine one for you. I present myself (board member Colin) and Heidi (office manager and the glue that holds us together) as we take to the radio to spread the word

Colin: Hello, and welcome back to our first ever MDRA member drive! I'm Colin and with me is Heidi.

Heidi: Hello every one. We just want a moment of your time to highlight some MDRA membership benefits.

Colin: That's right Heidi. These are year-round benefits our new and returning members enjoy.

Heidi: We all know that running during the long Minnesota winter can be hard. It's tough to motivate yourself to run when the temp is below zero. That's why MDRA supports the Polar Bear group outdoor runs and indoor running at the Metrodome.

Colin: But it isn't just training where we help out.

Heidi: Yes, we put on a Spring race series every year that is free to MDRA members. We also sponsor many other races. You can help us by spreading the word to your running friends who aren't already MDRA members.

Colin: Totally! We're nothing without our members. You gotta join or renew man!!!

Heidi: Uhh... yes, renewing members help us sustain our organization. Many of our members let their membership lapse for a month or two before renewing.

Colin: I myself let my membership lapse this year when I forgot to renew at MDRA annual party. Please don't hate me, Heidi!!

Heidi: Oh...kay? Well, that just shows that anyone can allow membership renewal to slip their mind.

Colin: We don't have time for lapsing! The economy is going down in flames and we need member support to make it! If you join now I'll wash your car. Promise!

Heidi: (in a hushed voice to Colin, "Keep it together, man!") Um, speaking of the economy - an MDRA membership will get you a discount on running shoes at several Minnesota stores. You will easily recoup your membership fee with perks like free races and discounts. Tell your running buddies about that and you'll be a hero.

Colin: That's right. And if you join right now, I'll mow your lawn.

Heidi: Its snowing.

Colin: I'll shovel your driveway. I'll babysit your kids! We need members!! The sky is falling!!!

Heidi: (Again, in a hushed voice to Colin, "The economy isn't as bad as you think. Our members will continue to support us. Mellow out!")Um... getting back to our member drive...um... the MDRA programs committee puts on several running classes per year. We have everything from beginning running to Spring and Fall marathon classes. Many members enjoy the coaches and camaraderie so much, they return every year.

Colin: (Sound of a bottle of Night Train opening, followed by several gulps.)

Heidi: We know all of our members and potential members are spending less these days. That's why we want to remind everyone that an MDRA membership can help you save money and stay plugged in to the Minnesota running scene we all love.

Colin: (quiet sobbing) I just opened my 401K statement. (loud sobbing)

Heidi: Don't forget, MDRA members receive Run Minnesota magazine which is full of stories about Minnesota running, photos and race results.

Colin: We got a blog and a Facebook group too.

Heidi: Yes, there are many ways for our members to connect with us. We'd like to thank all of you for taking time out of your day to listen to us and to support MDRA. Remember, you can join or renew your membership online.

Colin: (sniffle)

Heidi: Thank you again for your support.

Monday, March 9, 2009

membership drive

NPR does it. Jerry Lewis does it. Now MDRA is hopping on the bandwagon.

A lot of non-profit groups take to the air waves to drum up membership and raise funds. We at MDRA have none air waves (insert your own fart joke here) that we are aware of, so we're raising awareness via ye olde blog. I promise I'll make it entertaining.

I'll kick off the membership drive via a story from board member Norm, which he shared at tonight's MDRA meeting. And I'm paraphrasing here...

"At the Mudball last year I was being my usual witty conversational self (I think Norm said "loudmouth", but its membership drive and I'm getting all hoity-toity on ya) and chatting with various passers-by at the registration table. A group of guys ran by and I shouted out, "How many of you are MDRA members?" One guy, out of five, enthusiastically responded,"I am!" To which I (and I = Norm, remember?) responded, "Well get the rest of those yahoos to join MDRA!"

