V2B Update

Hello Vineyard to Bay Participants!

To date, most of the planning for this year’s event has revolved around all the “behind the scenes” activities such as securing insurance coverage and clearing the date and times with the townships, sheriff’s department and the road commission. But there are some event related items you may have missed if you aren’t following us on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/Vineyard2Bay25k/)

At January’s annual Traverse City Track Club Awards Banquet, Vineyard to Bay 25k was awarded “Favorite Small Race” for 2016.  This is quite an honor considering all the running events held in the club’s five county region. Of course that got us to dreaming of one day being considered for their “Favorite Large Race” category. For now we will work hard to continue offering an excellent experience to our participants and hope it continues to grow.  Thanks to the TCTC for acknowledging our efforts!


In February, Leif Sporck of Sporck TileArt in Suttons Bay released his 2017 version of the all-finishers award. (as yet unglazed) We feel fortunate to have established a partnership that allows us to provide awards that are out of the ordinary for our 25k and 2-person 15k/10k relay finishers.  Worth noting is that Leif is not only creating our awards but has run the 25k the past two years, finishing 2nd in his age group in 2016!


March is off to a good start with the release of our new website designed by Traverse City’s Byte Productions. While it was fun to create and update our own event website from the beginning, it clearly was in need of a professional revamp. Best of all we are finally mobile friendly.  Thanks to Amy Fritz and crew at Byte for the upgrade!


Speaking of which, one picture chosen for our website homepage is worth sharing.  By chance, our event photographer in 2016, Emma Winowiecki, captured this picture of four adorable kids who belong to overall relay winners Jill Burden and Erica Parkinson.


More news to come as we plan for another fun event. Hope this finds everyone doing well!


2017 Race Update + Grape Harvest 2016

Each year we learn more about what works, what doesn’t, and what participants would like to see added to future Vineyard to Bay events.  For 2017 we are sticking with the Sunday prior to Labor Day weekend and keeping the same 5k, 25k, and relay courses.  We have established volunteer groups that know the ins and outs of their duties and are willing to return for 2017.  We are also committed to making sure EVERYONE who finishes their event get something for their effort. Why change what works?

The biggest change to date is in terms of entry fees.  We have significantly lowered fees by offering shirts as an option for 2017.  There were just too many participants who didn’t necessarily want one more shirt for their already overflowing inventory of race shirts that were never worn.  So if you don’t care to receive a V2B shirt you save quite a bit of money on your 2017 entry fee.  Plus, price increases will only occur 4 times (1-1, 6-1, 8-1 & race day) instead of 6 times last year which also helps in keeping costs down.

Our hope is to have increased participation for 2017. We will cap entries in the relay to 50 teams and the 5k and 25k to 200 participants.  While it is somewhat wishful thinking to achieve these goals, we hope the lower price offered for no shirts helps us get there. In return we are confident more proceeds can be generated for Suttons Bay Schools and TART Trails; our ultimate goal.

The only other news to report at this time is that the 2016 grape harvest on the Leelanau Peninsula appears to be excellent!  No late spring or early fall frosts to deal with plus a warmer than normal summer has resulted in perfect conditions for all varieties of grapes.  After a rough 2014 & 2015 harvest, 2016 seems to on track to be one of the best in years. So, by next August and certainly August 2018, many excellent red and white estate bottled wines will await your arrival.


Race Update

Shirts:  Tech shirts are guaranteed for those who registered by August 1.  A limited number of extras will be given out on a first come first serve basis during packet pickup Saturday from 3-6 at Hearth & Vine Café. The design is based on the Sporck Tileart 25k & relay all-finishers award.

