The Market to Market Relay Nebraska presented by OrthoNebraska is truly one of my favorite days of the year – every year. People often ask me which is my favorite race that we produce. My answer has always been the Market to Market Relay Nebraska.
It was the race that started it all for Pink Gorilla Events. In 2007, I had a wild idea of putting on a team relay from Omaha to Lincoln. Soon enough I found myself figuring out how it would work and I convinced Jason Bakewell who was moving back to Nebraska to get involved. Linda Brown joined shortly after that because her husband was working on the website and she thought the event sounded fun and wanted to head up the Shindig. Jared Bakewell, now our marketing director, even had his arm twisted to help at the Springfield exchange point. So together in 2008, we launched the 1st Annual Market to Market Relay presented by OrthoNebraska.
The 14th Annual Market to Market Relay held a few days ago has all of those familiar names still producing it including myself, Jason Bakewell, Linda Brown, Jared Bakewell and OrthoNebraska.
Part of the reason I like the race so much is because it is still a challenge to host and direct annually. Although many of the pieces to put on the race stay the same, there are always things that change. Typical changes include parts of the course, having to navigate construction from growing cities or finding new volunteers to host an exchange point. Of all the races we do, this is the race that changes the most from year to year, but I like it.
Another reason I like this race is because it is an epic amount of work to put on. The combination of a 78 mile course and number of teams make the weeks leading up to the race busy. Most of our full time staff worked 8 am to 10 pm the week of the race. Then a lucky few of us get to pull a nice long shift on race day (long before the first team starts and long after the last team finishes). But our staff is built differently than most and we find our rewarding in Serving Up a Little Something Special for you on race day. In fact, it’s one of our core values.
I know that I am not alone saying that the Market to Market Relay Nebraska is a favorite day of the year. I hear from many of you and it is apparent by the smiles on your faces and how many of you make it an annual tradition.
Thanks for another wonderful year. Everyone is so great to work with including volunteer groups, vendors, property owners, our crew and especially the runners. Special shout out to Dale Arp who found a down tree at the B&R Exchange and chain sawed it in the morning so that the exchange worked.
It is amazing to see it all come together and put on something truly unique right here in Nebraska.