For many Midwest runners, with a summer of training behind them, fall is the optimum time for races. My book Run at Destruction focuses on a close-knit running community where some terrible tragedies occurred. So… even though I’ve been training for an up-coming half-marathon, this weekend, I went to two races, but not as a runner.

Berkeley Running Company owner - David Meixelsperger with Lynda Drews at Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Expo

Berkeley Running Company owner - David Meixelsperger with Lynda Drews at Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Expo

Back in August I had done a book talk at Berkeley Running Company in Madison where  the owner graciously offered to provide me a spot within his expo booth for the October Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.

Milwaukee Lakefront logo

With a bit of envy, last Friday night, I talked to the marathon participants as they picked up their race packets and frequently purchased my book. Some had already read it and relayed how much they’d enjoyed it!    

wrut logoThen, on Saturday morning, I made my way over to Rib Mountain in Wausau Wisconsin for the Rotary Club Wrut ‘N Run.  It was a team effort to put up my banner. I had the local radio personalities and race personnel wiping the rain drizzle off the Ski Chalet’s window so my tape would hold. We were successful and so were the race

Rib Mountain Chalet Building protected my books from the drizzle

Rib Mountain Chalet Building protected my books from the drizzle

 participants that tackled the grueling course.  I talked to a woman runner that had traveled from Keshena, WI. She told me that the teachers at her school had already selected Run at Destruction for their book club.

It’s always amazing to me that people I’ve never had any connection with are reading my book!

What a weekend!  I hadn’t run a half marathon in years, but when Sean Ryan, the race director for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon offered to promote my book, Run at Destruction, in their training newsletter and also asked me to speak at the sponsors luncheon, I thought… I better run!    cellcom marathon logo

Even though Green Bay has more than 100,000 residents, it’s a small town. At the luncheon one of the former detectives from my book, who is now the Brown County Executive was there. Also, a physician that testified at the trial (one of the most heavily attended in Green Bay’s history)  was present. He told me that his wife’s book club was scheduled to read Run at Destruction when it is released on August 7th.   What each of us shared was having been a runner during Green Bay’s running boom in the 80’s.

On Saturday I picked up my race packet inside the Lambeau Atrium and met with Andrew Delzer, the president of the Badgerland Striders Running Club. It’s the largest in Wisconsin, serving Milwaukee and the surrounding area with over 1800 members.   He agreed to have me speak to his club about my book in the fall, if I teased the subject. I assured him it definitely wouldn’t be the normal chiropractor talk!

Then Sunday arrived… the weather was perfect. Sunshine, minimal wind and the temperature in the 40’s. My husband, Jim, and I rode over to the race with Daryl and Kathy Kapalin (a couple that are in my book). After getting in the bathroom line, I squeezed into the throng of excited runners.  I was inspired by the rendition of the Star Spangled Banner while turning to face our flag flying over Lambeau Field. Then we took off. cellcomcupsThe course was flat, the fans were supportive, and I only got toe cramps in the last mile, but forgot about them as I circled inside Lambeau Field before finishing in the parking lot with a time of 2:06:14. I’d been aiming for 10 minute miles so was elated to  run 9:38’s instead – placing 5th in my age division. Kathy ran 2:00:08 and won hers!   My accolades to Sean Ryan and Cellcom for a wonderful race weekend!