I couldn't have said it better myself. MDRA has all sorts of killer classes, fantastic coaches, and we can get you discounts on shoes at several MN retailers. I should clarify, we can get you a discount on running shoes. If your thing is next season's Ferragamos, you're on your own.

Over the remainder of our first ever membership drive, I'll outline all the reasons you should remain an MDRA member and all of your yahoo friends should join. Perhaps by friday, you'll have recruited a couple of yahoo friends yourself. And really, how cool would that be? The economy is less than stellar (insert editorial sobbing) and you are in the position to save the runners you love a few bucks while supporting local runner-centric businesses.

And when the economy turns around, your new MDRA friends will owe you a solid - like some surf & turf or a treadmill or something.

Friday, February 27, 2009

wipeout - with graphs!

No, not the good kind of wipeout.

I started a lunch run last Thursday (around Cedar Lake) before the snow storm started. In the last mile and change, I fell three times in rapid succession on the snow covered ice. It was really easy to see the ice on the way out - not so much on the way back. The first fall was the worst, the others not as bad.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my fancy Garmin 305 GPS doodad (yes, that's the technical term for it) captured all sorts of spiffy data while I was making sure gravity still worked. Here are a couple of screen shots from the last portion of my run. See if you can tell when I hit the ground.


Elevation. Seriously, elevation:

Hooray for technology.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dueling Runners

I have never been, but I hear tell of a bar in the Warehouse District where pianists duel each other. Colin has invited me join in and help out with the blog, not that he needs any help. Sometimes expanding and building doesn't always make things better, but I am really excited to get the chance to share this blog with Colin. Consider this a virtual Shout House

My name is Mike Nawrocki and I am a new board member and if anything strikes my fancy, running related, you'll find me posting here.

So with that being said, I should probably have something more to say than "I've never been to the Shout House." You know, something running related.

Ummm, let's see.... thinking, thinking. Oh yeah, I went running this morning in running gloves that were still a little wet from last night. So my running gloves were actually wet rags and my hands were super cold. Thankfully I was running with my MDRA Racing Team teammate, Nathan and we ran to his house so he could lend some of his warmer (and more importanly drier) gloves. Those gloves saved the run and possibly my fingertips.

So a big thanks to Nathan. I was really careful throughout the run not to wipe my nose on the gloves, using my sleeve instead. When we were done I told Nathan I think I would wash the gloves for him, but I had done a pretty good job of not contaminating the glvoes. But then I pointed to one spot, and said, "Well except for there."

To which he replied, "Who knows? It's been awhile since I washed those gloves."

Ugh. Gross. Like really gross.

Winter running cannot end soon enough.

Friday, February 20, 2009

we get press releases

Here's some new from the Minneapolis Park Board. Dig it.

Minneapolis residents will get a chance to share their ideas on biking, skating, walking and running in Minneapolis parks at a series of meetings in February. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will host public meetings on the Bike, Walk and Roll Plan, one of the first activity plans to be initiated to develop a new Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the MPRB. Meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on:

* Monday, Feb. 23, Lynnhurst Park, 1345 Minnehaha Pkwy. W.
* Thursday, Feb. 26, Wirth Chalet (Fireplace Room), 1339 Theodore Wirth Pkwy.

The Bike, Walk and Roll Activity Plan will set the programming and infrastructure guidelines for biking, in-line skating, walking, mountain biking, hiking, running and BMX riding in Minneapolis parks.

The 2007-2010 MPRB Comprehensive Plan approved in 2007 calls for the development of activity plans that outline the delivery goals, benefits, facilities, operations and maintenance required to provide each major recreation activity (or group of similar activities) in the park system. The plans will be used to guide capital improvement and facility maintenance programs.

For language accommodations call 612-230-6472 at least 48 hours in advance. For more information about the meetings or the call 612-230-6400 or visit www.minneapolisparks.org - Capital Improvements.

