The Wild staff has been planning Sept. 20 for months. The Wild Breakaway 10K/5K/1-Mile Run, the 5-hour open practice, the regular season ticket on sale. We've had this date circled longer than the biggest Wild fan has. I was in Saint Paul all day, and here's an in-depth run down of the events as they transpired.
7 a.m. - I arrive on site at the same time as volunteers for the Wild breakaway. Fox 9 is live
as well, interviewing fans waiting in line.
7:03 a.m. - Huge moment as the State of Hockey/Hockey Lodge Mobile Store is officially open
for the first time. It looks great, and is your source for Wild t-shirts and memorabilia outside Xcel Energy Center.
7:10 a.m. - The State of Hockey flag is officially raised
in the air as part of the Wild Breakaway Start/Finish line.
7:16 a.m. - I pass Iowa Wild head coach Kurt Kleinendorst, walking from his hotel to practice for the day. A State of Hockey native, even Kleinendorst seems impressed by the early morning turnout.
7:23 a.m. - FOX Sports North Girls Kendall and Angie
are on site.
7:31 a.m. - We take a break for a Danish courtesy of our friends at Levy Restaurants.
7:38 a.m. - We start assembling candidates for best dressed. This trio
was memorable. And, sorry ladies if I accidentally took a selfie on your camera. However, incorporating your team's slogan
is always good too. The "This is How We Do It" girls were voted best dressed, and won a Mikko Koivu jersey. No word how they plan to split the prize.
8:10 a.m. - Marco Scandella unassumingly wanders through a huge crowd of people, while making his way to Gate 1. Moments later, Darcy Kuemper does the same.
8:30 a.m. - Led by James Bohn doing the National Anthem and Wes Walz performing an alternate to Let’s Play Hockey
(Let’s Get Running), the Breakaway is officially underway
8:32 a.m. - Doors open for the open practice. There are easily a couple hundred people in line.
8:58 a.m. - Touching scene as a small boy with a prosthetic leg crosses the finish line in the 1-Mile Run. Tried to track him down but couldn’t, if you know who he is please let me know!
9:29 a.m. - After a practice, Groups B and C hit the ice for a scrimmage. It’s Wild fans first chance to see Thomas Vanek, who like yesterday is skating with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle.
9:45 a.m. - Medal ceremony
. The winners list
. The 1-Mile Winner.
Matt Wiersum, the men’s 10K winner in 34 minutes, 19 seconds, tells Wild.com: “Nice day, good weather. It was a fun time.” He tells us he’s run faster, but this course is more challenging with hills, and he’ll for sure be back next year to repeat.
10:05 a.m. - We sit down to watch our first part of live hockey of the day. Man, Jordan Schroeder is fast. I was on the same plane with the entire Schroeder family going to his draft, when he was selected by the Canucks.
10:08 a.m. - Things get a little chippy between Stu Bickel and Rosemount native Ryan Walters.
10:11 a.m. - Safe to say that with the medal ceremony wrapped up, we’ve surpassed the 2,000 mark in attendance for the day.
10:40 a.m. - Official attendance is 3,000. To watch an open practice on a day in which it's sunny, and temps hit the mid 70's in September. You rock, State of Hockey.
11:05 a.m. - Zach Parise stops
and signs for fans at the open practice.