The Wisconsin Dells Marathon planned for Oct. 24 in Adams County may not go on if the Dell Prairie Town Board doesn't approve use of its roads for the event.

At a meeting July 13, Dell Prairie Town Board Supervisor Dan Mitchell made a motion to deny a permit for the event and to create a town ordinance regarding use of town roads for similar events in the future.

"It doesn't benefit this town," Mitchell said, adding he could change his mind about allowing the marathon if the town is compensated for the use of the town roads by Adrenaline Sports Management, the for-profit company that is organizing the event.

The board did not vote, but Chairman Darrell Schulz said he would contact the town's attorney about creating an ordinance. Schulz said the ordinance could help the town decide in the future which events it would permit on its roads.

Mitchell said the event would inconvenience the public and raise questions about who would be responsible for the runners' safety.

Dell Prairie resident Rae Ann Schulz noted that in April participants in Riverfest, a fundraiser triathlon for the local Stewards of the Dells of the Wisconsin River, were allowed to use Dell Prairie roads and wondered why use of the roads was allowed for that event and not this one.

Adams County Board member Diane England attended the meeting and is also a member of the organization that held Riverfest. She said Riverfest was a fundraiser for a non-profit, and it had insurance for the event.

Schulz stressed that he wanted an ordinance in place to control such events, and that he wasn't ruling out all such events.

In a phone interview July 14, an ASM event director for the Wisconsin Dells Marathon, Bryan Ganek, said if the town doesn't approve use of its roads, the marathon can't happen.

"There's no where else to do it," he said.

Ganek said ASM had contacted the Adams County Sheriff's Department for help with traffic during the event, and is prepared to pay both the sheriff's department and the town of Dell Prairie for use of the roads.

The race is slated to start at 8 a.m., and Ganek said the runners will be spread out and be on the town roads for a couple hours at a time. Entire roads won't have to be shut down for 10 hour periods, he said. The race route has been designed to avoid placing runners on County B or Highway 13.

ASM expects between 1,000 and 1,500 runners to participate, he added.

He also said ASM is talking with St. Clare Hospital to have the event staffed with medical personnel in case of emergencies for which the town wouldn't be liable.

Although ASM is a for-profit company, Ganek said one non-profit organization called Team Salute, which helps soldiers overseas, will be volunteering and receiving donations in return from ASM.

He also said other organizations in the Dells area are encouraged to provide volunteers in exchange for donations from ASM, too.

"We are a for-profit company so obviously we're doing this (marathon) to gain some revenue. At the same time we're trying to bring business to the areas. We're trying to get people involved in something they've never done there before. And that's kind of why we contacted the Dells is because we've never seen a marathon or long distance run happen there before. And we think it's a good idea to bring something to these areas that they've never seen before. Hopefully a lot of people will want to get involved in it," he said.

In other business, the town took the following action:

-- Approved a five-year Kilbourn Fire Department contract that calls for the town to pay an additional 1 percent of the operating budget for each of the next five years.

-- Approved a bartender's license for Mary Platt.

-- Tabled action on an ordinance permitting golf carts on subdivision roads.

-- Discussed the state's plans for Highway 13.

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Runner514
Runner514

This is ridiculous. I was really looking forward to running this race, and seeing the Dells for the first time in a few years. Me and a couple girlfriends were even planning on renting a cabin for that weekend. If anything you would think the town would appreciate people wanting to go out there and run. Plus like that guy said, it'll bring revenue to the Dells marathon, which I can't imagine is too busy in October anyways.

I really hope it still goes on.

Runner514
Runner514

This is ridiculous. I was planning on going to this event, and me and my girlfriends have already registered. We were even thinking about renting a cabin for the weekend, and were even more excited because we haven't been there in years! Like that guy said, it seems like it would bring revenue to the local businesses, so it doesn't make sense how they say it doesn't benefit them. Plus this is bringing people to the Dells in October, when I'm pretty sure the businesses aren't too busy during..

I really hope the marathon still goes on!!

Snowman
Snowman

Doesn't bring in revenue?! Does this guy think that the runners sleep in their cars the night before the race and eat rice cakes that they brought from home?

Most runners I know (myself included) basically make a holiday weekend of their races. They stay in town for a weekend and take in the sites and have a big celebration after completing their race. It's a huge milestone for a runner to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles! So is he saying that the Dells have nothing to attract people to spend money?

All runners know the safety risks while running. Some races close down roads, others only give runners the shoulder of the road. We seem to manage no matter what.

I think the Town Board are the ones that should be signing up for this run! Then they can find out first hand why the town should hold this event and also invest in a healthier lifestyle. What a black mark for the Dells in the runner's world to say we don't want runners to come here.

