Spartan Race Entry Winner!

Good morning! Today, we have exciting news to share – the winner of the Spartan Race entry! Without further ado …

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The winner is … Dan! Please email us within the next 48 hours at keeprunningmke@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

Stick around, MKE – we have a winter running style guide and more race previews yet to come this year!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Spartan Race Now Offers Season Passes + A Race Entry Giveaway!

The holiday season is in full swing, which means it’s time to start thinking about what to gift your favorite runner.

One gift idea we love is a race entry – or a gift card to cover a race entry if you don’t know your recipient’s upcoming race schedule. Wrap it up and use a new pair of running shoelaces as the bow (or one of these cute Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wraps!) and you’re ready to start gifting!

Of course, you could go all out and gift not just one race but a series of races. Just in time for the holiday season, Spartan Race is offering 2017 season passes. We think any one of the three pass options would make a fine gift!

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The options include:

Trifecta Pass

  • 3 race codes, valid for the 2017 calendar year
  • Free Spectator Pass
  • Free Bag Check
  • Valid for all heats (including Elite & Comp.)
  • Valid for Continental US & Hawaii Events

Open Season Pass

  • Unlimited racing during the 2017 calendar year
  • Free Spectator Pass
  • Free Bag Check
  • Guaranteed entry to all events (not guaranteed heat)
  • Multi-Lap Discount
  • Valid on all Continental US & Hawaii Events
  • Valid for Open Heats ONLY
  • Upcharge for Elite (+$30) and Competitive (+$15)

Elite Season Pass

  • Unlimited racing during the 2017 calendar year
  • Free Spectator Pass
  • Free Bag Check
  • Guaranteed entry to all events (not guaranteed heat)
  • Multi-Lap Discount
  • Valid on all Continental US & Hawaii Events
  • Valid for ALL heats (Elite, Comp. & Open)

To learn more about the Spartan Race season passes or to purchase one, visit the race website.

Spartan Race would like to gift a Keep Running MKE reader with a free U.S. Spartan Race. In 2017, the race series includes a Stadium Race at Wisconsin’s own Lambeau Field. To add to the excitement, there will also be new finisher’s medals and plenty of new and challenging obstacles.

To enter to win the race entry, answer in the comments section:

How are you staying fit through the holiday season?

We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, December 7.

Best of luck to all who enter the giveaway and, as always,

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

 

*Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize by emailing keeprunningmke@gmail.com. If the prize is not claimed within that time frame, we will select a new winner.

Race It: 2016 Turkey Trot Round Up

For many runners, racing a local turkey trot is as much a Thanksgiving tradition as eating pumpkin pie. In fact, according to Running USA, it’s the most popular holiday to run a race.

So before you start chowing down on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and, of course, pumpkin pie, lace up your running shoes and gobble up a few miles at one of these local turkey trots!

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Drumstick Dash

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 8:30 a.m.

Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee

Cost: $35 for adults; $20 for kids ages 5-12

Details: This 5k race is both runner and walker friendly, and participants can register as an individual or as part of a team. The event is chip timed and awards are given to the top three male and female overall winners. If you are unable to make the race but would still like to participate, there is an Outta Town Dash Around option. The event benefits Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and a food drive will take place before the start of the race.

Website: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/8133/2016-drumstick-dash

Thrivent Turkey Trot

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 8:30 a.m.

Where: Wehmhoff Jucker Park, Burlington

Cost: $30 for individuals

Details: Both runners and walkers are welcome at this 5k race, and participants can register as an individual or as part of a team. All participants will receive a t-shirt and goodie bag. Awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female finishers as well as the top 3 finishers in each age group. The race benefits Love, Inc. and a food drive will be held before the race. Raffle tickets will be awarded for items donated with raffle prizes including turkeys.

Website: http://www.runthanksgiving.com

Milwaukee Turkey Trot

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.

Where: Veteran’s Park, Milwaukee

Cost: $36.99 for the 5k; $39.99 for the 8k through Nov. 21; After Nov. 21, $50 for the 5k and $60 for the 8k

Details: Both 5k and 8k races are available at this event. All participants receive chip timing, a quarter zip fleece top and cinnamon rolls at the finish line. Awards will be given to the top three overall males and females as well as the top three males and females in each age group. The race benefits Hunger Task Force.

Website: http://www.milwaukeeturkeytrot.com/

Milwaukee’s Great Gobble Wobble

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.

Where: Boerner Botanical Gardens, Hales Corners

Cost: $35 for individuals

Details: Both runners and walkers are welcome to participate in this 5k event that winds through Whitnall Park and Boerner Botanical Gardens. Participants can opt to run as an individual or as part of a team, or sign up for the virtual race option. All participants get a race shirt and finisher’s medal.

