June 13, 2018
Montana Art for Montana Public Lands - Race shirts with meaning
Running to earn a race shirt that has meaning
While race medals are badges of honor that get hung up on a nail, race shirts are made for wearing. Whether they are used as workout shirts or casual wear, a race shirt is an advertisement of yourself. You run. You cycle. You swim. You don't sit on your ass all day. You seize the day.
Most race directors, myself included, spend a lot of time considering shirt designs. The designs need to mean something. They need to show the world what a runner went through in order to earn the shirt. Ideally, there are not too many logos on the shirt. If there are too many, you become nothing more than a walking billboard. I really hate that idea and have done my best to avoid it.
A good design reflects the challenge that the race imposed on athletes. A great design does this and more. It also reflects the runners' desire to be part of a greater good. It's a design that means something.
For the summer of 2018, we are pursuing greatness. Two Montana artists - Karen Savory and Allison McGree - are going to get us there.
We're getting serious about our public lands campaign for one simple reason. We have to. It's an election year, and public lands is a political football that is going to be kicked around all summer long. Most states don't have that much public land so it's not really an issue. Montana is around 40 percent public land. Madison County, the home county for the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series (GYAS), is 50 percent public land. Five of six GYAS races are on public land. We take this issue seriously because we have to.
The world needs to see public lands in action. We want to show the world that public lands are not just for people who like to hunt, fish, ride horseback, or take stunning photos. They are also for people who take on an athletic challenge for personal and, when possible, public reasons. This year the public reason is public lands.
The GYAS commissioned Karen and Allison to produce art for the shirt design of the Madison Marathon and the Big Sky Marathon. The commission order was quite simple. Produce a piece of art that 'Shows the beauty, value, and importance of Montana's public lands.' These designs will be printed onto the race shirts for the two marathons. Then, the original artwork will be made available for purchase through an auction.
First off, check out their work.
Karen Savory for the Madison Marathon
Allison McGree for the Big Sky Marathon
Here's how it's going to work.
These two beautiful artworks will be displayed at the Ennis Chamber of Commerce office at 201 East Main Street in Ennis. The Chamber is next to the First Madison Valley Bank. There will be bid sheets to write down your bid. There will also be digital images of both pieces on the GYAS website (click on the link on the left menu bar of this newsletter). You can also lodge a bid there by email and your name and bid will be published on the website. We will also be promoting the art and public lands campaign via Social Media and bids can also be placed via that route. The most current bid will be on the GYAS website. The bidding will continue through the Double Marathon weekend on July 21 and 22. The highest bid on July 22 wins the original artwork. The proceeds from the auction will be shared between the artists (the larger share) and the Montana Wildlife Federation which is Montana's longest running conservation organization. They are stout defenders of public lands.
So here's a chance to make a difference in several ways. First, you signup to run one or both of the marathons. You get to run a marathon where you can high five angels because you really are that close to heaven. Second, you get an extremely cool race shirt that you will have earned. Third, by wearing this shirt, you are showing the world how important public lands are to this country. Fourth, you have a chance to actually own the original artwork of the shirt design by outbidding everyone else. Fifth and finally, your winning bid goes directly to the artists and the MWF. You are making a difference.
If you have questions and/or are ready to make a bid, send me an email.
Stay Happy, Healthy, and Always Keep Running Forward especially for reasons that matter.