"Race Report" from the "24 Hour Relay for Aaron"

>> Monday, December 15, 2014

From noon on Friday through noon on Saturday, we kept a Spiderman figurine moving around the small indoor track at Hamline University as a fundraiser for my college buddy Aaron's family. (Click that link if you don't know Aaron's story, but you all do by now - he's the one who admitted to being Spiderman in his obituary and asked his son to avenge his death.) I'll show some images below, but I'll post lots more in a Facebook album, and I'll share the link once I get those up (in another day or 2).

Set up on the edge of the track with goodies donated by Colle+McVoy (where Aaron worked).

Our baton for the next 24 hours.

There was a gymnastics meet getting ready to start below us.

Catherine kicked off the relay for us - her hubby worked with Aaron.

From Instagram: "Kare11 is here taping our runners! #24HourRelayForAaron"

So there was a super short mention about the relay on Kare 11 on Friday night. Catherine got a call from her Dad saying he saw her on the news, and other people who came in on Saturday saw it too, but I wasn't able to find it online. I'll share it if it turns up.

A handoff between 2 beginnertriathlete.com buddies in the 1 p.m. hour.

In the 2 p.m. hour, the football team did some warm ups on the track with us, and it was
a little intimidating to our runners! The whole track shook when they came by!

Steve Q showed up to run a few laps in his long undies (complete with butt flap)...

... and then he did a plank with me.

We were told to grimace. My "grimace face" apparently looks like Popeye.

Remember, I gave myself a plank challenge during the 24 hour relay to see how many minutes of planking I could do. I got 1 pledge for $0.50 / minute. So I had a lot of work to do to make some extra $$ for Nora and Ralphie.

A boyfriend/girlfriend team handed off to each other during the 5 p.m. hour.
(We generally did 11 laps at a time before handing off - 1 mile on the 160 yard track.)

Before the 7 p.m. hour, I was challenged to do a 5 min plank to raise some extra $$.
I was sweating like CRAZY by the end! The next photo I shared on Saturday night...

From instagram: "I was challenged to raise some extra money at the #24HourRelayForAaron.
Joe J wanted me to hold a plank for 5 mins. At 1 min, I'd earn $5, and that would double
every minute until I hit $80 total by minute 5. He threw the cash in front of me as I earned it
every minute. It got shaky as hell, but I held out for the full 5 mins. Oww."

Krista handing off to Joe in the 7 p.m. hour.

Little Connor took off FAST during the 8 p.m. hour. His first lap was sub-6 pace!
And then he held on to run a 8:34 mile! He earned LOTS of cheers!

KY challenged CY (his wife) and I to do a 2 min plank for $20 in the donation box.

From CYs Instagram: "Thx @stevestenzel for creating the #24hourrelayforaaron #RIPBigPurm"

The gymnastics meet was still going strong.

Here's something I didn't know about youth gymnastics: did you know that EVERYONE does the same floor routine? So that means they all have to use the same song. I endured NINE HOURS of that same "russian ballet"-like song blasting over the speakers. When someone would say at the end of their hour "Oh, that song's getting a little annoying," my face would start twitching as I'd say "Yeah. After an hour it's a little annoying. It's 7 p.m. It's been playing for me for 7 hours." Good times. Good. Gosh-darn. Times.

Oh, other funny side-note: 3 different Moms from the gymnastics meet came up to ask why people were running around the track with Spiderman. They thought something fishy was going up up here.

Lisa cranking out one of her 3 6:27, 6:18, or 6:22 miles in the 9 p.m. hour.

Lisa's sister and her boyfriend sharing their mile duties: Heather and Patrick. Heather is
super fast (WORLD CHAMP, really), but took it easy (REMEMBER THAT POINT LATER!).
Also, you may or may not have seen these 2 with their identities protected in this post.

Brian was also part of this 9 p.m. hour running 3 miles in 5:20, 5:08, and 5:04!

Thank GOD the gymnastics meet was done!

Team "Skin and Bones" wrapping up the 10 p.m. hour.

I went home for a few hours of sleep from about 11-4. I initially had planned on staying the entire 24 hours, but then it ended up working out that my sister-in-law could come over and watch the boys Saturday evening (the next day). She was doing that so my wife and I could have our first date since we saw "Argo" in the theatre 2 years ago. I didn't want to be sleepy, grumpy, or other 7-dwarf-adjective on our date, so I figured I should get a few hours of sleep. I ran into the Mill City Running crew just outside the track as they were coming for their 2 shifts (11 p.m. and midnight).

A group lap for the Mill City Running gang!

Josh from Mill City Running tweeted me this after they snuck onto the gymnastics floor,
saying "After the 11pm-1am shift we even had a little balance left."

The only people I didn't get to say "HI" to! Thanks 1 a.m. crew!!

There was an awesome group of people on the track from 2 a.m. through 5 a.m. They were from the YWCA of Minneapolis. They brought Tim (their trainer) with them. He made them do all kinds of crazy stuff if they were "resting" and not the current runner on the track. When I got there around 4:30 on Saturday morning, I opened the door to Walker Fieldhouse and I heard AC/DC blaring from the track on the far end of the building. Here were some photos they sent me:

What? Awesome.

Sally holding an iso exercise that I could never do.

Insane. Awesome.

