Philanthropy beat: And now, it's a race to pack up leftovers

  • Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 8, 2012 - 7:30 PM

The day after seamlessly pulling off the Twin Cities Marathon, which attracted about 9,000 runners from across the globe, the folks at the nonprofit that organizes the event were continuing the race.

This time, though, it was a sprint to organize the leftover marathon supplies in their St. Paul warehouse while the rented forklift is still there to do the heavy lifting.

"There's lots of water cups, medical stuff, Powerade mix, miscellaneous supplies, lots and lots of signage,'' said Virginia Brophy Achman, executive director of Twin Cities in Motion, standing in the memories of Sunday's race.

"You open the doors [to the warehouse] and wonder how it will get back in,'' she laughed.

The good news is that the supplies will roll out again in a few months. That's because Twin Cities in Motion has added eight smaller races to get Minnesotans up and running -- but not necessarily 26.2 miles.

The next race is Feb. 2, when about 900 children join a fun run at the University of Minnesota fieldhouse. A week later, there's a 5K around Lake Harriet for young and old alike.

An "Irish for the Day'' run is slated for March 9. A Kids Cross Country Fun Run on May 18. July 4th brings a half-marathon called Red, White and Boom.

It's all part of a gradual transition of the nonprofit that, until 2009, was known as Twin Cities Marathon Inc. Since rebranding itself and adding new programs, it saw the number of runners and walkers reach 43,000 last year.

Organizers still coordinate a flood of volunteers: 5,000 on marathon day and 1,000 the rest of the year. But they're spread out across the metro now, helping with events that attract runner newbies to the pros.

"The off-season events give people an opportunity to start running without having to wait until the fall,'' said Brophy Achman.

Meanwhile, her staff's warehouse runs on Monday apparently paid off. By the day's end, Brophy Achman marveled, "You can actually see the floor again!''

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

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