Website: http://www.silvercirclesportsevents.com/milwaukees-great-gobble-wobble-5k-run-walk

Mayor’s Turkey Day Run

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.

Where: Kenosha Public Museum, Kenosha

Cost: $15 for adults; $10 for kids ages 14 and under

Details: Both 10k and 2-mile races are available at this event. The Mayor’s Cup Trophy will be awarded to the overall male and female winners in 10k race. Trophies will be given to overall male and female in 2-mile walk/run. Age group winners will receive a medal.

Website: http://www.kenosharunningclub.org/Turkey%20Day/turkey.html

5k Turkey Trot & Gobble Gallop

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.

Where: Thiensville Village Park, Thiensville

Cost: $30 for individuals

Details: This year’s race benefits a variety of community events and projects, including Lasata’s Cycling Without Age, new playground equipment for the Thiensville Village Park, Portal, Inc., Interfaith Caregivers of Ozaukee County and COPE Services. In addition to the 5k run/walk, there will also be a 50-meter dash for kids ages 12 and under.

Website: http://www.juniorsmt.org/turkey-trot.html

St. Leonard’s Turkey Trot

When: Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.

Where: St. Leonard Parish, Muskego

Cost: $25; $65 per team

Details: All 5k participants receive a t-shirt and goodie bag. Awards will be given to the 1st through 3rd place overall winners as well as age group winners.

Website: http://stleonturkeytrot.weebly.com/

Tell us: Where are you racing on turkey day?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Join In: Milwaukee Running Film Festival

With all the great running movies being produced, it seems only right that Milwaukee should get it’s very own film festival that’s all about our favorite sport. The first Milwaukee Running Film Festival will take place on Thursday, December 8. The event will run from 6-8pm at Performance Running Outfitters in Brookfield.

Below, Brian Frain, event co-organizer, tells us more about the upcoming event.

[Note: The December event is sold out – watch the Milwaukee Running Film Festival Facebook Page for details about additional screenings!]

Why did you decide to create the Milwaukee Running Film Festival?

We decided to do a film festival because it’s the best way to get runners of all types together without feeling the pressure of running a certain pace or with more skilled athletes. A film festival brings runners together to watch first hand the challenges and accomplishments of other runners. It’s really a cool thing!

What films will be screened during the festival and how did you select them? Can you give us a short description of each film?

The films that will be screened are Brothers, The Double, Skiing the Hard Rock 100, and Maggatron. The featured film is Brothers and was selected because of my friendship with the Puzey brothers. I offered to put together a film fest to spread their amazing story. We decided to add the other 3 films to make it an event, and primarily because all athletes featured are Altra and Nathan runners that train together and race together.  I don’t want to give away the films so briefly: Brothers is about Tommy Rivers Puzey and his brother Jake’s experience in the TransRockies 6 day race. The Double is a chronicle of Jeff Browning’s attempt at breaking the combined finish time for the Hard Rock 100 and Western States 100. Skiing the Hard Rock 100 is Jason Schlarb’s adventure skiing the Hard Rock 100 course shortly after running it. Maggatron is Maggie Guterl’s experience running Western States 100.

Tell us more about what will happen at the event – is there a timeline of events/films?

The event will start at 6pm at Performance Running Outfitters – Brookfield. We will have food and beverages available for people as well as giveaway items! Altra will also be there demoing shoes during the event. We will start with Maggatron – her film was the first to debut of the four featured. Then we’ll watch The Double and Skiing the Hard Rock 100. We’ll finish up with the feature film, Brothers. Larger giveaways from Altra, Nathan, Swiftwick and other sponsors will be held between films….I don’t want to ruin the surprise!

How will proceeds from the event be used?

Each person that attends pays $10 and all proceeds are donated to the Kettle Moraine Natural History Association to build the Tom Bunk shelter at Scuppernong. Tom Bunk passed away a couple of years ago and was an incredible man in the running community. All raffle prizes were donated to us by athlete sponsors, which was super awesome of them! All giveaways and raffles are optional!

Why should all MKE runners consider attending this event?

Every runner should consider coming to the event not only because the films will be incredible but to support Tom Bunk and the trails and roads we run on every day. It takes so much work to have the trails and running paths that we do – so it’s a great way to give back. It’s also worth coming to meet new runners in the community, share running stories, and get a couple free things!

