Dear Lorraine and Rachel;
On behalf of the 670 runners (and their families, kids, and friends) who participated in today's Hypo Half-marathon I want to send you my personal thanks for a job well done. From start to finish (x 3) the race was spectacular beyond description. I know you took a big gamble going with three heats over the traditional two heats but, you know better than anyone, nothing worth accomplishing is without risk. You took a huge risk and it paid off tenfold. For that you should be very pleased. Here's some highlights from my simple perspective
1) The trails were in spectacular shape! I know from years of running that this just doesn't just happen out of the blue. I suspect you and your connections have been grooming them for weeks. Aside from a little ice in Assiniboine Parks the trails were stellar. And the hoar frost on the trees was a visual treat! Thanks you!
2) The start seemed better organized than in past years. The huge warm up tent (although not really needed this year) shows you are really pulling out all stops to make this the premiere North American winter running event. Thank you!
3) As always the volunteers were cheerful, helpful, and full of spunk and vinegar. They cheered like mad, they smiled incessantly, they gave their time generously. Please thank all of them them from all of us!
A diehard volunteer, Canadian style eh! 3) The finish line was a 100% improvement from previous years. Such a simple change has made such a huge difference. Straight off the trail into the cafeteria... how sweet is that? Thank you!
4) The food, as usual, was spectacular. As a vegetarian my heart was a-flutter with the numerous yummy options (not the usual token salad that many events pass off as a vegetarian option.). Not that I partook, but the mounds of bacon and ham was attacked by hundreds. Thank you!
5) The Bailey's (provided by a certain "B") added a little zest to the coffee. Yum. Thanks B!
6) Love the schwag ... A+. Thank you!
7) The cyclists that provided sweep took their job seriously and made everyone feel a bit safer. I hope the sweeps will become a regular feature of the Hypo. In past years the weather has been very challenging and down right dangerous for anyone that may have incurred an injury. Thank you! Thank them for keeping us safe!
My personal cheerleading squad. Thanks Scott, Ted, and Deb!
8) The organization was amazing. I was worried about how you would manage the three heats. I had images of intense lineups at the food stations and a chaotic start with the 7 AM and 9 AM heats sharing the same course. My worrying was for not. Their was a teeny amount of congestion outbound, but nowhere near as much as I expected. It takes great skill to organize 670 runners of varying skills and abilities. You did very well. Thank you.
By way of comparison, I hear the Hypo race in an unnamed Saskatchewan city drew about 100 runners last week. Clearly, you guys are doing something right to draw 670! Thank you very much for supporting the running community with such spirit and dedication. What a race! What a race crew! You're the best!
It's a good day to be alive. Mike
Guy and his beard-sicles! (Click to get the full effect.).