Photo Credit Scott Rokis

If you don’t feel like you are getting ‘old’ yet, just wait, it starts getting kinda weird – mostly in a good way. One thing that happens is that with each passing year, you get more and more sentimental. As we approach our 20th year directing races, Cheri and I still find satisfaction in all of the same things we did in the beginning. But today, we find ourselves the most grateful for the connections that these events make possible – for all of the friendships we have made, and have witnessed being made, over the years. I think that there is always a heightened sense of the importance of these relationships at Zumbro. Life is so busy, that it is not uncommon to go months, or often an entire winter, not seeing some of our favorite people. Winter comes and goes and it is often Zumbro weekend where we (re)connect. There is a lot of picking up, right where we left off. What a special gift we have all been afforded.

I found marathon running in 1996 at the age of 16. Through running I (among other things) learned how to meditate, cope, work hard, set goals and achieve them. Running helped me to build self-esteem and was integral in making me the person I am today. I found volunteering at trail and ultra races in 2003, at the age of 24. Volunteering gave me a way to pay forward to others, what running, races and the running community had given to me. While it usually goes unspoken, I know many of you share a very similar story and we are all here for similar reasons.

There is nothing I love seeing more than someone volunteering for their first time, and seeing the spark that it ignites in them. Something very special happens when we act in service to others. There is nothing I appreciate more than those of you, who have taken it upon yourselves to make our race, or races, a given position (or three), a vocation. So many of you go above and beyond, race in and race out. Thank you for being a partner in making this magic happen.

It was a wonderful weekend. I hope you left fulfilled. Thank you for your volunteerism, and friendship. I look forward to seeing most, if not all of you, as the season progresses. As always, if you have need anything, please reach out.

Thank You,

John Storkamp
Race Director
Zumbro Endurance Run