I was BOTH excited and nervous when Michele asked if I would design this years Kettle 100 shirt. Excited because I love the challenge as well as the race. I’ve spent many years at Kettle 100, either running the Night Run, pacing, or crewing. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year. The nervousness came from the worry of being able to create just a few months after losing my best friend, Logan Polfuss. This was also his favorite race... and also a weekend that he loved coming home from Colorado to visit with all his dear friends. I quickly realized that I needed this wonderful opportunity very much. So, i took it on....
I knew early on that I would connect with my friends within our Ultra Running community. Angela Barbera, who has competed in the Kettle 100 many times, (This year will be 13!!) was the first person I contacted to get an idea of what “Kettle 100/Kettle Race weekend” meant and looked like to her. “Looking up at the sky at night, Heather”, was the first response from her. In speaking with others, it was so evident how the prairie, the night sky, HUGE moon, and the lush green of spring was the first that was expressed. There is so much passion within the runners to begin with...and, to hear the love for the race surroundings and all that serves as emotional and physical strengths while trying to persevere for something they trained their A**** off for....was BEYOND inspirational to me.
I want to thank Michele for the opportunity. Michele’s trust in my creativity was an honor, to say the least. Thank you to Kurt Olinger for his “Concert Poster” inspiration, Jesse Santoro and Mikki Albiero from Homeward Bound Tattoo for helping me and creating the initial outline of my idea, and Jason Harris for pushing me forward with my crazy, bold design. Lastly, thank you to the those friends who allowed me to bounce around color ideas. I am grateful for the creation of the race shirt. I feel that Logan would be proud and excited...and, I believe with my whole heart that it was him that led me to the final piece. I want to wish the BEST of luck to all the runners in all the different distances! What an AMAZING RACE this is!!