Encouraging folks to either participate or volunteer at the Green Lake Half Marathon are, from left, Matthew Gordillo, Tracy Matthias, Ali Rossberg, Tom Schultz, Wendy Schultz, Kristin Galatowitsch, Dennis Galatowitsch and Sandie Quade. submitted photo
by Joe Schulz
In November 2018, after bringing runners to the area for nearly a decade, the future of the Green Lake 13dot1 was in jeopardy.
Committee members felt it was time to hand the race off to a new organization.
“After nine years, people sort of wanted to move on,” former 13dot1 Communication Coordinator Wendy Schultz said. “We had worked out all of the kinks after the first few years, and all our jobs were really down pretty easy.”
Organizers met with the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to see if it could put on the event; after several meetings, Schultz noted the chamber declined because of its proximity to the time Harvest Fest takes place.
Shortly afterwards, Schultz went on a wine walk in Princeton, where she ran into Green Lake resident Ali Rossberg. Schultz explained the race was in limbo, and Rossberg said, “I’ll take it over.”
Rossberg previously ran in the 13dot1 and isn’t a stranger to organizing large events as she also puts on the Green Lake Fine Arts Show.
She’s sharing race director duties with her boyfriend, Matthew Gordillo, who’s also an avid runner.
“When we heard that they were just going to stop it, we thought ‘Green Lake really depends on these events to get people into town’ and we didn’t want it to just end,” Gordillo said.
Schultz is confident the committee is leaving the race in good hands with the new race directors
The race will be known as the “Green Lake Half Marathon” and no longer the “13dot1.” It will be held Sunday, Sept. 1, and will feature a new 10k to honor the event’s anniversary.
“We’re trying to keep the tradition of the 13dot1; we’ve just changed the name and the logo,” Gordillo said.
Rossberg noted this year’s race still will feature 13dot1 signs and that rebranding the race will be a gradual process.
“Wendy, Tom [Schultz] and a couple other committee members from the past have been really great,” she said.
The Green Lake Half-Marathon also has formed a non-profit group.
“Organizing the Green Lake Half Marathon is an expensive endeavor and we rely on generous sponsors to help fund the race,” Rossberg said. “By forming a non-profit organization, we assure sponsors that all of their generous donations go towards the race and it’s participants.”
Another major addition to the race will be a free yoga class. Tracy Matthias of Lotus Root Yoga will lead the class, which will be held the night before the race at 5:30 p.m. in the Green Lake City Hall gymnasium.
Gordillo noted the addition of a yoga class is the first step towards making the race more of a family health event.
“In the future we thought about adding a strong man contest at the Town Square weight room; there are all kinds of things that we would like to do,” he said. “We can add more yoga classes or Tai-chi, different types of things so it’s a whole family weekend.”
Another change this year is that each of the races will start and end at Deacon Mills Park. Besides the 10k, the race will also feature the 13.1-mile race and 5k races as it has in previous years.
Santa congratulates a runner during last year’s race. Tom Schultz photo
“The 5k will follow downtown around the lake to Irving Park [Road] and turn around and come back; the 10K will follow the half marathon route into the conference center, they’ll go a little into the conference center and then turn around and come back,” Gordillo said. “And then the half marathon will go all the way through the conference center, loop around and come back.”
Participants may stick around for post-race music, food, beverages and an awards ceremony at Deacon Mills Park.
Gordillo believes no matter the distance, completing a race is an accomplishment.
“Not only is it a physical achievement, but it’s a fun community event for everyone; people are running in groups or running with family,” he said. “It’s just a fun opportunity for people to get together and have fun doing a physical activity.”
The event also will feature a free youth race for children ages 10 and under. Youngsters will be sorted into different heats based on age.
“We’re also trying to get as many local mascots as we can to be at the race and giving high fives,” Gordillo said. “We’d like to do a mascot race too, if the weather permits. We know how hot it can be.”
The race directors expect to have at least 500 participants on race day, and with family members and friends likely coming with, they hope to see an influx of about 1,500 people in the area for the race.
“They’ll stay in hotels in the area and benefit the local economy at local restaurants,” Gordillo said. “I know that the Heidel House is closed, but there’s still plenty of great places to stay in the area.”
The race still is in need of volunteers to hand out water bottles, medals, swag bags and various other items.
“I think the people at the water stations have just as much fun as the people running,” Gordillo said. “Because they see all the people who are achieving this great accomplishment and they’re cheering them on and then they get wrapped up in it and it’s a lot of fun.”
To register or to find out how to support the race through sponsorship or volunteering, visit www.GreenLakeHalfMarathon.com .
For additional information, email GLhalfmarathon@gmail.com or call 920-573-4691