What are your beer runner credentials?
I’ve been a runner since track in high school, but I got into races starting this year. I did my first triathlon, first marathon and first Ragnar this year along with 5ks, 10ks and bike races. My coworkers and I have done many races together: The Lakefront Marathon, Pewaukee Triathlon, the Door County century ride, Ragnar TN. We also do weekly group runs as well as lunchtime cycling rides. Having this connection with my coworkers makes for a great environment to create and collaborate. Something about beer after a race or a long run hits the spot. Even if you didn’t really consider yourself as a beer drinker, it’s a must.
What is your post-run beer of choice?
You set a Guinness World Record for largest tethered marathon. What were the biggest challenges?
The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon was my first marathon. Our group of 62 runners, the Jennipede, were tethered together by a rope and carabiners to run for Jenny Crain. Jenny, a Milwaukee native, was a world class runner prior to being severely injured after being hit by a car while training for the trials prior to the Beijing Olympics. We raised just over $110,000 for her extensive rehabilitation and earned a Guinness World Record in honor of Jenny for the “most people linked together to complete a full a marathon”. Running tied to 61 other people was quite the challenge, much different then running at your own pace. There was no unclipping during the race, even for a bathroom stop. When one of our runners was cramping, we planned accordingly to power walk the remaining miles to finish the race. In the end, it was all worth it. To have Bart Yasso (CRO of Runner’s World) pushing Jenny across the finish line with us and presenting her the check is something I’ll never forget. It wasn’t about the World Record to us, it was about Jenny. From training together, raising money, and running together…this was definitely inspiring. And of course…there was beer at the end.
What was your relay experience like? How much beer and how much running?
Our company, Hanson Dodge Creative, position ourselves as America’s Leading Active Lifestyle agency because we have more experience connecting the passions of the active lifestyle consumer to brands. We were chosen by the Ragnar Relay Series as their Agency of Record. Many of our team spend time passionately pursuing active lifestyles. We knew we right away that we wanted to start up a team to run a Ragnar, an overnight running relay consisting of you and 11 friends, 2 vans, 200 miles and 36 legs/exchanges. We started out in Chattanooga on Friday morning, ran through the night and ended in Nashville on Saturday afternoon. The experience was unlike anything else I’ve ever done. We arrived in town Thursday night and went out for a pre run dinner and drinks at the Terminal Brewhouse in Chattanooga. I went for the Belgian White which was refreshing, while some of the guys tried out the Maibock, Black Ale and American Copper Ale. At the end of the race on Saturday afternoon, our two beer options were locally brewed in Nashvile. They were the Yazoo Dos Perros Ale and the Yazoo Hefeweizen. During the end of our race, our van was still finishing up. I was the last of the 36 legs to run…finishing in Nashville. My van dropped me off to begin my run and I was jealous of the fact that now the entire team was there at the end enjoying victory beers while I was finishing the last 5.7 miles of our 196.1. Going on 2 hours of sleep that night, I was ready for the finish line and my beer.
The hardest part of your relay?
The lack of sleep and knowing you had more running. I ran a total of 4 legs totaling a little over 20 miles within 24 hours on only 2 hours of sleep. But after my last leg all we wanted to do was celebrate. The best part for me was finishing the last leg. Running from the outside of Nashville through downtown, past all of the recording studios and crowds was a lot of fun…so much to see on the run. The rest of the team met me just before the finish line to run in with me to the end. We all got our medals and beers and we were on to a full night of celebrating out on the town, Nashville style.
What are your words of advice for someone interested in an overnight relay?
DO IT! It is an experience unlike anything else. Crazy. Fun. Bonding. You learn so much about those people you’re in a van with…maybe too much. The courses are beautiful, you’re running through farmland, cities…over mountains. It’s challenging and exciting. When nightfall comes it’s interesting to see how people behave…you’re starting to go on no sleep and running. For me, my night run was around 3am in the middle of nowhere, no one around. It got to be so foggy that I could only see a couple feet in front of me with my headlamp. You hear animals…but have no idea what’s around you. It is definitely something everyone should experience. Everyone from the HDC team is now ready for our next Ragnar. The plan is already being set to run Ragnar Chicago next year, from Madison to Chicago.
What’s your next big goal?
My next big goal besides signing up for additional races with my HDC friends, will be participating in the Million Mile March. Running 1 Million Miles in March. Raising $1,000,000 for Charity. I have joined Racers Against Childhood Cancer and am committing to run 100 miles in March.
Anything else to add?
Make it a point to get out and run…and drink a beer, of course. Lead an active lifestyle.