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.