Thanks for chatting with us, Brian! We can’t wait for the upcoming event and look forward to more Milwaukee Running Film Festival screenings in the future!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Cystic Fibrosis Climb Milwaukee

Many runners incorporate stair climbing into their training at some point. Perhaps a few sprints up the Lake Park staircase or maybe the stairs from the Oak Leaf Trail to Prospect. But how about racing up 47 floors with 94 flights of steps? Our quads hurt just thinking about it!

You can try it out next week at the 27th annual CF Climb Milwaukee stair climb race. Below, event coordinator, Julie Nilson, and MKE stair climber, Josh Jackett, tell us about this year’s event and why local runners should consider racing it!

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Can you start by giving us an overview of the race?

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is proud to announce its 27th year of “going vertical” to defeat cystic fibrosis (CF). CF Climb Milwaukee will be held on Thursday, November 10 at the US Bank Building – the tallest building in Milwaukee! Once participants reach the top, they will have the opportunity to enjoy amazing panoramic views of downtown Milwaukee before heading down to our post-climb celebration, complete with food donated by Downtown Kitchen, drinks, entertainment and awards!

What makes this event unique?

We are the longest standing stair climb in the Milwaukee area – 2016 will mark our 27th annual! Stair climbs are unique, fun and provide a new opportunity to challenge yourself!

Who can participate in this race?

Anyone! Participants range from young to old, elite to getting-in-shape, police officers to firefighters (in full gear!). Relay teams are available for first timers who want to start slow.

Where is the race held? How does the event work? What are the different types of categories a racer can enter?

US Bank Building – Galleria Level

777 E Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53202

The schedule of events for Thursday, November 10 is as follows:

5:30-6:15pm: Check In & Registration
6:20pm: Start for Fire/Police Individuals & Teams
6:30pm: Start for Corporate Teams
6:40pm: Start for Individuals
6:50pm: Start for Combined-Time Teams
7:00pm: Start for Relay Teams
6:45-9:00pm: Survivor Party!

The participant categories are as follows:

  • Individual (Racer or Walker) – Individual climbs 47 floors, timed
  • Fire/Police Individual – Individual climbs 47 floors wearing full gear*, timed
  • Relay Team – 3 individuals climb 1/3 of the way up tagging off in relay fashion, timed
  • Combined-Time Team – Unlimited number of individuals climb 47 floors each, timed. The top three times of each team are used to qualify for awards.
  • Fire/Police Team – Unlimited number of individuals climb 47 floors each wearing full gear*, timed. The top three times of each team are used to qualify for awards
  • Corporate Team – Up to 20 individuals climb 47 floors each, timed. The top three times of each team are used to qualify for awards.

Are there overall and/or age group prizes awarded?

Yes! Overall, age/ gender and team prizes are awarded.

What do participants get with their race entry?

A t-shirt, cinch bag and dinner/beverages during our post-climb reception – the survivor party!

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Tell us a bit about the nonprofit partner – how does the race benefit this organization?

The CF Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis, and nearly every CF-specific drug available today was made possible with our financial support. We are a donor-funded, 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance program.

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.

And now let’s hear from a local veteran stair climb racer, Josh Jackett!

How did you get into stair climb races?

Before I started stair climbing, I first started running in 2011 as a means of staying in shape. The next year, in 2012, I ran my first 5K and I loved it. Over the course of the rest of the year, I started running more and more races.

Late that same year, a longtime family friend suffered an aneurysm and a subsequent series of strokes. She bounced around a few hospitals and rehab centers before ultimately receiving tremendous treatment at the rehabilitation center that puts on the yearly SkyRise Chicago—a 103-story stair climb to the top of Willis (Sears) Tower. In January 2013, following her treatment, one of her daughters posted something on Facebook saying she and her other siblings were looking to form a team later on that year as a way to support that organization for how they’d helped her mom.

I figured I liked running in races, so why not try racing up a building? About a week after that Facebook post, I learned about a Milwaukee climb in March at the US Bank Center downtown. Since Willis Tower is more than double the height of the Milwaukee building, I decided it would probably be wise to try the local climb first to see if I’d actually even like scaling the entirety of a building’s stairs.

The second I crossed the finish line, I was hooked. For as much as I loved running in road races, crossing the finish line at the top of a building was the most rewarding race experience I’d encountered. It’s not too scenic in a stairwell, but the view from a skyscraper’s observation deck more than makes up for it. I’ve now done more than 20 climbs across the country.

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What are some of the bigger stair climb events held around the Milwaukee area? Are these types of races common around this area?

Stair climbs aren’t too common in general. There are only about 250 to 300 stair climbs per year throughout the entire US; however, if you’re into stair climbing, Milwaukee’s a good place to be. Not including stadium climbs, there are two local climbs each year, plus six not too far away in Chicago. There are also another dozen or so within about a 6-hour drive radius.

