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How to stay safe during your winter run

GREEN BAY — ‘Tis the season for holidays and chilly winter runs. Scott Conklin, an avid runner of 12 years, knows this best.

He first discovered his passion for the sport after doing the Bellin Run in 2009.

“I started out doing 5ks and 10ks and thought that was going to be the farthest I ever ran, and then I just discovered new distances,” Conklin said. “Then I did a half-marathon and a marathon. Then I discovered trail running and ultra-marathons. The longest race I’ve done is 100 miles.”

Conklin, a Green Bay resident who is also the race director for the Dawn to Dusk Endurance Run, runs five days a week and is used to running in the cold, even in below zero temperatures.

His best advice for running in cold temperatures is to layer up. Linda Maxwell, another avid runner and the assistant race director for the Bellin Run, agrees.

“The most important thing is having a wicking layer to start out with,” Maxwell said. “I prefer something with a zipper because you can adjust throughout your run.”

Maxwell added that “layering is important when it comes to your hands as well.”

“I love to have a mitten and then a wind layer on top of that,” Maxwell said.

Runner visibility can also be a challenge in the winter, and icy surfaces can be hard for runners to spot. Maxwell emphasizes the importance of having the correct gear to remain visible and avoid injuries.

“Reflective gear is great, but light up is an even better option, and there’s lots of things out there that you can wear comfortably,” Maxwell said. “Or a headlamp, so you can see the ice ahead or what’s going on, so you’re safe that way.”

She also said traction devices for your shoes are a great way to prevent falling on slippery surfaces, and anyone looking to get running gear should go to a place like Run Away Shoes in Green Bay, where employees like Conklin himself, can provide more personalized expertise .

Conklin said despite the winter conditions, new runners shouldn’t let it intimidate them from trying out the sport.

“Don’t be afraid of it. Just get out and enjoy it,” Conklin said. “Start out short. Run up and down your block a little bit or find somebody to run with. Finding somebody to run with makes it go a lot easier.”

“It’s always worth it. No matter what the weather is. No matter what the conditions are,” Conklin added.

For anyone interested in participating in a run on Thanksgiving morning, it’s not too late to register.

The Festival Foods Turkey Trot will be held at 8 am in the following locations on Thursday, November 24:

Green Bay:
Johnsonville Tailgate Village at Lambeau Field 1265
1265 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, WI 54304

Appleton:
Fox City Exhibition Center
355 West Lawrence Street, Appleton, WI 54911

oshkosh:
Oshkosh Seniors Center
200 N Campbell Rd, Oshkosh, WI 54902

Manitowoc:
Red Arrow Park
1433 S 8th St., Manitowoc, WI 54220

There will also be an 8 am run at the Marinette-Menominee YMCA, located at 1600 West Drive, Menominee, MI 49858.

On Sunday, November 27, De Pere’s Run De Pere Half Marathon and 5k will be held at 8 am at West De Pere High School, located at 665 Grant St. De Pere, WI 54155.

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