Drop Box:  For all participants, you have the option to leave your backpack/clothes in the back of Ross’ truck. He will be at the start of the 25k/relay and the 5k, so look for his gray Tacoma with V2B magnets on the side. All items will be taken to the finish area at Waterwheel Park and placed on a tarp. It is a very safe part of the world but we do not recommend leaving valuables.0823161212

Relays:  Once the 15k runners start from Brengman Brothers, there are two good options for 10k runners to see their partners during their run; the 4.1 mile mark at Bingham Rd. & Leelanau Trail and the 5.3 mile mark at Shady Lane & Leelanau Trail. Take Crain Hill Rd. down to M-22, turn left, then another left at Bingham Rd. or Shady Lane. Also, 15k finishers have a great opportunity to swim once finished. There is a lightly used boat launch directly across M-22 from Hill Top Rd.

Mile Markers:  There will be mile marker signs throughout the course for the 25k.  They aren’t big so to insure you will see them there will also be a safety cone.  Nothing worse than missing a mile marker and thinking it’s taking forever to get to the next mile mark. 0825161149a

Photographer:  We will have one photographer working the course. She will be at both the 25k and 5k start plus at random spots on the course.  There will also be a VINEYARD TO BAY 25K banner just above the waterwheel near the end of the finish chute.  Our photographer will be there at random times but if you have your cell phone it will be a great place to show off your finisher’s award.

SAG Vehicles:  If you can’t complete your run we have two SAG vehicles on call to assist in getting you back to Suttons Bay.  They will be in direct contact with the aid stations so if you do need to drop out try to do so at one of the 7 aid stations on the course. We will also have course marshals along the way to assure a safe race for all.

Need a Relay Partner?  We have an individual entered in the 25k who would prefer to do the 15k or 10k instead. If someone not yet registered is interested in doing the relay but doesn’t have a partner, email rossdeye@gmail.com.

TRAINING: Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

For many runners excited about a certain race on their calendar, training goes smoothly and when that day finally arrives, they are confident everything has been done to race at their best. Most runners know, however, that many variables are involved in having things work out as they should.  Time commitment can become a problem with work and/or family responsibilities. Our bodies often aren’t able to handle the training we do and injuries sideline us for extended periods. To maximize your chances for success, it is important to set up a manageable plan from day one that focuses on realistic expectations.  Too many runners, in the excitement of that anticipated race, try to do too much too soon instead of focusing on what is achievable over a long period of time. The key to starting a training plan is to design one that is sustainable.

Before the new year, I knew that one race on the 2016 calendar would be more important than any other; the Cherryfest 15k in early July.  So, when I decided to set up a plan that would start the first week of January and get me through the six months of preparation, I knew to take a few things into consideration:

1) I hadn’t run at all the past three months; opting for a combination of biking and hiking.

2) I had plenty of time, six months, to prepare for a race that was 9.3 miles.

3) At age 62, I knew my body’s limitations in terms of how much volume I could handle.

Plus, quite frankly, I wasn’t convinced I wanted to go through yet another training schedule that would have my body feel the daily aches and pains associated with long distance running after doing so for nearly forty­-six years. Why would I want to endure McKinley Hill one more time after already doing it over twenty times in the past thirty years?

All things considered, I set up a plan.  Keep in mind that throughout my running life, January has been the month where I have trained the most; wanting to start the new year with a well-established base of miles regardless of the wintery conditions.  My log chart (started in March, 1977) reveals more 100 mile weeks in January than any month of the year. I designed a plan that would start with a ten minute walk, ten minute jog and ten minute walk, four times the first week.  This was a far cry from the days when I would insist “if you don’t run at least thirty minutes, it doesn’t count as a run”.  It was a small dose of running considering I would need up to ninety minutes to complete the 15k in July. But, it was both manageable and achievable.

It would be February 25 before I would do my first thirty minute run; ten days before my first “test race”, the Leapin Leprechaun 5k. It would be May 27 before my first sixty minute run. It was a plan that did not put much emphasis on pace, instead focusing on running the number of days per week I had set up for myself (beginning with four, ending with five) and averaging a set number of minutes per run (starting with 10, ending with 45). The long runs would slowly build up by ten minute increments every two weeks, starting with thirty minutes in February and ending with 80 minutes in June.