Oh sure. Just do shoulder presses with one of your relay partners as your runner
goes under. Yeah, no problem. We all do that. No big whoop.

They ran fast for those 3 hours too.

Still smiling at the end of a 3 hour shift (getting ready for a BIGGGG breakfast).

Thanks 2-5 a.m. runners!

The 6 a.m. shift was a "college buddy" shift. It was Jamey, Joe, Dena, and me - 4 college friends of Aaron's. They all teased me because I went last and was the only one to not cover 2 full miles. Jerks.

Dena asked me not to point out that she was making Spidey touch her boob. So I won't.

Joe, Dena, Jamey, and me post-run. We had a LOT of inappropriate chatting
during this 6 a.m. hour. Aaron would have greatly approved.

The 7 a.m. crew: Liz, Amanda, and Matt.

We had more entertainment starting: there was a swim meet going on through the window,
and the gymnastics meet was starting up again. BUT WITH A DIFFERENT SONG. Praise Jesus.

Oh good. I'm stuffing my face with junk food over there as Erin runs.


Someone named Heather on Instagram posted this: "Just happened to be at
the State Gymnastics meet for @maiya_gymnast9 and just realized that the runners
above are carrying Spider-Man! Happy coincidence. #RIPBigPurm"

A preggo STILL KICKIN shirt in the 10 a.m. hour!

Jana Shortal (Kare11 reporter) is a friend of Aaron and Nora's (she did a beautiful story
on his funeral here
), and she wanted to run a bit for them. So she took 2 miles at 10 a.m.

Jana posted this photo after her run, with the caption "So that went well. I mean.
What grown ass woman doesn't puke after a 2 mile jog?"

Pregnant Rachel across the track. See her?

About a week ago, Dena (college buddy from the 6 a.m. hour) asked me if I would run the last hour with her too. So we tag-teamed the 11 a.m. hour. We both sort of figured we'd each get 4 miles in, but we were faster than we expected. We didn't realize it at the time, but once we finished up, we were shocked to find that WE were the hour that covered the most ground! The speedy 9 p.m. hour the night before traveled 100 laps (9 miles + 1 lap), and I had predicted that group to travel the farthest. The Mill City Running group at 11 p.m. and midnight traveled 99 laps in both hours. Dena and I traveled 103 laps! She laid down some impressive splits, with only 1 mile being over 7 minutes!

Dena in the 11 a.m. hour.

People brought more goodies throughout the day, so the goodie table was overflowing!
(Lots still in the bag under the table too!)

2.5 minutes left in the 24 hour relay!

A final handoff to me, and I finished a few more laps before noon.
Hey, the first photo of me actually running!

In 24 hours and 6 seconds, we traveled 1922 laps, or 174.7 miles!


It wasn't a race, but here are some numbers from the event:


Brian S, 5:04 (and 5:08 and 5:20)
Steve S, 5:25
Tim P (trainer), 5:29

Lisa L, 6:18 (and 6:22 and 6:27)
Sally H, 6:34
Dena V, 6:39

Cal, 7:03 (age 13)
Connor, 8:34 (age 6ish)
Henry (age 11), 8:38

Dena and Steve, 103 laps (11 a.m.)
Lisa, Heather, and Brian, 100 laps (9 p.m.)
"Mill City Running," 99 laps (at both 11 p.m. and midnight)

Steve S, 8 miles + 1 lap (between 3 hours)
Frank H, 5 miles (solo)
Joe J, 4 miles + 9 laps

Dena T, 7 miles (between 2 hours)
Catherine M, 7 miles (between 2 hours)
Krista J, 4 miles

TOTAL LAPS IN THE RELAY: 1932, or 175.64 miles (955 first half, 977 last half)
TOTAL LAPS BY ANYONE RUNNING FOR/WITH US: 2144 (estimated), or 194.91 miles

Another important stat is that after the relay was all done and I took the donation box home, I found over $1,000 in there for Nora and Ralph! ($1,057 to be exact.) And during the relay, a lot more of you donated to our YouCaring page - as of Wednesday morning, donations had really slowed down and I showed that we'd earned $1,420 of our $2,500 goal. But over the next 3 days, the donations rose to $2,250, which is just shy of our goal! So I just raised the goal to $3,943, which seems random, but that number added with what we earned on the track equals a nice even $5,000. So please donate if you can. There's a week left before it closes. And if you missed the first post about Aaron and Nora's story, click here to check it out.

More shortly. (Including a Facebook album with more photos.)

- Here's a link to a few more bits of final info about the relay.


Robyn 8:42 AM, December 15, 2014  

This is so many kinds of awesome. You did a great thing, organizing this!

Kristin 9:12 AM, December 15, 2014  

What a wonderful way to honor your friend. Looks like everyone had fun.

C 10:15 AM, December 15, 2014  

You have a beautiful heart, Steve. It's the reason why I've read your blog for years and will continue to do so. That and the toilet humor. :) Well done!

Steve Stenzel 1:30 PM, December 15, 2014  

Thanks guys. Xenia, I have plenty of toilet humor to go around! :)

Cort the Sport 8:19 PM, December 15, 2014  

What a fantastic tribute, absolutely wonderful! Thanks for documenting and sharing (and lol about the gymnastics meet song!!)

Jumper 2.0 9:19 PM, December 16, 2014  

This looks awesome. I wish I had been able to participate. Good job Steve and co.

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