Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letter from the Executive Director: New Technology Means Less Paper

I’ve been gradually trying to free myself from paper for the past few years. I used to love to write on paper, but now I prefer struggling through the process of writing on my laptop—writing one sloppy draft and then editing each line with the taps of my keyboard. The same is true for filling out forms: I would much rather fill out paperwork on my computer through an online system or by filling out a document and emailing it back to someone. The alternative is more time-consuming: 1) Pick up the form or print it out. 2) Search for a pen that works or a pencil that is sharpened. 3) Fill out the form. 4) Attach the check or other necessary items. 5) Look through my desk for an envelope. 6) Address the envelope and search for a return address label. 7) Dig through my junk drawer for a stamp. 8) Go to the post office to mail it.

We don’t often think about it in these terms, but the old-fashioned way is also a lot harder on the environment. We’re using unnecessary paper and the form has to travel by vehicle to get to its destination. (Vo von Sehlen, the Green Efforts Director for the Missoula Marathon is loving me right now!)

You may have noticed that Run Wild Missoula has gradually made some changes to eliminate paper and do our part to save some trees and reduce pollution.

Online Membership & Training Class Registration
Since May of last year, new and renewed memberships can be purchased through Everyone with an email address has a unique username and password. If you don’t know your username and password, click “forgot password” in the upper right hand corner of the web site. If we have your email address on file you will immediately get your username and password emailed to you. Once you have this information you can also register online for training classes, log your miles for the 1200 Mile Club and communicate with other members through the forums.

Please, please, please renew your membership online and register for your next training class online. This saves staff and volunteers so much time. Plus we don’t have to store your membership and training class form in a box for 7 years. (Instead, we have it saved in a computer file for 7 years, which takes up a lot less space.) We hope you will also find online registration more convenient as you won’t have to go through the 8 steps outlined above and spend extra money on a stamp.

We don’t have race registration through right now, but we do offer it through other registration web sites such as and, which are linked from the RWM web site.

Kiosk at the Runner’s Edge
Don’t have access to a computer? Run Wild Missoula recently installed a kiosk for online registration and RWM web site browsing at the Runner’s Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave. The Runner’s Edge has been kind enough to let RWM leave membership, race and training class forms at the store for customers. They have even gone as far as to let Run Wild Missoula leave a credit card machine at the Runner’s Edge so customers can pay for RWM events with their debit or credit cards. And most recently the Runner’s Edge agreed to let RWM install a kiosk at the front of their store. We hope the kiosk will take a little pressure off the Runner’s Edge staff and that people will start using it to register online for membership and upcoming events. Thank you, Runner’s Edge. You are amazing in all of the ways you support Run Wild Missoula.

Try out the kiosk and let us know what you think. Please email if you have problems or questions.

Running Wild Newsletter is Online
Running Wild, the monthly newsletter, tirelessly put together each month by Newsletter Editor Chris Everett and other RWM members, will be available online ONLY starting May 1. Yes, you heard correctly. This is something we have struggled with for over a year. We encouraged members last year to get the newsletter by email instead of having it mailed to their home. Many of you responded—thank you. This helped our printing and mailing costs, but they are still not as low as we’d like them to be. We know many of you enjoy having the newsletter in your hands like you do your newspaper and coffee every morning. Once the RWM newsletter goes paperless you will still get an email each month with a link to the newsletter. You can still view the newsletter and past newsletters on the web site: If you think you’re more likely to read it if you can hold it in your hand, consider printing it out on scrap paper and then recycling the paper when you are finished. Chris Everett will also continue to print extra copies to be left at the Runner’s Edge for those who really want a hard copy.

Online Forums
Races, training classes and group runs are great places to meet and talk to other runners and walkers. But when you need a little extra support late at night or when the weather is so horrendous you can’t go outside (like last week) it’s nice to have some cyber support. Facebook and Twitter are great tools to communicate with others. Run Wild Missoula also has online forums at Lately, there has been some interesting dialogue on the forums. Check them out. Also, if you are interested in helping RWM pique more interest in the forums, please contact me at

Thanks for doing your part to help cut down on paper by taking advantage of Run Wild Missoula’s recent technological changes.