By starting with a manageable amount of running and gradually increasing the volume, I was able to stick with the plan I had set up without getting injured or burned out doing more running than I felt I was mentally able to commit to.  I added various races to the training schedule as a means of measuring my progress and as a way to remain focused on the short term.  By the time of my focus race in July, I felt confident that I had prepared as best as I could.  I would beat my goal of breaking 90 minutes and nearly matched my 82 minutes from the year before.

So, before you embark on a training plan to compete in that highly anticipated race, know what your limitations are.  Far too many runners fall short of achieving their goals by doing too much too soon.  Set realistic goals for your training.  Don’t assume that because you were able to do a level of training in high school or college that you can necessarily do it now. Be patient with your progress.  A good foundation for any training plan is based on two factors:

1) The number of days per week you can commit to training

2) The amount of time each day you can commit to training

Once you’ve made the necessary assessment of your limits, you can set up a plan that is both achievable and sustainable.  You can slowly progress from not worrying at all about the pace of your training runs to being mindful of your pacing as you approach your focus race day. The confidence you gain by meeting your weekly goals, regardless of how easy they may seem at first, will carry you through the weeks of preparation needed to be ready for the anticipated race.

Tips to help you succeed with training plan:

1) Set the number of days per week you will run, taking into consideration family/work commitments. If it’s five, try to break the week up in half to allow for flexibility. Run Monday and Tuesday, then Wednesday is either off or a make-up day. Run Thursday, Friday and Saturday then Sunday is either off or a make-up day. Undecided between four or five days? Choose four. You can always add a day as your training progresses.

2) Make the transition from miles to minutes run.  From a time management perspective, you are better able to manage your day knowing exactly how long a run will take. It is much easier to base runs on minutes instead of miles. You’d be surprised how easy it is to convert. Then decide the number of minutes you wish to average each run. Undecided between thirty or forty minutes?  Choose thirty.  You can always build up to forty as your training progresses.

There are many training plans out there. Choose one that fits the parameters you have set for yourself as opposed to conforming to plans that aren’t a good match. For example, with my focus race of 2016 behind me, I have settled into running four days per week averaging thirty minutes per run. It may not seem like much for the young, competitive runners but it’s two hours of running per week that helps me maintain my level of fitness until the next focus race appears on the horizon. It’s a level of training that I can achieve each week and it is sustainable for a body that has been pounding the pavement for forty-six years.

Ross Deye


The Finish!

Finish: Once participants turn left on 1st Street in Suttons Bay off the Leelanau Trail there is less than three tenths of a mile to go.  Look for the Endurance Evolution finish clock & chute as you come up St. Mary’s Street towards Waterwheel Park.  There you will receive your all-finishers award and water.  There is also a portable toilet next to the waterwheel.  You then head down Jefferson Street two blocks to get to Marina Park where there will be food, refreshments, and awards. (And a playground for the kids) A post-race dip in Suttons Bay is just steps away from the food tent.  Recover on the extensive green space or beach provided on park grounds

Awards: 5k awards are promptly at 10 a.m., 25k awards at 11 & relay awards immediately thereafter at Marina Park.

Personal Belongings: Clothing, etc. placed in the drop boxes at the 5k/25k start will be available at Marina Park. If you entered the morning of, t-shirts will also be available for pick up after your event at Marina Park.

Helpful Hint: If you are awake enough when you arrive in Suttons Bay to catch the shuttle, you may want to stretch the legs and check out both Waterwheel Park & Marina Park. Both are close to the shuttle bus pick up location on Front Street.  The town of Suttons Bay is very quiet this time of day and there are numerous places to park within easy access to the shuttle and both parks.

Suttons Bay Bikes owner Nick Wierzba will be the bike escort for the lead runners in the 25k for the third straight year. His shop is on Front Street by the marina. Thanks Nick!