Jennifer B. Ringold
Citywide Planner
(612) 230-6464

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MDRA in the news

MDRA office manger Heidi has a nice writeup on the Gear West website. She is interviewed by Curt Wood about the role MDRA plays in the running community.

Read it. Off you go!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Would it kill you to call your Grandma once in a while?

Hot off the press (or internet...whatever) is a press release from Grandma's Marathon. Marathon registration is now open & Bjorklund Half registration opens tomorrow.
Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Registration Opening Soon

(Duluth, Minn.) Registration for June’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon begins Wednesday, Feb. 18. The race entry process is conducted through a lottery in which 4,500 participants will be randomly selected.

Beginning Feb. 18 at 12:01 a.m. (CST), and continuing through 8 a.m. March 2, registration will be available at www.GrandmasMarathon.com for all half-marathon hopefuls. Lottery participants can submit their registration any time during the 12-day online registration period. Participants will be randomly selected and their acceptance into the race will be confirmed via e-mail no later than March 5. Those runners not selected will receive an e-mail notifying them that their entry was not among those chosen.

The entry fee for the 2009 race is $75, plus a processing charge. Only those 4,500 runners selected through the lottery will have their credit cards charged.

The 19th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is Saturday, June 20, at 6:30 a.m., and is run on the second half of the Grandma’s Marathon course.

Grandma’s Marathon Update

Grandma’s Marathon has been selected as a 2009 USATF Minnesota Championship race. USATF Minnesota members receive a discount on their marathon entry fee and are eligible for awards. Being designated as a USATF Minnesota Championship event also automatically places Grandma’s Marathon in the nine-race USATF Minnesota Team Circuit competition.

The field for the 33rd annual running is more than two-thirds full as 6,400 marathoners have signed up for the June 20 race. The registration period began on Jan. 15 and will remain open until the field reaches 9,500.

For more information on any of Grandma's Marathon’s races or events, visit www.GrandmasMarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.

2009 Grandma’s Marathon Online Registration Schedule

* Grandma's Marathon (Limited to first 9,500 entrants)

* Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (4,500 entrants selected via lottery)
Lottery registration open Feb. 18 through 8 a.m. March 2

* William A. Irvin 5K (Limited to first 1,500 entrants)
Registration opens Wednesday, March 18

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Marathon training class starts soon!

Believe it or not the MDRA Spring marathon class is starting next Tuesday! (orientation only) first run is Saturday, Feb 21 from the ECC at 8:30.
More info on our website www.runmdra.org and online registration at: http://www.needtorace.com/race.php?calendar_id=4909

New wrinkle this year is the addition of Fargo training along with Grandma's.

Next Tuesday orientation info:
There will be a registration/informational session from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in room 350 at the Edina Community Center.

Monday, February 9, 2009

TCM Scholarshpis

The Twin Cities Marathon is giving out a couple of college scholarships this year. Will these be the most beautiful urban scholarships in the country? All signs point to 'yes'. Press release below.

Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. partners with RBC foundation-USA to offer $5,000 college scholarships

Annual scholarship to be awarded to one female and one male Minnesota high school student athlete

(Minneapolis, MN) –RBC Foundation-USA has joined Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. to offer two $5,000 college scholarships to area high school seniors with a passion for running, a dedication to academics and a commitment to their community.

The scholarships are available for one male and one female college-bound high school senior living in the eleven county metro-area. The application process is open through March 1 and applications are online at mtcmarathon.org. Recipients will be selected on academic achievements, community service, running accomplishments (in either cross-country or track) as well as a personal essay. The funds can be used to attend a public or private institution.

"This year, RBC Foundation, USA has partnered with Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. in an effort to help promote kids helping kids in the community," said RBC – USA Foundation President Martha Baumbach. "Local elementary schools kids are busy running throughout the school year, with an overall goal to run 5,000 miles. RBC Foundation will match a dollar per mile, with $2,500 dedicated to the scholarship program, and $2,500 to the school that runs and logs the most miles throughout the school year."

