With the recent flooding in our area, the Copper Country has seen generosity overflow from area merchants, business owners, and citizens and Canal Run is so thankful. “Area businesses have given so much,” said Mary Myers, Canal Run volunteer in charge of Racer Services. “I am overwhelmed each year by how much folks are willing to donate. Even after already giving so much to flood relief this summer, they still came through for us.”
So much of what you see at Canal Run is donated. All of the finish line food is donated. Organic Valley, a farm co-op from Wisconsin, donates hundreds of milk/protein based recovery drinks. Those drinks are not cheap and retail for almost $5 each, so as you can imagine, this is an expensive donation. Organic Valley also donates all the string cheese racers enjoy at the food tent.
All the food is donated in fact. Pat’s Foods and the Keweenaw Co-op provide us with all the fresh fruit. The Co-op has been providing organic, fair trade bananas for 10 years now. In addition to fruit, Pat’s Foods also donates all the chips, pretzels and ice used at the finish line. For the past two years Pat’s Foods also purchased 50 cow bells to be given away to spectators at the finish line to cheer on the racers. Jilbert’s Dairy of Marquette donates 300 cartons of chocolate milk each year.
But donations come in many forms other than food. Some simply donate money. Both Xpress Storage, Moyle Construction and Northern Specialty Health donated $500 cash to Canal Run. These funds go toward things like tent rentals, porta-potti rentals and all the things that MUST be paid for.
Many of our sponsors donate a portion of services to help us keep expenses down. Our new website was given to us at a very reduced rate by SmartCreative. In addition, SmartCreative shot amazing drone footage of our race and put together a promotional video, all for free.
What we consider to be the most valuable donation is TIME. Our three major sponsors, UP Health System, Finlandia University and the Keweenaw Co-op all deliver 20 volunteers each, helping do everything from racer registration, street crossing guards, water stations helpers, to clean up. “It take more than 100 volunteers to make this race happen,” Myers said. “Without them, we’d have no race.”
New this year is our volunteer recycling team. The Keweenaw Running Group has taken it on to help us with recycling. They will sort trash and assure we landfill as little garbage as we have to. This required some “dirty work,” but the crew is up for the challenge!
The entire Canal Run planning committee would like to thank EVERY sponsor and EVERY volunteer. We especially want to thank the folks that help keep everyone safe. Superior Search and Rescue provides communication for our team, as cell phone service is not available on much of the course. We want to thank all the police agencies who get involved. You make this race GREAT! A complete list of sponsors is available at canal.run.