SB Bikes-1

The Course

Please refer to the elevation by 5k section of the website (http://www.vineyard2bay25k.com/course-maps) for a description of the entire course.   It will assist all participants regardless of which race you are registered.  When a course is described as “beautiful and challenging” you can assume it isn’t flat.  We just don’t want anyone being surprised when they have to experience an incline before they can experience the “beautiful” part. If you drive the route prior to the race, you can do the first 2.5 miles plus miles 7.5 to 12. The 5 mile stretch from 2.5 to 7.5 is the non-motorized Leelanau Trail as is mile 12 to 15. While not accessible by car, it is a rails to trails conversion and thus no steep hills to contend with. The 5 mile segment is a very gradual incline and the 3 mile segment a very gradual descent.

Aid stations will be located at seven locations on the 25k route; mile marks 2.1, 4.1, 6.0, 8.0, 9.4, 12.0 & 14.0. Energy gel will be provided at stations 6.0 and 9.4.

Portable toilets will be at aid stations 2.1, 4.1, 6.0, 9.4 & 12.0 in addition to one at mile 7.5 & 14.5. Three will also be located at the beginning of the 25k & relay at Crain Hill Vineyard and at Hillside Feed & Supply for the 5k.

The Leelanau County Sheriff’s department will have officers at critical points on the course. The southbound lane of Center Highway will be closed to traffic with barricades for the 1st 1.1 miles of the 25k and 15k relay leg. Volunteers will also be stationed at critical points through the course.  EMS personnel will be on standby for all three townships in which the race takes place.

Two SAG vehicles will be available to transport runners to the finish should you be unable to complete your run. Cell phone communication between SAG personnel and aid stations will be ongoing, so if you are unable to continue please do so at one of the aid stations if possible.

We would like to thank the following sponsors for their assistance in providing funds for the aid station supplies and volunteers:

SourceBrewCoryB- Century 21tc_state_bank_logoShady Lane-1

Event Parking

25k Runners

There is temporary parking from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. at the starting point, Crain Hill Vineyards. If you are with a family member or friend who is not participating, you can save time by not driving up to Suttons Bay to take the shuttle.  (Assuming you are coming up from TC)  Plenty of parking is available on the streets of Suttons Bay near the shuttle bus loading area at the Front Street/Adam Street intersection. This is also close to the Waterwheel Park finish line at the intersection of St. Mary’s Street and Jefferson Street. Shuttles run from 6:30 to 7:15 for 25k participants and takes 15 minutes to get to CHV.

2 Person Relay

Relay teams need to coordinate their own transportation. We recommend both members of the relay drive to the Crain Hill Vineyard starting point where the 15k leg will start. The 10k leg then drives to the exchange zone parking lot at West Bayshore Village on the corner of M-22 & Hill Top Road.  The relay exchange is a short distance up Hill Top. If one relay member is not of driving age, a third person should be available to provide necessary transportation. There is no shuttle service to or from the exchange zone.

5k Walkers, Joggers, and Runners

There is temporary parking from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. at the starting point, Hillside Feed & Supply 3 miles south of Suttons Bay on Center Highway. (County road 633)  Do not park on the side of Center Highway.  Plenty of parking is available on the streets of Suttons Bay near the shuttle bus loading area at Front Street/Adam Street intersection. This is also close to the Waterwheel Park finish line at the intersection of St. Mary’s Street and Jefferson Street. Shuttles run from 7:15 to 8:15 for 5k participants and takes 5 minutes to get to HF&S.


Those wishing to follow 25k or relay participants may park at any road that intersects the Leelanau Trail. (Bingham, Shady Lane, Fort, Revold.) Other areas easily accessible by car are West Bayshore Village and Leelanau Cheese on M-22. Temporary parking for spectators is available at both Crain Hill Vineyards and Hillside Feed & Supply, but only until the race is in progress.