Meet Our Team

Learn more about our Berbee Derby Team

A sincere thank you to ALL supporters of the Berbee Derby, past and present. This includes our wonderful sponsors, dedicated volunteers, the city of Fitchburg, Lands’ End and their fabulous shirts, our many suppliers and partners, and of course, our runners and walkers.

Without your continued interest, dedication and support, there wouldn’t be a Berbee Derby. And why do we do what we do? To see the smiles on the faces of our runners and walkers, and know the many technology education grants we will be able to award throughout our community.


Jim Berbee

I’m an emergency physician, and Founder of the Berbee Derby. I’ve been around since before the beginning of the race. 

For me, the Berbee Derby is a happy event, a time for friends and families to be together outside the home on Thanksgiving. Also, it encourages an active lifestyle, and importantly is ENTIRELY for charity, with 100% of the money raised for technology education in our community.

My favorite thing about the Derby is the race day itself in the early part of the morning. All of the work for the year has been done, and it is amazing to see the excited participants start to arrive.

My favorite race memory is first time I saw the MedFlight Helicopter (it was here for public relations) circle over Derby Village and then land.



Karen Walsh

I’ve been a part of the Berbee Derby for many (many!) years. I am the coordinator of team processing – we love all the teams that participate! – and I manage our stock of inventory. Aside from working on the big race, I also rescue cats, and work in philanthropy.

I find that the Berbee Derby is a great way to kick off the holiday season. I love what the Technology Education Foundation has done for local schools and non-profits – the funding that we provide to the TEF provides a huge margin of excellence for lots of fantastic non-profit programs across the community.

I’ve met so many great people working on the Derby–sponsors, vendors, volunteers, runners and walkers. The City of Fitchburg is such a supportive host–we couldn’t ask for a better community partner. I’ve got some favorite things about the Derby. I absolutely love the crazy days of packet pick-up, and I also really enjoy giving out my super-double-top-secret parking places. One of the best costumes I’ve seen through the years show up at the race is the Grinch – and he wasn’t even crabby!




I helped create the Berbee Derby many years ago, and have served as the event’s Race Director through 2020. In 2021, I will be working to transition the Race Director role to our newest team member, Ashley! In my spare time, I love to do running races of all distances and train for long distance triathlons. I’ve qualified for Boston 4 times and completed Ironman Wisconsin 5 times! I’d love to qualify for Boston sometime soon.
I see the Berbee Derby as a great way to bring families and friends together, and to get them excited about doing something in the great outdoors. One of my favorite things is race morning, arriving while it’s still dark and watch the morning unfold all the way to the finish line. So many smiling faces makes my day.
It is amazing to see the Berbee Derby grow from a small race of just a few hundred people (yes, it was small the first year!) to where it is today with many thousands, nearly 6500 annually. It is so important that every cent we raise goes right back into the community to help children and adults through the Technology Education Foundation. Every year, I have the chance to interact with so many participants and hear their stories of how they came to our race. Very inspiring.




I have been running my own event planning business for the last nine years and when we moved back to Madison a few years ago I knew I wanted to get more involved in our community. I was introduced to the Berbee Derby by my husband who works at American Family Children’s  Hospital and loved running the race in years prior. After finishing with my own PR last year (ok… it was my first race but still…) I saw the same comradery around the race as I did the University, and with two small children as well their mission resonated with me.

As the newbie to the team (Assistant Race Director) I was thrilled to hear every one’s long standing tradition and involvement in the Berbee Derby as well as their eagerness to pass that on to me. A quality team committed to a common goal to do good in the community, that was the dream. Though this year is undoubtedly going to be very different than years prior I look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to get creative. At no point in time have our communities needed our support more and children the resources to continue their education.

There is something so unifying about events such as the Berbee Derby and its unique position surrounding the holidays it is that much more gratifying to its participants. On a day of glutinous indulgence we have the opportunity to get out of the house, be active, and give back to the community… and we can do it all before lunch. I can’t wait to see what this year brings and how we all navigate these unprecedented times; I imagine we will see many more of your creative and hilarious costumes.



I have been involved with the Berbee Derby for over a decade serving as co-race director.  In 2017 I returned as Assistant Race Director with a focus on Volunteer Coordination and Race Day Implementation.

The Berbee Derby is a wonderful way to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with family and friends. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Technology Education Foundation which in turn benefits Madison Area schools and non-profits.

My favorite thing about the Berbee Derby is the fact that this is a race for everyone—from the competitive runner to the first-time runner or walker. The Berbee Derby is a race for ANY age and ANY fitness level.  If this is your 10th race this year, this race is for you!  If this is your first time signing up for a run or walk, this race is for you!

With our Wisconsin weather, I am still in awe at how thousands of runners/walkers get out of bed on a holiday to participate in the Berbee Derby. I love seeing all of the clever costumes on race day, but my favorite part is seeing how creative people are with their team names (We have over 100 teams that participate in the Derby!).  I’ve heard of team members getting together for meetings to determine their team name for that year’s Berbee Derby. 



I’ve been a participant and volunteer with the Berbee Derby since its inception, and now serve as the Director of Corporate Relations. Over the years my volunteer roles have included organizing bibs and packet pickup, clustering safety pins, processing race registrations, and helping with parking (basically, a bit of everything!).

My full-time job isn’t surprising, given my love of fitness. I am a supervisor and exercise specialist at UW Sports Medicine Fitness Center; I do individual coaching, teach a variety of classes, and oversee a number of instructors and classes we offer. What else do I enjoy? Running, swimming, yoga, hiking, walking my dog, Surly, snuggling my 3 kitties, and occasionally enjoying a craft beer or a good glass of wine!

The Berbee Derby is truly a great race for a wonderful cause. I grew up in Madison, and as a runner, I have always loved that the Berbee Derby gets people moving on a holiday when people enjoy lots good food and treats. What better way to kick off a day of gratitude by participating in an event that completely benefits a charity, and is in turn good for you too! Every year it is fantastic to see the huge community of participants (no matter the weather!). Family and friends run together, wear costumes or crazy hats, and show big smiles. It’s just an overall fun time.



Making A Difference, Locally.

Powered by the Berbee Derby

Did you know that 100% of proceeds from the Berbee Derby go to the Madison-based Technology Education Fund (TEF)? The annual Thanksgiving Day event has become a family tradition for many. Fun event for all ages and levels.

The Berbee Derby celebrated their 20 year anniversary this Thanksgiving — which was its final year of the annual event.