This year’s scholarship recipients will be notified in May. McKenzie Melander from Eastview High School, in Apple Valley, and Pieter Gagnon from Washburn High School, in Minneapolis, were the 2008 winners. Melander, who attends University of Iowa, and Gagnon, who attends University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, were selected from more than 100 top track and cross-country runners who also excelled academically and within their communities.

"We are very fortunate to have the chance to partner with organizations who share our passion for promoting healthy lifestyles for young people in Minnesota," said Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. executive director Virginia Brophy Achman. "We hope that this scholarship offers student athletes further opportunities to continue to pursue their passion for the sport of running throughout their collegiate years."

For more information, and an application, visit mtcmarathon.org/Partners/Scholarships.cfm.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

things and stuff

Good news from Duluth:
"Participants in Grandma’s Marathon’s races this June will once again be allowed to use headphones, race officials have announced.

USA Track & Field (USATF) recently amended rule 144.3(f) effectively lifting its previously imposed ban on headphones and other music devices. USATF is the governing body for long distance running events in the United States."

Start working on those marathon playlists, people.

In other marathon-ish news, B.J. Van Beusekom from Brooklyn Center celebrated his 30th birthday by running on a treadmill for 24 straight hours, covering 80 miles. I celebrated my 30th birthday by going to Buster's on 28th Ave for a bison burger and 3 pints of Surly Furious.

B.J. wins.

And in totally crazy news, there were 8 running finishers in the Arrowhead Ultra Marathon this year. 135 miles. In Northern Minnesota. On foot.


Friday, January 23, 2009


News from the frozen half... in everyone's best interest, it's not a half tomorrow. Your extremities will thank you. From the race director:

Just a note to let you know that the half marathon course has been shortened to approximately 6.5 miles (or half of the marathon distance) for tomorrow. The start time will remain the same at 9:00am.

The 5K race will go on as scheduled and start at 9:15.

The half marathon turnaround is just East of 35E on Sheppard Road and will be at the break in the median there so that runners can go westbound on the way out and eastbound (or with traffic ) on their way back. We will move the water stop to this point and will be serving individual bottles to the runners. This should make it easier for volunteers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

MDRA annual party tomorrow!

Don't forget, the MDRA Annual Party is tomorrow, January 17th at the 2nd Floor cafe of the Edina Community Center.

11:30 - 1:00 pizza, pop, ice cream - socialize
1:00 - 2:30 awards, door prizes (two Garry Bjorklund half marathon entries, Grandma's entries, MTCM entries, Medtronic 10 Mile entries, Fargo, Get in Gear....and the list goes on!)

Be there.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

how crazy are you?

You may have noticed a lack of activity lately here on ye olde runblog. That's because it's like, really really cold, and I haven't been running much because of it. I'm OK with my wussiness.

So, who is the craziest among us? Put your personal temperature/mileage record in the comments. My best is an 8 mile run at 15 below zero. I wore 5 layers top & bottom, so it wasn't that bad. It wasn't that awesome either - but I survived.

So, who can top that? Right now there's a guy in Embarrass laughing his ass off at me after running in -40 degree weather.

Normally I'd take my hat off for that kind of feat, but today my ears would get frostbite if I tried it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

avoid snow - run inside tonight

Just a last-minute reminder that the MDRA Grand Prix gets underway tonight, Monday, January 12th, with the Meet of the Miles. The race is held at the U of M Fieldhouse at 6:15 p.m.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

you gotta get up to get down

Get on up next Saturday, January 17th and cruise over to the ECC for the MDRA Annual Party. The shindig starts at 11:00 & includes free pizza and pop, prizes, MDRA Grand Prix awards and everything else that is running-related and fun.

Many of our members renew their membership at the annual party. If you haven't renewed yet & want to continue receiving our magazine (pictured below), the Annual, discounts on running shoes & everything else an MDRA membership provides, swing by and renew next Saturday.