Keep Runnin’ & Walkin’,
- Eva Dunn-Froebig

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Save the Date for the Bloomsday Bus, May 1

Run Wild Missoula will again host a bus to Bloomsday in Spokane on Sunday, May 1. The Missoula Family YMCA’s Riverbank Run happens to fall the day before Bloomsday this year. We hope many of you will decide to run both races. If you do, the Bloomsday bus is a great way to run them both without having to drive or spend the entire weekend in Spokane. The bus leaves Missoula on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. and returns at approximately 5:30 p.m. Visit for more information about the bus.

The bus ride includes fun, friendship and camaraderie, plus breakfast on the bus and a goodie bag. Someone will meet the bus with everyone’s race packets when it arrives in Spokane. Experienced Bloosmday runners will also help first-time Bloomsday participants navigate the large race.

All of this for only $50! The fee does NOT include registration to Bloomsday. Visit to register for the race. The deadline to register for the bus is Wednesday, April 27.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Run Wild Missoula Member Profiles: Tory Kendrick; Aimee (Em) Kendrick; Annika Kendrick; Sylvie Kendrick

Names: Tory Kendrick; Aimee (Em) Kendrick; Annika Kendrick; Sylvie Kendrick

Ages: 35, 35, 6, 3

Place of birth: Conway, NH; Worcester MA; Missoula for both girls

Occupations: Tory is a Smokejumper and a part-time model. Em is at home with the girls, and assistant coaches Hellgate High XC and Track teams.

What do you as individuals or as a family get out of running? Sore legs and the occasional blister.

What motivates each of you to run? We have both been running since we were kids and at different times in our lives running has been different things to each of us. We have run to compete, to recover and just for the joy of it. It is something we can do to be by ourselves or to be together.

Running Pets? Good ol' Jiggs. Our fish complain too much.

Do you have a food that you cannot live without, especially during training? Tory likes egg and salsa sandwiches after long runs and Em likes Big Dipper's Espresso Heath any time.

You have been Scrumpy Jack Scramble organizers. What advice do you have for others who may be contemplating volunteering for RWM? The Scrumpy Jack was a great way to bring people out together during the sluggish winter time. It was focused on friends and ice cream. Putting on or volunteering at a running race is a GREAT way to be a part of adding fun and health to your and other's lives.
-Terry Stekly

Thank you to the Kendrick family for previously acting as race directors of the Scrumpy Jack Scramble, which benefited the Hellgate High School Cross Country Team. The Kendricks took a break from race directing last year and the Rouses started the CatchEm If You Can 5K, which continues the tradition of donating the race profits to Hellgate High School Cross Country. The Kendricks say they are taking a break from race directing while their children are young, but they hope to organize another race in the future.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Terry Stekly the newsletter begins a new series on member profiles. We hope that you will enjoy getting to know Run Wild Missoula members and we encourage you to say “hi” to them next time your paths cross.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

View from the Back

Running for many of us, is an essential part of our lives. We run for many reasons – for health, for companionship, for glory – the reasons are all as unique as each of us, and yet at heart, all the same. We run because it makes us feel good. We run because we can eat that chocolate cake with the icing that you know is unhealthy – and not look back (except for seconds), knowing that our jeans need not fear the consequence. We want a low resting pulse or blood pressure to die for. Cholesterol? Ha! We are so fit, we squeak.

And we - of the rear brigade, the last frontier, the survivors - know that you don’t have to be fast or even that swift to enjoy all the rewards running bestows upon our slightly sweaty brows. We enjoy those subtleties that the front runners are not even aware of. The outreached hand of that excited child wanting a high five. The flower garden in exquisite bloom. How many of us have stopped at some beautiful sight, a sunrise or a sunset, and rejoiced in the sheer beauty of nature. The great conversations with your fellow runners, the new friends you’ve made. You won’t enjoy these things at a 6 minute pace. But we who embrace running for all its joys, we know these things.

