“He wrote a training program for us and said we couldn’t ask him any questions unless we followed the program exactly,” she says. “He’s still skeptical.”
Crystal Osman, program manager at DGBI, was a runner in high school, but specialized in sprints and high jumps.
“If someone talked about long-distance running, I would have thought they were talking about a mile,” says Osman.
On May 16, Vandervest and Osman will be among about 7,000 runners entered in the Cellcom Green Bay full or half marathons.
(On May 15, Mirkes will likely be the only person running the half-marathon course – the day before the race takes place. His son graduates from college on the 16th, so Mirkes won’t be able to run in the official event, “but I made a commitment to Molly and Crystal to run and I wouldn’t let them down,” says Mirkes.)
Vandervest got the ball rolling on this challenge. “I thought it would be something really special to get involved in, but I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t have a training partner.”
Osman answered the call, for reasons she can’t quite define. “I’m usually game for almost anything and this sounded like it might be fun for Molly and I to do together,” she says.
With two of his staff on board, Mirkes, the veteran runner in the group, could hardly say no.
“I thought it would be a great teamwork effort and I think that’s what happened.”
Running has always been first and foremost a personal pleasure for Mirkes, but he has to admit there’s a professional motivation behind the Cellcom event. The marathon route will bring runners down the City Deck, the boardwalk that runs along downtown’s riverfront.
“We’ll have food vendors and performers down there to make it an event and of course when the runners arrive there at Mile 21, we expect to have a good-sized crowd that will be a big motivation to pump the runners up for the finish,” says Mirkes.
Half-marathoners like Vandervest and Osman won’t get that crowd boost because their shorter course won’t take them along the City Deck. They’ve got their own motivation, however.
“It’s a huge challenge and will have a big sense of accomplishment for me,” says Vandervest. “I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything like this again, but I wanted to do it at least once.”
Cellcom Green Bay Marathion
downtown green bay inc.
333 Main Street
Green Bay, WI 54301-5156