Snowman
Snowman

Dan Mitchells comments:

"It doesn't benefit this town," Mitchell said, adding he could change his mind about allowing the marathon if the town is compensated for the use of the town roads by Adrenaline Sports Management, the for-profit company that is organizing the event.

Mitchell said the event would inconvenience the public and raise questions about who would be responsible for the runners' safety.

- A perfect example of showing how politicians and greed go hand in hand. Am I wrong or are his comments all geared towards "We want money"? He says it would inconvenience the public (even though the race is held FOR the public) and concerns for the runners safety. BUT! If the race organizers would give him a chunk of the money, he could overlook these concerns and it would be ok.
Maybe Dan Mitchell can organize a Hotdog eating contest to replace the marathon? I'm sure he'd be all for that!

raydahl
raydahl

Typical politician !! Mess up a great event even before it happens. When I run a race, especially a marathon we make an entire vacation out of it. Shopping, sightseeing, the whole works. Brought in revenue to the other places we "visited" . Also the spectators on the sidelines cheering is a feeling like none other.

Maybe Mitchell can take off his "green colored glasses" for a little while and look at ALL the benefits the marathon offers. Money isn't everything !

raydahl
raydahl

[quote]Snowman said: ......All runners know the safety risks while running. Some races close down roads, others only give runners the shoulder of the road. We seem to manage no matter what.......

I agree, Snowman,
Someone should point out to Mitchell we all sign a waiver holding ourselves responsible for the risks involved !

Freddy
Freddy

It's like they are totally out of touch! I'm no runner, but even I know they're not going to be liable for injuries. This is typical, tho - it's the same with bike events too. Anything healthful and fun that doesn't involve a mega-resort or a waterslide is largely ignored. My wife an I take a bike vacation each Fall, and we spend some serious money on cabins, food, shopping etc. And we don't go to the Dells. This is part of the reason why, and we're not the only ones.

runninrigs88
runninrigs88

I hope they make a decision soon. I have already started training and I'm really looking forward to this event. My whole family is planning on coming to support me so it would be a bummer for all of us if this race gets canceled!

scott joles
scott joles

How is it that promoting fitness in our community is "not a benifit"? Regardless of who profits financially? There is also an opportunity to bring thousands of people into the Dells area during the "off"season and to help continue to promote the Dells area as a premiere sporting community. I can't understand how this is "not a benefit" for this community much less the entire state that promotes tourism as one of it's biggest industries.

gark25
gark25

I'm waiting for a valid reason for this race to not go on. And if this guy pulls the plug on it then I'm gonna show up and run anyway like I did in Myrtle Beach. Why is this guy whining about the use of the roads for a few hours? Dell Prairie isn't exactly a booming metropolis. I don't want a town that elected this guy as their Town Board Supervisor to make any money off me. I will be sleeping in my car, but eating leftover Pizza Hut from Mankato, MN. Nobody in Mankato is whining about an inaugural marathon there.
And safety? SAFETY! Lamest excuse ever! Safety is an illusion, and I'm not willing to trade away marathon running for it. Dan, grow up or get out!

Marathonjunkie
Marathonjunkie

Like most politicians, I doubt the Mr. Mitchell reads any of this. I am hoping that the locals see the opportunity to promote fitness and participate in this event and tell Mr. Mitchell that it is not such a bad idea. Get him outside of his stuffy office and let him breathe the October air in Wisconsin. Perhaps he will think more clearly about a decision that could have significant economic impact. Granted his town is small but he would certainly be helping his neighbors. Alas, he is is a politician and doing something for nothing is probably too much to ask. Let him know, when he reverses his decision, I fully expect the Board to host the best water stop along the course to show their support for tourism, health, fitness and community pride. I'll take it a step further. Reverse the decision, sign up for the event and I will buy his running shoes and coach him for the event....FREE. What say you Mr. Mitchell? No money in your pocket but shoes on your feet!

The Marathonjunkie.

Marathonjunkie
Marathonjunkie

Like most politicians, I doubt the Mr. Mitchell reads any of this. I am hoping that the locals see the opportunity to promote fitness and participate in this event and tell Mr. Mitchell that it is not such a bad idea. Get him outside of his stuffy office and let him breathe the October air in Wisconsin. Perhaps he will think more clearly about a decision that could have significant economic impact. Granted his town is small but he would certainly be helping his neighbors. Alas, he is is a politician and doing something for nothing is probably too much to ask. Let him know, when he reverses his decision, I fully expect the Board to host the best water stop along the course to show their support for tourism, health, fitness and community pride. I'll take it a step further. Reverse the decision, sign up for the event and I will buy his running shoes and coach him for the event....FREE. What say you Mr. Mitchell? No money in your pocket but shoes on your feet!

The Marathonjunkie.