Thank You Ham Helpers

     Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for all of the wonderful people who volunteered their time and energy to make the Ham Run a huge success. The Ham Run helpers did so much to make sure the event was well planned and organized and they deserve a huge pat on the back. Thank you all so much for helping make the Ham Run possible.

     Many thanks to our Volunteer Coordinator Sheila Wieben for without her there would not have been an event.  She made sure all of the intersections and aid stations were manned with enthusiastic cheerleaders ready to hand out water or Gatorade to the over 100 participants.  She also made sure they had the necessary supplies if needed including bandaids, kleenex, m & m’s and more.  Making changes to the spreadsheet almost daily she kept up with everything and kept over 100 volunteers on the right track.

     Rick Johnson deserves a big thank you for organizing the Boundary Waters Amateur Ham Radio Club volunteers.  He handled all of the communications and transportation details to provide safe passage for racers, volunteers and spectators alike.  Anything to do with traffic Rick had under control and organized to the "T".

     Another huge piece in the race puzzle was filled by Bob Baker.  He not only made sure there were medical responders along the entire course but also assisted in numerous other areas.  He and his wife Shari made sure Tom Reagan could measure the race and certify it for the USATF.  They also made all of the race medals and trophies and hosted the Half Marathon start.  Picking up signs, dropping off cones and many other tasks were done by them both and their help is greatly appreciated, thank you both.

     Theresa Oberg volunteered to help out this year and what a help she was.   Advertising the race on various calendars, contacting other races to send our flyers to and offering to do whatever needed to be done.  She helped with planning, ordering and on race day by being in charge of the post-race festivities at the end of the Trail.  Many thanks go out to Theresa.

      Margo Furcht kept track of all of the Ham Run paperwork among many other things.  She handled registrations, orders for race supplies, coordination of the bus transportation, planning the Little Runts Run and a list too long to go on.  Way to go Margo, thank you very much, you are awesome.

     Mike Prom had quite a few titles but his main responsibility was Operations.  This means he coordinated all of the above groups and then some so everyone’s individual parts fit into the bigger picture.  His job of husband of the co-race director was probably the worst one anyone could ask for.  Unfortunately he didn’t have the option to volunteer for this position, he just got thrown into it.  Thank you Mike, I can’t believe what you put up with.

     SandyS at Boreal, what can I say?  I don’t even think I know your last name but I know I couldn’t live without you.  Any website updates or changes I sent her she posted before I could hang up the phone.  She was a bigger help than she probably knows or will take credit for.  Thank you Sandy!

         Many people gave of their time and they are too numerous to mention each individually but my gratitude is extended to them all.  Sue Ahrendt of Tuscarora provided the transportation and parking plan along with handling the start of the Half-Marathon. Chris Callender cooked the hams and Maria Callender organized local massage therapists to treat the participants.  Mark Darling of Way of the Wilderness helped with the post-race meal and got the Trail’s End Band to play for the party.  My Voyageur Crew was a huge help and kept things moving along at Voyageur in both my physical and mental absence.  Steve Deschene timed the race, Tom Reagan measured the route, Seagull Creek Fishing Camp hosted the 5k Race Start and members of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department participated in full force.  

     There were many other key players in the Ham Run including the generous sponsors.  The Lake Superior Trading Post, Grand Marais State Bank, Christie Printing, Wenonah Canoe, Northern Wilds, Bernick’s Pepsi, My Sister’s Place, Gunflint Trail Association, Threads, Como Oil and Propane, Upper Shore Center for Athletics and Fitness, Trail’s End Band, Arrowhead Electric, Gunflint Pines, Way of the Wilderness, Voyageur Canoe Outfitters, Coldwell Banker North Shore and Upper Lakes Foods were all contributors to the event.

          The cooperation of various entities was needed in order to hold the event.  Many thanks go to the USFS, Cook County Highway Department, MN DNR, Border Patrol, Cook County Sheriff’s Department and the Cook County Board of Commissioners.  I am thankful for your help and participation.

     There were so many people who gave of their time and support both before and during the event. Thanks to my friends, family, the volunteers, the participants, the residents of the Gunflint Trail and the entire community for showing your support for the Ham Run, I really appreciate it.

     Now that the Ham Run is over I will be able to take a break.  Our first guests for the summer don’t arrive until tomorrow and fishing opener is 5 days away.  Don’t worry, I won’t get bored.  There’s only 10 months til the Mush for a Cure and 364 days til the next Ham Run. 

I apologize for not thanking you individually, I knew I would forget someone.  Please forgive me and know I appreciate your help.  Thank you very much.