With temperatures topping out in single digits below zero, the 27th annual Freeze for Food 10-kilometer run and 5K run/walk may never have been more apt in name. Sponsored by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison, this year's event generated more than $2,000.
The sum will go to purchase seeds, tools and medicines for residents of Madison's Colombian sister city, San Jose de Apartado -- a small peasant village in a troubled northern agricultural region where conditions are favorable to growing coca. Established in 1970, San Jose has since 1997 struggled to survive as a declared Peace Community in the face of repeated attacks, assassinations and blockades by both guerrillas and paramilitary groups.
Madison's returned Peace Corps volunteers are one of the most visible legacies derived from long-standing relationships between the corps and the UW-Madison. From 1986 to 2005, the university ranked first in the generation of alumni volunteers for the corps.
Earlier this month, the annual rankings announcement put UW-Madison second among large schools for the second straight year, with 99 undergraduate alumni volunteers to the University of Washington's 113. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, almost 3,000 former UW-Madison students have served in its ranks.
Freeze for Food is but one manifestation of this legacy. In addition to generating resources for San Jose and its residents, the event is a foot race that starts and finishes at the Vilas Park shelter.
As with any such run, there are results to note. Here are Saturday's champions by gender and age:
Women Under 30: Mary Daly, 25 minutes, 47 seconds
Men 30-39: Scott Jones 20:19
Women 30-39: Tiffany Pelanek 29:25
Men 40-49: Bill Gilmore 19:52
Women 40-49: Karen Watrafen 22:56
Men 50-59: Steve Russet 22:09
Women 50-59: Kristine Guderyon-Goetz 29:04
Men 60+: Don Yanchurak 26:56
Women Under 30: Robin Forbes Lorman 46:18
Men Under 30: Nick Rhoads 39:07
Women 30-39: Rachel Lander 1:05:51
Men 30-39: Brad Hinkfuss 43:17
Women 40-49: Ann Heaslett 45:01
Men 40-49: Dana Bartholomew 40:59
Women 50-59: Deanna Letts 54:16
Men 50-59: Alarik Rosenlund 44:21
Men 60+: Dave Peterson 55:47
Congratulations all around to Saturday's participants, organizers and volunteers, and an extra tip of the wool cap to Pelanek. Not only did she Freeze for Food twice -- recovering from her 5K triumph in the women's 30-39 age group in time to step up to the starting line for the 10K a mere half-hour later -- she came within five seconds of claiming her age-group title at that longer distance too, finishing a close second.