Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon is one of our city’s biggest running events. But up until recently you had to be ready to tackle 26.2 miles to take part in race weekend.
Last year the Badgerland Striders introduced the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k as an event to celebrate runners of all abilities. This year, the race will be even better – the ideal event for all runners whether the aim is a podium finish, new 5k PR, finishing a first 5k or just enjoying a morning with family and friends.
Below, Scott Stauske with the Badgerland Striders tells us more about the event. For race specifics, visit our Featured Races page.
Can you start off by telling us a bit about the Lakefront Marathon 5k? What makes this race unique?
First off, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak a little bit about this newer event. The Badgerland Striders will be hosting the 37th Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon on October 1. Since many family and friends of runners will be at the finish line area of Veteran’s Park, I thought it would be great to create a true “family” running event in an effort to get the spectators more involved in the day’s activities. The Badgerland Striders have also been the sponsor of a youth running program over the past 10 weeks and many of the kids will participate in the 5k as their graduation from the program.
Is there anything new or different happening at this year’s race? Any changes from last year’s race?
Yes! Last year was our inaugural year, and it was also meant to be a fundraiser for the Milwaukee Police Department Endurance Club. ALL proceeds were going to be given to this group in exchange for their volunteering and management of the run. Unfortunately, they were told by superiors to abandon the effort only two weeks out from the event due to the continued protests from the Sherman Park incident. With very little time, the Striders tried to pull the race together and not disappoint those who had signed up. The course ended up being not adequately measured and there were definite shortcomings from what you would expect in a Strider-supported event. This year’s course has been accurately measured, we have volunteers in place, and are looking forward to producing this niche event.
Why did you pick the location for the race?
The Milwaukee lakefront is a spectacular backdrop for enjoyable running and our course is 99.9% next to water. The Lakefront Marathon finishes in Veterans Park so a course was measured to take the 5K participants on a great course and finish through the same chute as the marathoners will a very short time later. The announcers, the crowds and the truss itself are all designed to welcome everyone home. It is my hope that the 5K’ers will feel like they are part of a larger event. Everyone feels like a rock star!
Are there any post-race festivities?
The grounds will have the tents and excitement in preparation for those who are participating in the 26.2 mile distance. Check out the merchandise tent and cheer on the runners as they come down the long stretch toward the finish. Also enjoy the sights, smells and food and beverages.
Are there overall and/or age group prizes? Any top contenders for the overall wins this year?
We will have first place overall winners for male/female and Masters M/F. In addition, we will have Age Group awards in 10-year increments. We want to keep this event rather “small” and with an emphasis on having fun. So everyone is invited – it doesn’t matter if you are a speedster looking for a PR or a dad pulling a wagon of kids – we want you here! Since it’s only our second year, we’re not sure who to expect to contend for the win!
What do participants get with their race entry?
This is where we shine! For those that signed up early, an event shirt will be provided but for those reading this now and not eligible for a shirt, we still have an outstanding value. You’ll get a timed and accurate 5K run and, in addition, we will have bakery from Papas Bakery, a Strider finishing medal, a customized race belt, coffee and water and the adults may enjoy a couple cups of great beer! Also, you should know that you are supporting future youth running programs.
Why is this race a good fit for runners – and walkers – of all abilities?
The Badgerland Striders, Wisconsin’s largest running club and the 6th largest in all the United States, welcome all runners regardless of ability. Our 5K has a generous 45 minute cut-off time. Plus, as mentioned, it is a fun course to start the day off right.
Any other comments?
We know that local runners have lots of options when it comes to their running dollars, and the Badgerland Striders always try to offer the absolute best value. For as little as $20 dollars, you can get all the perks for this event. But you should also know that all of the money is going to Girls on the Run of Southeastern Wisconsin as a thank you for their assistance with our “I Can 26.2 It!” program. Kids between the ages of 5 and 12 have been participating in at-home and weekly group sessions. On “Marathon Sunday” they will be running their last 1.2 miles to complete their cumulative 26.2 mile marathon distance. Best of all, they begin this at 8:45am, so as soon as the 5K is finished, those runners get to be the cheering section for our youngest runners and see the huge smiles on their faces when they are presented with their medals. Please consider registering at: www.lfm5k.zapevent.com – you can also register onsite on race day. Thank you for supporting the Badgerland Striders, Girls on the Run and our mission to keep our youth physically fit and happy through the sport of running.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Scott! Remember runners – you can register for the race at lfm5k.zapevent.com or onsite on race day.
How is your week going? Any race plans this upcoming weekend?
Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!