Race It: The Vibha Dream Mile

MKE Runners – have you ever done a race that features Bollywood music and dance? We haven’t either. But we’d sure like to!

You’ll get your chance at the Vibha Dream Mile 5k and 10k on Sunday, August 17. Below, Nisha Chandrasekharan tells us about this year’s event.

For more details about the race, visit our Featured Races page.

Can you tell us a bit about the Vibha Dream Mile?
The Dream Mile foot race, launched by Vibha Atlanta in 1998, has grown over the years and is now the key fundraising vehicle for Vibha across its action centers. In 2007, the Vibha family decided to brand the event and thus was born The Dream Mile. “A few miles for a million dreams” – the Vibha family truly believes in and subscribes to this message. We believe that a small initiative taken by us can go a long way in helping underprivileged children fulfill their dreams.

On Oct. 10th 1998, a sparkling, sunny day, people from all sections of the community came together in support of our cause. Large number of enthusiastic participants turned out for the 5K Walk/Run, Seniors’ Walk and Kids’ Fun walk. Kids under 3 years of age and senior citizens over 70 walked stride-in-stride and made the event memorable. Some proud parents were seen taking part with their 1-2 month infants in strollers. It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm shown by some of the kids, who refused to stop after the 1K walk and went on to complete the 5K Walk.

The Dream Mile has come a long way since its inception. It has grown from being a small event attended primarily by volunteers and friends to a permanent fixture on the calendars of runners in the various cities in America. The walk/run expanded to other centers and has become one of the flagship events for Vibha over the last decade. In 1999, the walk/run was organized in three action centers (Atlanta, Bay Area and Dallas). In the following year, it was organized in nine action centers.

Every year, starting in the early summer, action centers across the US plan and host The Dream Mile. Vibha also hosts a pledge drive as part of the event, thus providing those who cannot participate in the race an opportunity to get involved. As an individual you can make a pledge as well as sign up to become a fundraiser for the race. The funds raised through The Dream Mile go toward supporting projects in India and the US. The Dream Mile has been hosted for the past five years in Milwaukee at Veteran’s Park and has typically attracted 300-500 runners.

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What makes this race unique?
The route for both the 5K and 10K is along the scenic lakefront. It is also one of the only races with a Bollywood/Indian theme. We have Bollywood music and other activities like Bollywood Dance and Henna for runners to participate in.

Can you tell us a bit about the corporate team option?
The corporate team option is being introduced as part of this year’s Dream Mile. The idea is to help companies around Milwaukee to encourage their employees to participate as a team-building activity. In addition, a lot of companies do provide premium discounts for healthcare if employees complete a run/walk or certain amount of steps as part of a healthy lifestyle. This is an option that encourages them to register for the run and have fun at the same time. The corporate team with the largest number of registered participants will receive a corporate trophy.

What is the course like?
The course is flat and fast. Runners can hope to beat their PRs in the race.

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Are there any overall and/or age group prizes awarded?
We have awards for the overall top 3 Male and Female winners. In addition, every participant receives a Finisher’s Medal.

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What do participants get with their race entry?
All participants will receive a goody bag with a race t-shirt and coupons for various running stores/local business. In addition, registrants registered as part of a corporate team will get a personalized t-shirt with their team’s name on it (Runners need to register by August 1st to guarantee a personalized t-shirt if signing up for a team).

What type of post-race activities will be available?
Post -race activities include Bollywood Dance, Henna (Indian Temporary Tattoos), face painting and a Kids 1K race.

Thanks for all the great info about the race, Nisha! The Vibha Dream Mile has generously offered Keep Running MKE readers $5 off their race entry with the code KEEPRUNNING. The offer is good until August 6.

We hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week! Until next time …

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

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