By Trent Tetzlaff
In the spring of 2015 Eau Claire Marathon runners had the opportunity to be part of the inaugural Blugold Mile. A mile stretch through UW-Eau Claire’s lower campus filled with over 65 cheering student organizations, multiple water stations and a galore of fans.
The organizations involved set up shop within the campus mall and play music, spray water and cheer on runners through the mile stretch of campus.
Over 2,500 runners crossed through the mile as runners of the marathon or half marathon race in early May.
On May 1, 2016 the second annual Blugold Mile will come to life once again on the Eau Claire campus. One of this year’s Blugold Mile event planning interns Rachel Keenan said they expect over 3,000 runners and hope for more than 100 student organizations to be present.
Keenan, a senior organizational communication major is one of four Blugold Mile interns this spring. The internship positions include two event planning interns, a media relations intern and a social media intern.
In her position as an event planning intern, Keenan said she is in charge of putting together a lot of the event including booking many of the student organizations.
“Splitting the work between myself and the other event planning intern (Jillian Manion), we each take on about 90 student organizations and lead them through a process of meetings to obtain the goal of having their members participate in the Blugold Mile,” she said.
Along with this, Keenan said she is also responsible for promoting the university’s distance running class through digital media, and also continuously working to find ways to improve the rather new event.
Keenan said in her position she is able to put many skills she has learned in her organizational communication studies to good use.
“I use intentional strategic message design when I change every email to fit the organization I am contacting,” she said. “I also use small group communication skills during our team meetings when we need to brainstorm the next big idea and I use leadership training when offered a chance to head a new project or speak to the members of a student organization. The list goes on and on.”
Junior organizational communication student Meghan Hosely was able to put her not only her communication skills to good use when she became the Blugold Mile’s media relations intern this spring, but also her writing skills.
As the media relations intern, Hosely creates content and digital media through articles to capture an audience surrounding the Blugold Mile and the Eau Claire Marathon.
Hosely said she generates story ideas from two different places. One is by going to the distance running class and learning about different runners while the other is through student organizations.
For example, Hosely wrote a piece she wrote on a student in the distance running class who is using the class and marathon to train for soccer tournaments over the summer.
What drew Hosely into applying for the internship was the ability to create her own story ideas and to put her writing skills to use for an organization.
“I think being able to find stories on my own is a new challenge and I really like that,” she said. “I also have found a niche when it comes to writing for sports like cross country and track so I like that I am able to make running sound interesting for readers.”
Although Hosely has been able to put skills gained while working at the Spectator to good use while working for the Blugold Mile, she also has been able to use her organizational communications skills she said.
But more than anything, she said what she has learned can also help her in a future career after graduation next year.
“I get to advocate for the Blugold Mile and the Eau Claire Marathon and being active and running is something I am really passionate about,” she said. “That’s really what I want to do is get other people inspired and that’s what I am trying to do through my stories.”
Running the marathon? Have any questions regarding the Blugold Mile, or CJ internship opportunities? Drop a comment below if so!