Running teaches you many things. Humility is one. There will always be someone faster and someone slower. Even if you have the distinguished honor of finishing last in a race you still have it over all those who didn’t run in the first place. So be proud of your accomplishments, knowing that you are better for it. The nature of life is that we will all slow down. We, at the Back of the Pack, just have a head start.
~Walt Max

Monday, March 7, 2011

It’s the (most) Luckiest Time of the Year

Yes, it’s true! The day you’ve been looking forward to for months is almost here! It’s that luckiest of days when folks let down their guard and don their most festive, St. Patrick’s Day-inspired running and walking apparel. It’s the (ahem) crisp morning in March when you wake up at the wee hours and tell yourself, your spouse, your kids, your friends, “Yes, we will run/walk a 5K today!”. It’s the 5K that rewards you with fresh, hot stew, homemade soda bread, and, for the grown-ups, a hearty beer, at the finish. For those of you who participated last year, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who didn’t, you probably feel a little emptiness inside, don’t cha? And for those who are just confused right now reading this, I’m talking about the Run for the Luck of It!5K Fun Run/Walk (RFTLOI for short). Duh!

Yes, it’s back, and possibly even better than ever (and, only in its second year no less!)! Like last year, our awesome sponsor, Sean Kelly’s, will be providing their delicious, steaming hot, house made stew and heavenly Irish soda bread for participants, post race. The Missoula Brewing Co. will once again generously donate a keg of their fantastic Highlander Beer so that each finisher, 21 years of age and older, may enjoy a frothy beverage (bring your ID if you want one!). Pepsi is again providing sports drinks and Culligan is providing water (so that all beverage bases are covered, and all thirst be quenched).

So, why is it better than ever, you might wonder? Well, I’ll tell you. For starters, this year, Montana Timing will be chip-timing our event. If you participated last year, then you probably figured out that the course is, perhaps, a wee bit longer than a 5K (darn Northside pedestrian bridge!). So, for those of you out to set a PR or just simply want to gauge where you’re at in the 5K distance, keep this in mind. However, for repeat RFTLOI-ers, you can compare how you did last year with your official chip-time this year!

The evening before the race, we are offering early bib with timing-chip pick up. The Runner’s Edge is kindly letting us utilize their upstairs space for bib pick up on Friday, March 11th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. If you’re not already registered, no worries; come on by anyway and get registered! Plus, you won’t have to worry about it on race day, which allows you to enjoy all the entertainment and festivities, get warmed up, and mingle with other participants. This is also a great time to convince that hemming and hawing friend or spouse of yours to get signed up! If you can’t make it over to the Runner’s Edge on Friday evening, you’ll be able to pick up your bib on race day morning from 7:00 am to 8:45 am, also at the Runner’s Edge. Race day registration will again be available, but, the earlier you sign up, the better. Because of the chip-timing this year, we must be very firm about our race day registration cut off time. No one will be allowed to register on race day after 8:30 am! NOTE: the 5K race starts at 9:00 am this year! The take home message: just register now!

Beanies (and prizes) abound! While last year’s old-school beanies were fun, this year we are giving away FLEECE beanies that fit very well. Since La NiƱa has sucker-punched Western Montana with an eternal winter, you’ll be glad to have your new beanie for the cold runs/walks to come. What’s more, many participants will get extra lucky, too: top finishers in eight age categories will receive a prize; all participants will be entered into the raffle and will be eligible to win door prizes generously donated by local businesses; and, those most-spirited of runners/walkers will receive a little something, too!

We are also offering a family registration option this year. Families of up to five (this includes up to two adults and three kids or one adult and four kids) can register for the low price of $50 by March 6th and $55 thereafter (RWM member prices). Individual registration is $18 for RWM members. If you are a family of five, you can save…big time!

