Teamwork. Kindness. Grit.
Race weekend is magic. It is the best example I know of that includes a large community of people working together to make dreams happen. It is a safe place that we find an instant connection to one another. There is something that each of us are good at and contribute to the success of the weekend.
2019 Kettle Moraine 100 gave us every challenge possible. The day started out sunny & fairly cool but soon showed us there was a battle ahead. Torrential downpour, shoe sucking mud, lightning, hot & humid weather, to a cool night with extreme fog. We were reminded nothing great ever comes easy.
On facebook we read some great advice from Jason Shrontz’s pacer- he told Jason during the race, “you might be done, but you are definitely not quitting this thing” Jason finished in 29:14:39. Nice job pacer- TEAM WORK!
A few race day highlights
We watched a daughter pace her Mom to the finish line. Pure joy! Congrats Lori & Kaci!
A child watched the runners at Emma Carlin and stated, “One day I want to be the youngest person in history to finish this race”
A dear friend of the Midwest trail community was hurting over the recent loss of his wife. He ran to honor her, and soak in the love & good energy of the trail running community.
Jason Dorgan, the previous RD of 18 years worked the Hwy ZZ aid station. Then enjoyed the 38-mile fun run at night.
Timo’s welcoming Kindness was at the 63-mile mark, which is where the start/finish line is. Timo worked along side Jason as co-RD and is famous for announcing, “100-mile runner going out!” for every runner that heads back out. My son Royal took on the responsibility of this important tradition.
Runners can look back at the weekend forever and remember the kind eyes of a volunteer feeding them hot broth, helping them safely cross the street, or a pacer running alongside them.
We are grateful for their crew following along and taking care of runners needs. It is a huge commitment- where they either watch their runner cross the finish line, or be forced to a stop and battle on another day.
The finish line represents many months of waking up early, or a late-night work out, all to train and prepare for the dream.
The race founders, Kris & Kevin Setness were at the race for support. They dreamed and started this race 24 years ago. They brought me a heart shaped rock, and said it was from their heart to my heart.
As in any endurance race, some of the runner’s races were cut short. Sometimes finishing a 100-mile race includes a DNF. For those people, remember this race was not a failure, it was your stepping stone to the finish we know you have in you. Come back and get it. We believe in you.
As the race organizer, the responsibility given of managing these dreams is huge. We respect the rich history behind this race and honor everyone that built it. It was truly an honor to take on this great race. I never dreamed that one day my son would take on Timo’s job of announcing “100 mile runner going out!”