All new student organization holds inaugural Distance race event
The new and emerging Keweenaw Ultramarathon Club of Michigan Tech is hosting an ultra-marathon trail race this Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Tech Trails. There are three options for distance which are 5k, 25k, and 50k. The cost of admission, which is $10 for students and $20 for community members, will be going towards further developing the club’s membership benefits as well as covering the cost to organize the event.
The Keweenaw Ultra Marathon Club was started by fifth-year mechanical engineering student, Cade Meyer, late last spring. He says there is no cost for joining the club and because of this, there is not currently any funding to further develop the club’s scope. With the funding from the race, Meyer hopes to be able to help members by covering the entry costs of different races around the UP. The cost of admission to typical long-distance races is between $100-$200 according to Meyer.
Since last Spring, the club has gained 58 members, with upwards of 35 members attending their weekly group runs. These occur on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at the Tech Trails. The advisor for the club is Ryan Towles, one of the Academic Advisors for the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate department. Towles says at the end of each group run, the members have a potluck-style social.
The source of Meyer’s inspiration was a running group that he met in Milwaukee, WI while he was completing a Co-Op semester. He said that he didn’t have many friends in the area and was invited to run with the group. He enjoyed the community that they had created with a welcoming environment. There was also an enthusiastic social aspect during and after the run. The group he ran with inspired him to participate in his first long distance race.
Meyer wanted to create this same type of community at Michigan Tech. He noticed that there were running clubs and organizations around the area, but none of them seemed to have the welcoming atmosphere that appealed to beginners. Meyer wanted to create this, so he decided to start his own club. He says, “the club aims to make running fun, and not just an environment to train hard for races.”
Towles is a life-long runner and is currently assistant coach for the cross-country and track for the Hancock Bulldogs. He has also been involved with the track team. He says he joined the club on one of the group runs where he was greeted by many of his students and peers. He asked Meyer if the club had an advisor, and decided to volunteer for the position.
Meyer has utilized his project management class and project team to organize this event in short notice. He said that he spends about 5-6 hours a week in preparation for the event with help from the executive board. The executive board includes Max Maas, Henry Campbell, Lucy Campbell, Cal McNabb, and Meyer’s project management class group.
Correction: A previous edition of this article identified Ryan Towles as a coach for the cross-country team at Tech. The article has been updated to identify Towles as assistant cross-country and track coach for the Hancock Bulldogs.
Update: 50K.U.M Race Results – Results