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Race Director Sean Ryan with Mac-Attack Jim Genrich and Poké-mom Lynda Drews

The foliage color was at its peak as I lined up in the small fishing village of Gills Rock to tackle the first leg of the Wisconsin Door County Fall Fifty that would finish in the shipbuilding community of Sturgeon Bay. The race director, Sean Ryan, approached me, giving me a warm hug, as the chilly wind whipped off of the waters of Green Bay, tousling my head-banded hair.  In this region, Sean’s name is synonymous with quality athletic events. I also hold a special place in my heart for him. Sean gave me my first blurb for my first book released in August, 2009: “Run At Destruction is written with the beat of a runner’s heart: steady intensity racing toward an inevitable finish. Drews is the John Grisham of the running world, pulling readers into a unique subculture where the drama unfolds.”

Well today I was surrounded by this unique subculture. There were the

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Poké-moms - Barb Kiser, Dianne Smith, Kathy Kapalin, Lynda Drews, Suzie Prue

 Victoria’s Secrets, dressed in bikini swimsuits over running attire, an Alice in Wonderland team, a group of Halloween Caped Crusaders, and of course my teammates, the Poké-moms. These four women would be jumping into our decorated van to drive along the picturesque shoreline until they reached the exchange point. Since 1977, I’ve been part of a close-knit running community. If some calamity befalls a member, only one call is needed and the group responds. Each asks how the other is doing, and honestly cares. My True Crime book revolves around one of these members, Pamela Bulik, who was my best friend and running companion. During the running boom of the 80’s, she mysteriously drowned in her bathtub. This led to a first-degree murder arrest and a sensational trial. As Dave McGillivray, the Race Director for the Boston Marathon says: “Run at Destruction captures the family-like culture of a running group, showing how its members support one another especially in times of crisis.” He’s so right!

Today’s excitement was invigorating. A beautiful voice pierced the cold crisp air. Gazing up at our American flag that flapped in the pearl-grey sky, we listened to the melodic National Anthem, hands over our hearts, hopping in place to keep our leg muscles warm. As the last notes hung in the air, the gun exploded. Collectively we took off. What an adventure! I’d never run a fifty-mile relay race before. Like my new career as an author – I figured there might be challenges at every twist and turn.

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Finish Line for Poké-moms (Dianne left for cancer benefit)

Even though our running group is extremely supportive – we are also competitive. Just like finding a mainstream publisher for my book, we were out to beat the odds. There was a team called Mac-Attack – a name chosen to honor Bruce MacNeil, a fellow-runner who had recently passed. This team, though, was also known as our significant others.

7 hours and 46 minutes later we achieved our goal, finishing nearly fifteen minutes ahead of them. The Poké-moms weren’t Poké anymore!

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