Like nearly all climbs throughout the country, both Milwaukee climbs are primarily charity fundraising events. Each March, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin holds its Fight For Air Climb, which offers participants a single climb (one time up) or a “power hour” (climb to the top as many times as you can in an hour). Then, each November the Wisconsin Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation puts on this particular climb, CF Climb Milwaukee, which offers only a single climb. Both events utilize the same building—the 47-story US Bank Center.

How is training for a stair climb event different from training for a running event?

Not everyone trains the same, and stair climbing does attract a cross-section of endurance athletes and fitness fanatics from varying disciplines—runners, cyclists, triathletes, CrossFitters—but I’ve met a decent number of runners who’ve transitioned well into stair climbing. Some of the best climbers I’ve met come from running backgrounds, in fact. Running is my main activity, too, so I train for stair climbing primarily through running. This isn’t the same for every runner who does climbs, but personally, I run four days per week—which includes a hard workout run and a long run—but I do supplement my run training with some higher-intensity workouts, including weightlifting, plyometrics, actual stairwell training, and Jacobs Ladder workouts. High intensity work is important, as it prepares your body and mind for a climb. I also treat stair races much the same as I treat running events by periodizing my training (base phase, intensity buildup, race taper).

Are there any running skills that transfer over to stair climb races?

A good cardio base, running economy and muscular endurance in your legs (particularly the quads) are the primary things that transfer over. Anyone can participate in a stair climb, but because those are things runners gain by running, they tend to have a head start over many others who try out a climb.

It also helps to know your body. Runners put themselves through a lot of physical stress, so they tend to know what their bodies can handle. The stair experience is different, but listening to what you’ve learned about your body through running can help your effort throughout a climb.

Also, pacing! I personally still have tons of work to do when it comes to this—even in my road races—but proper pacing up dozens of stories of stairs is vital to a solid climb.

What tips & strategies do you recommend for first-time stair climb racers?

Not everyone trying a climb out for the first time is going for a fast time. That’s probably a wiser approach to a first climb. But, basically, if you’re trying to finish the fastest you can, some things you can do include double-stepping, using the railings to help pull yourself up, not actually running up the stairs, not starting too fast, and not stopping until you reach the top.

Good, efficient stair climbing is more like a power hike than a run. Even though the race is shorter in duration than most runs of any distance, your body’s demand for oxygen is much higher pushing yourself upward than it is propelling yourself forward. You’re doing a lot of the former and a little of the latter in a stair climb. Running up the stairs, or even simply climbing too fast, especially early on in a race will cause you to burn out or blow up pretty quickly and really badly.

Do not be afraid to use the railings to save some energy in your legs. Your upper body may wear down a little, but you’ll have spared your legs, which will help you finish. It’s also of note that if you can land no more than one foot on each landing to pivot onto the next flight, it’ll help save time, too. Some people take it easy on the landings as mini-breaks and tend to lose time that way.

As for double-stepping, it does require more power, strength, and muscular endurance, but if you can do it the whole way up, you’re cutting the number of strides it takes to reach the top in half. To me, double-stepping in a stair race is the equivalent of running in a road race, where single-stepping a stair climb is like walking a road race. I’ve also heard it said that single-stepping a stair race “is like being stuck in first gear.”

Specifically for this event – what types of things should racers consider to help them plan their race?

First, get there early and get check-in out of the way. Make sure you do a warm-up. It’s important in running, but between the range of motion in play and the oxygen you’ll use, getting your muscles activated and your body warm will help a lot. Save some for the climb, though, of course.

Also, judging from my own personal race results, as well as other runners I’ve encountered who’ve climbed the US Bank Center’s stairs, if you have a good balance of leg strength and endurance, and you execute well, your finishing time will optimally be around the per-mile pace you might typically do a 10K in. For instance, if you usually run a 55-minute 10K, you *should* be able to climb the US Bank Center in around 8:50-ish.

This doesn’t mean you will, especially your first time out—usually it takes some experience understanding the effort required in a stair race to reach that mark or better. Plus, some runners are more imbalanced toward endurance and less toward strength/power/muscular endurance, which might negatively affect them reaching that mark. It might be a good starting point to come up with a pacing strategy, though. Maybe figure out a target time around your 10K per-mile pace, possibly a tad slower to be safe, then break the race down into chunks, aiming to be at certain floors by certain times. Or, if you’re a “by effort” road racer, try that out here, too. Just don’t start too fast; it’ll feel easy until it doesn’t.

