The Straw is in the Barn

92 days till race night and the hay is already in the barn!

Anyone that talks running with me has probably heard me use this running truism while talking a nervous racer off the ledge, but this time I mean it quite literally. Technically, it’s straw, but let’s not split hairs over it.

Yep, I am speaking about actual bales of straw-in an actual barn- actually earmarked for Gallup Gallop!

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Why did we secure 150 bales of straw for the race? Here are THREE big reasons:

  1. One of our biggest issues during the race last year was spectator congestion on the Gallup path near the canoe livery. We’ll use our straw surplus to create natural borders / pathways for runners in highly trafficked areas, and to highlight the relay exchange points. Likewise, we’ll use the straw bales to block parking spots near the start line, and to prevent traffic on the bridge / other parts of the course. Not only will this be more aesthetically pleasing than orange cones and barrels, it’s also a lot more cost effective.

  2. To create a unique / rustic looking start and finish line. In 2018, our start and finish line areas lacked any real character. To remedy that, we will stack bales of straw about 10’ high, and use a strong twine / rope / clothesline to secure a banner between the pillars.

  3. Because we are anticipating an enormous haul of fresh produce for Food Gatherers, we need a better method for collecting it. We will line the start line chute with straw bales, and place collection crates on top of each bale of straw. As runners are approaching the start line, they can drop off their fresh carrots, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, etc. and marvel at the sheer volume being donated.

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What happens if it rains? We’re f***ed.

In other Gallup news, here’s a rundown of things that have happened since our last update

We are up to 58 registrations. This may not sound like a lot, but that # was 11 at this time last year. Our goal for this year is hit our cap of 700 runners by Sept 2 so that we can have a smoother packet pickup.

All of our major sponsors have signed on for another year, including Cardinal Economics & Finance, Grizzly Peak, and Suburban Auto Group.

Lawn signs went LIVE at Dexter Ann Arbor Run this weekend. Huge shout to Christine Comer and her pup, Louie, for grabbing them on the fly Friday afternoon AND assembling them AND transporting them from the expo to the DXA2 course. Anyone who knows Christine will not be surprised by this story.

Louie guarding the lawn signs after assembling them last week. Plenty of dogs will be peeing on them this summer throughout Ann Arbor’s parks.

Louie guarding the lawn signs after assembling them last week. Plenty of dogs will be peeing on them this summer throughout Ann Arbor’s parks.

Speaking of DXA2, Gallup Board Member, Brian Nelson, ran a blistering 1:25:23 half marathon.

Brian’s address may say Ferndale, but this dude has Ann Arbor runner DNA.

Brian’s address may say Ferndale, but this dude has Ann Arbor runner DNA.

Brian elected to celebrate an almost PR by enjoying a few pints with 2018 GG co-director and ultra God Mikel Haggadone.

These guys have been bro-ing out ever since I introduced them during a long run two years ago.

These guys have been bro-ing out ever since I introduced them during a long run two years ago.

Jasper and I celebrated Global Running Day by running up Mt. Bare in Western Massachusetts and got very lost / scraped up on our way down that rocky mountain

That shirt was a much lighter shade of gray when I started our hike.

That shirt was a much lighter shade of gray when I started our hike.

I think that’s it for now.

PS If you haven’t already, please sign up for our race. And tell your friends :)









Brent McDermott