Sunday, February 2, 2014

Behind the Scenes

            Behind every race, performance, or competition, there are a lot of things that have gone on in order to prepare a person to get to that place.  I have certainly experienced that to be true as an athlete and a coach, whether it is volleyball, track, triathlons, running events, etc.  Recently, I have also taken on the role of a Race Director.  This experience has really opened my eyes to the ton of work that goes on behind the scenes in putting on a race, and I have a whole new level of appreciation to all the race directors out there!
Ever since I ran the Ashland Marathon in October, I have been working on planning a Half Marathon & 5K utilizing the gorgeous Three Eagle Trail.  I had trained on the trail in preparation for the marathon, which was a trail race.  I loved running the Three Eagle Trail, which was near our duplex in Three Lakes, and it was beautiful as it wound back into the trees and over wooden boardwalks and a bridge.  To my disappointment, the trail that the Ashland Marathon utilized, was not nearly as high of quality, or beauty, as it was also used for ATV’s.
            The Three Eagle Trail is almost exactly 13.1 miles (it will be adapted to be the correct distance), and the surface and scenery is perfect for a Half Marathon.  There will also be a 5K distance offered that will also be run on the trail.  It will be a point-to-point race, with runners being shuttled up to the starting lines (Eagle River for the Half, Petroleum Museum for the 5K), so that the Half Marathon runners will get to experience the entirety of the trail. 
There is a lot to do when it comes to putting on a race.  From choosing a date and time, planning the route, getting clearance from town boards, local police, figuring out aid stations, reserving port-a-potties, busses, timing services, and facilities, to finding sponsors, volunteers, and advertising, the task list just seems to be endless.  Fortunately, I have an awesome team that I have been able to work with: Tom Rulseh (President of the Three Eagle Trail Foundation), Sue Sharrow (local runner), and Laurie Levandoski (Three Lakes Cross Country coach).  I have also been blessed with a husband who has been willing to design everything (logo, medals, tshirts, website, etc) for us, putting in many hours of work for us.  I appreciate everything that you’ve been doing!  Our website just went live and you can check it out for yourself:!  The race can also be found on twitter, Facebook, and Like us, follow us, and most importantly, REGISTER!
This will be a worthwhile race to be a part of.  The 5K may be more suitable for most people, but the Half Marathon course is definitely one worth experiencing!  The trail was also featured on Wandering Wisconsin by Rob Duns last fall (Baya’s television debut as well!).  Thank you to Rob for all the behind-the-scenes work you did to put together a story on the trail!  Yes indeed, behind every great performance, there is a lot of work that goes unseen, but when it all comes together, it is worth all of the struggles and challenges that had to be overcome to get there.  It is, quite simply, a beautiful moment.  So mark your calendars for October 11, 2014 for the first annual Three Eagle Half Marathon & 5K, and thank you to everyone who has already been a part of this!

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