Is there any race etiquette or rules that people should keep in mind at a stair climb race?

Among those who climb regularly and/or competitively, the key pieces of etiquette center around climbing unimpeded (i.e., not having to pass anyone). Stairwells are only so wide, so races tend to release participants in waves—often based on how fast climbers are—and within those waves, climbers go one at a time, every few seconds.

No race is perfect at arranging start waves, but often within those waves, climbers sort of self-seed themselves at the start line in order of who thinks they’ll be the fastest down to who thinks they’ll be the slowest. “Fitness profiling” at the start line isn’t an exact science either, and it’s not always possible, so more important than that is letting faster climbers PASS ON THE INSIDE. Some climb events have it backwards and suggest that faster climbers pass on the outside, but even at those events I’d still recommend trying to pass on the inside.

Everyone should try to climb along the inside railing (the side where you turn). Some people who want a slow, leisurely climb might stay to the outside, which is fine. But at the US Bank Center, the inside is the right side, as every turn to the top is a right turn. Climbing on the inside is the most efficient way to climb, as, distance-wise, it’s the shortest path to the finish line. If someone faster than you is approaching you from behind, it takes far less energy for you to step out of the way for a second to let them pass than it is for them to step around you and try to pass. It creates extra distance for them to travel. In some situations, you might not be aware of someone approaching from behind. So, for ease of things, be alert and courteous. If you’re about to pass someone, let them know your intent; if you’re about to be passed, step aside and let them go.

Any other comments?

I can’t tell you how many fellow runners I’ve met who are wary/leery of trying a stair climb. It’s not necessarily easy, but I think more runners would enjoy it than they think. Also, if nothing else, stair climbing is a fantastic way to cross-train for running, especially for those hilly courses. I work with a running coach who likens it to an exaggerated form of hill running. It builds tremendous leg strength, it improves your running economy, and it helps your mental toughness. Plus, you can’t beat the view at the top.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Julie and Josh! There’s still time to register for this year’s CF Climb Milwaukee. To learn more about the race or to register, visit the race website.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Mustache Dache 5k

Get ready for one of the hairiest races to ever hit MKE – the Mustache Dache 5k is coming to our city on November 12! Everyone is welcome to take part in this race that will benefit Movember, the only global charity focused solely on men’s health.

Below, Race Director Chris Ponteri tells us a bit more about the upcoming event and why you should race it!

For race specifics, visit our Featured Races page.

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Can you start by giving us a quick overview of the Mustache Dache 5k?

It’s a 5k run/walk to benefit the Movember Foundation, which is a global charity focused on men’s health. It is open to everyone, not just men. Women and children are encouraged to participate.

What makes this race unique?

We try to create a fun atmosphere instead of it being a serious race.

Who can participate in this race? Do people have to sport a mustache to participate?

It’s really open to anyone; men and women, boys and girls, mustache or no mustache!

This race is being held at The Rock, a location not many local races are held at. What is the course like?

It’s an interesting course. Trying to fit in a 5k at The Rock was a challenge. It’s an amazing facility; beautiful views and full of character. The course itself will include a few out-and-backs on the road in front of The Rock, and then a fun trip through the baseball diamonds. There are some hills and turns so it won’t be a crazy fast course.

Are there any overall and/or age group prizes awarded?

There are age group awards to the top three males and females in five different categories.

What do participants get with their race entry?

A super-cool shirt, a finisher’s medal, a goody bag and post-race food and drinks.

What post-race activities are available?

The Rock has a sweet Umbrella Bar area with a large patio so we hope to have a fun atmosphere after the race. There will be food and beverages.

Thanks for chatting with us, Chris! To learn more about the Mustache Dache, or to register for the race, visit http://mustachedache.com/milwaukee/.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Dunkel Dash 5k

Looking for something to do on Thursday evening? Consider racing the 2nd annual Dunkel Dash 5k!

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This timed race kicks off Milwaukee Oktoberfest with a course that runs around the city’s scenic lakefront.

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Here are the details you need to know:

When: Thursday, Oct. 13 @6pm

Where: Veteran’s Park, Milwaukee

Cost: $35 for adults; $20 for kids

All participants receive a long-sleeve race t-shirt, an official Milwaukee Oktoberfest glass beer stein, a post-race Sprecher beer or soda and a post-race brat from the Milwaukee Brat House. After the race, participants can stick around and enjoy music by the Austrian Express.

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Packet pickup will be held at Performance Running Outfitters in Shorewood on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 5-7pm. Race-day packet pickup will be held in Veteran’s Park from 4-5:30pm.

To learn more about the race or to register, visit the race website.

 

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!