Warm Temps, Hot Finish: Freeze for Food 2024

Racers at Freeze for Food starting the race

A record warm spring day on March 2, 2024 greeted over 300 runners and walkers for RPCV’s 43rd Annual Freeze for Food Walk/Run, with temperatures of 50-60 F and winds over Lake Wingra clocking a brisk 22 mph. The crowd included toddlers in strollers, dogs on leashes, and participants aged 4 to 82 years, most from the Madison area.  

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison generously designated race-day proceeds to Open Doors for Refugees, with preliminary totals well over $18,000. Eight years ago, Freeze for Food’s first donation to ODFR was $6,138 and totals have increased each year since, even during pandemic years.

Winners of both the 5K and 10K races broke last year’s records. Jeffrey Butterworth, age 36, and Savanna Dean, 24, finished the 5K in 16:38 and 22:08, respectively. Chris Martinez, 31, and Beth Bach, 28, ran the 10K in 36:08 and 37:01. Nineteen runners, including Savanna Dean, ran both the 5K and 10K. Runners interviewed at the finish line called the course “beautiful,” “exhilarating,” “windy,” and “tough.”

See all runner details and race times on the RVPC website.

View more event photos on the Freeze for Food Facebook group.

Sponsors for Freeze for Food

A record number of 22 area businesses and sponsors donated funds and runners themselves made donations in addition to their registration fees. Movin’ Shoes, WORT Radio, Wisconsin State Journal, local food vendors, and local TV stations provided promotion, equipment, and refreshments, while dozens of volunteers showed up early for race-day set-up, registration, and course direction.

Co-race chairs Kate Schachter and Kathleen Wannemuehler led a team of ODFR and RPCV volunteers through six months of planning to make the event a success. Team members included Julet Frazier, Kyle Studnicka-Pineda, Cassie Rademaekers, Carol Wilson, Jess Collins, Tricia Blanco, Lily Varilla, and Stephanie Taylor.

ODFR and RPCV recognized long-time race coordinator Kate Schachter with admiration and gratitude for her many years of leadership and her advocacy for refugees. Kate stated she will retire and encouraged others to step forward.

Volunteer & Coordination Committee

If interested in contributing to next year’s Freeze for Food, contact [email protected].