Finally, we want our event to be a good, fun time for everyone, and we encourage families and kids to participate. So, for the lads and lassies not yet ready to run/walk a 5K, we are offering a FREE Kids Dash for kiddos 10 years old or younger. Our “Clover Kids” finishers will receive a retro beanie. The Clover Kids Dash will start at 8:30 am near the start of the 5K (on Pine St. in front of Sean Kelly’s) Parents/legal guardians can register their child from 7:00 am to 8:15 am at the Runner’s Edge.

So don’t live with that emptiness for a moment longer. The Run for the Luck of It! will cure the winter blues with its good times, unique and funky course, great food and drink, and festive display of St. Patrick’s Day spirit.
~Jen von Sehlen

Friday, March 4, 2011

Marathon Training Class – Just Do It!

What do I say about the marathon and half marathon training class? As I was thinking this week about what I wanted to write I saw Kelsi (a fellow RWM member) at Charlie B’s after the Beer Run. Since I know Kelsi has written at least one fun article for the newsletter I asked her if she had any advice for this novice article writer?Kelsi’s asked “what’s your angle?” Angle? That’s funny. I don’t write articles a lot so I have no angle. So I guess in the end my only angle is to write the things I know to be true.

The bottom line is if you are thinking about doing the training class, JUST DO IT! For new runners, I know what are thinking:

“I’m not a runner”
“Can I really do it?”
“Do I want to make that big of a commitment?”
“Runners sort of intimidate me”

Trust me, I know how you feel. When I did the training class the first year, I thought all those things and then some. (My other big one continues to be “I just really want to sleep in on Sundays.”) But if I can do it, anyone can do it. Take that leap out of your comfort zone, I can tell you for sure it will be worth it! It might just change your life. Trust in the class, trust in your commitment to get to Runner’s Edge on Wednesday and Sundays, trust Anders and his coaching and advice, trust the training schedule, and trust the friends you will meet who will help you along the way. Your commitment to these things will get you to the end! Come marathon day the race might go exactly how you planned or it might not. But if you make the commitment for 18 weeks, chances are you’ll come through the finish line in the upright position. In the end, that’s really all that matters. I always figure any day you finish a race is a good day!
For the people that have done the training before: Just come back and do it. I know I am! You know all the details and you know you want to. Can’t wait to see everyone on March 6th.
~Katie Spaid

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thank you! – Jennifer Straughan

As you may know, Jennifer Straughan has resigned her position as race director for the Missoula Marathon.

Jen has been involved with Run Wild Missoula and the Missoula Marathon since the beginning. She is a visionary who isn't afraid to dream big. She also knows how to rally people into helping her carry out those dreams. And through those efforts, in just four short years the Missoula Marathon was voted "Best Overall Marathon" in the country!

I know I speak for everyone on the Run Wild Missoula board of directors when I say that we truly appreciate all that Jen has done for this organization and for Missoula. And I'm pleased, personally, that she had enough faith in me to pull me into the group three years ago.

Anyone who has worked with Jennifer knows she has boundless energy and enthusiasm. She also has a life beyond the Missoula Marathon with other obligations that are more important in her life right now. The rest of the board and I respect the decision Jen made, and support what is best for her and for her family.

With that said, the board of directors determined that Anders Brooker will take over as race director for the 2011 marathon. He has worked with Jen over the last month so that he may officially take over on March 1. Jennifer's last day as race director is February 28. To comply with the by-laws of this organization, Anders has resigned his seat on the board of directors. Later this year, we will open the position to all applicants and go through the process of hiring a long-term marathon race director.

Please join me in offering a HUGE thank you to Jennifer Straughan for EVERYTHING she has done including creating a marathon committee full of involved, engaged, hard-working and enthusiastic people to carry her vision forward. What a legacy! All the best to you, Jen.
-Jean Zosel, President, Run Wild Missoula Board of Directors