Ross Deye, founder of the Vineyard to Bay 25K, two-person 15K/10K relay and 5K, joins Heather in the studio to talk about his popular summer race (he shares a race discount code, too!). Deye, a longtime track & field and cross country coach in Ohio and Michigan, started this Suttons Bay race a few years ago, with this year’s event taking place Sunday, Aug. 28. 25K runners start at Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards, with the race ending at Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay in Suttons Bay. Runners can choose to run the entire 25K themselves — Ross and Heather talk about why he chose this 15.5 mile distance — or split it up as a relay (one runner takes on the 15K, while the other runs 10K). The 5K is also an option. Ross says the course is incredibly scenic. “First and foremost I think it offers a variety of looks throughout the race — you have the six vineyards which are beautiful in the late summer/early fall and you have a great view of Grand Traverse Bay when descending Hill Top Road and again once you finish,” Ross says. “Nearly half the 25K is on the Leelanau Trail, which is a nice change of pace from just running roads.” There’s also variety in how far participants choose to run. “We are trying to provide something for everyone without it being too much of an organizational issue and I think we’ve accomplished that.” Post-race activities, finisher bling and age-group awards (wine!) also are covered during the show — each finisher of the 25K and 25K relay receive beautiful ceramic tile art featuring Leelanau Peninsula landscapes, created by area artist Leif Sporck.
A special thanks to Mike Moran of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out his work here, and if you like Michigan craft beer like me, tune into the popular Short’s Cast, a show he produces for Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, Mich.