What do you do if you're training for a marathon and on the day you are signed up to do a 17-mile trail race, a freak April blizzard cancels your plans? Well, if you're this month's Most Inspiring Member, you run anyway, of course!
On May 5, Eau Claire Moms on the Run member Sarah Kleven will run the Eau Claire Marathon. As part of her training, she signed up for the 2019 Zumbro Endurance Run, a trail race that takes place in southeastern Minnesota's bluff country featuring high bluffs, deep river valleys and rugged terrain. Unfortunately, race organizers ended up cancelling the race because of a spring blizzard that wreaked havoc in the area. Sarah was devastated.
"I checked my email at 3 in the morning and may have shed some tears," Sarah recalls. "I've wanted to run Zumbro for a couple years. It's been on my radar ever since I watched some of my MOTR friends do it."
Sarah, her MOTR coach Danielle LeBarron, and a few other friends she met through MOTR decided to run a "fake" race together on the day she was supposed to run Zumbro. Since all of them were training for the Eau Claire half marathon, and Sarah for the full, they all needed to log some miles, anyway.
"Zumbreaux 2019!" was born. Rather than the river valley and steep, wooded trails of Zumbro, their route took place around a golf course, complete with hills, snowbanks, puddles and ice to create extra obstacles — and to attempt to recreate the illusion they were trail running.
While her teammates ran 11 miles, Sarah ran 20, and as she crossed the finish line they greeted her with chips, M&Ms and a beer, just like the Zumbro endurance run would have. "It's the best long run I've ever had," Sarah said.
Congratulations to Sarah (and team) for your determination, creativity and showing us what "fitness, fun and friendship" is all about.