Race to honor Pat Moreland

The following is another "Have Fun or Get Out of the Way" column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.

The following is another "Have Fun or Get Out of the Way" column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.

Pat Moreland has been an inspiration to countless numbers of Douglas County residents for almost eight decades. His career as a coach and teacher has motivated former students and athletes to excel in their pursuits and endeavors.

On Saturday, June 13, friends, family, former students and others will gather to honor Moreland with the running of the Pat Moreland 5K Run/Walk at Northwestern High School in Maple.

After years of excelling in basketball, baseball and gardening, Moreland turned to running around 30 years ago and he has run every day since Dec. 10, 1987. He has competed in Marathons all over the continent, including the prestigious Boston Marathon on three occasions.

Other Marathons include Las Vegas, Disney World, Los Angeles, Portland, Eagle River, Appleton and of course the famed local jaunts; Grandma's Marathon (20 times), Hurley's Paavo Nurmi Marathon (10 times) and Ashland's Whistle Stop marathon.


Along the way he has run in countless shorter races such as the Oulu Rock Run, Draggin' Tail in Lake Nebagamon and the Rutabaga Run in Cumberland.

His passion for running has inspired many family members to also become runners. Daughter Shari (Keith Olson) has run 75 marathons including the Boston Marathon with Pat in 2000. Sons Don, Scott, Keith, and Bear have all run the 26 miles and 385 yard race on numerous occasions.

Son Rick, another former Tiger runner, is now the carpenter on call to Pat and Leona. Daughters Patti (Calvin Pearson), Mary (Tim Ries) and Karen (Bob Coleman) are not runners, but fill other roles in the family group. Patti is the artist, Karen has turned into an avid walker, and if the family tree needed someone to be in charge of the group, Mary would win the nomination hands down, according to our sources.

Pat and his wife Leona reside in Lake Nebagamon and are also very proud of all of their grandchildren, many of which have also taken up the running avocation. Rett Moreland, Adam Olson, Dane Moreland and Kels Moreland all ran for Northwestern High School and Rett has run for the UW-Superior cross country team. Dane ran at Minnesota-Moorhead and now is the assistant coach of the Oklahoma Sooner cross country team. One of the runners on the Division I team is his brother, Kels.

Other grandchildren have dabbled in running but have excelled in other sports including:

Brody Moreland (he golfed for Ferris State), Kyle Coleman (wrestling at UW-Oshkosh), Terry Coleman (rodeo at Missouri Valley) and Marisa Pearson (equestrian at UW-River Falls).

Granddaughter Chelsey Coleman, who has done the Grandma's half marathon a couple of times, will become Mrs. Jeremy Peters tomorrow in a wedding ceremony at Lucius Woods Park in Solon Springs. Up and coming grandchildren of Pat and Leona include Micah Olson, Carly Moreland, and Ashlee and Abbi Moreland. Granddaughter Cede may have to analyze this amazing group of achievers and she is just the person as she is a UWS psychology major.

So you can see that the Moreland legacy is definitely carrying on. In addition, on another branch of the family tree, Superior's Dan Conway, a former world age group champion in running, is Pat's cousin. Pat and Leona enjoy a cozy home in Lake Nebagamon with a lifetime of memories being augmented with new family achievements occurring on almost a daily basis.


All are welcome to come on June 13 to The Pat Moreland 5K Run/Walk which will also include a mini track meet for all ages with events being the 100, 200, 400, 800-meter runs and a long jump competition as well as a football throw.

Registration for the 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the race will start at 10 a.m. The race will be preceded by an appreciation speech delivered by Don Leighton.

Cost for running in the 5K is $10 for pre-registered and $15 on the day of the race and includes a commemorative Pat Moreland 5K T shirt. Kids will pay $10 and get a shirt or $2 per event without a shirt.

For information or an entry form, call Shari at 372-5022 or e-mail or

  • Alex Wizbicki, former Green Bay Packer, has been invited to be the honorary chairman of the football throw.
  • A 100-meter challenge race between "Lance Boyle" and "Billy Pirkola" will be held later in the day.
  • Q Ball of WNXR Radio has been challenged to a backwards race by sports announcer Terry Hendrick. The event will be hosted by the Gordon L. Nelson Athletic Complex Association and major sponsors are The National Bank of Commerce, and American Family Insurance Agencies of both Karen Korhonen and Lori Severson.
  • Kids games and concession will be available.

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