Race It: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k

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!

Advertisements

Race It: Badgerland Striders Track Meet

These days, you can run a local road race pretty much every weekend. But the opportunities to race on a track are few and far between. Luckily for MKE runners, the Badgerland Striders host several track meets throughout the spring and summer making it easy to test your speed on the oval.

Joining us today are event directors Alice and Ron Winkler. They’ve run the Strider track meets for 25 years and have all the info you need to jump in the upcoming meet.

To get started, let’s talk specifics: When is the May track meet and where will it be held?

The May Track meet is on Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30pm. It will be held at the St. Francis High School Track located at 4225 S. Lake Drive, across the street from the bike trail and Lake Michigan. It is on the boundary between St. Francis and Cudahy.

Who can participate? Do people need to register and, if so, is there a registration fee?

People of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. This is a developmental meet. There is no registration and there is no entry fee. Consequently, there are no awards. Participants can just show up prior to the 6:30pm start and run in as many events as they want.

Which distances will be run at the meet?

There are no hurdles or field events. The events are: 100 meters, 200 meters. 400 meters, 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters. The following relays will also be included: 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. Participants are welcome to compete in as many races as they like.

Will people run against others of similar gender, age, ability, etc?

Yes

A lot of newbie or slower runners may be hesitant to participate – are they still welcome to run? Are there any time requirements to participate?

This is a developmental track meet so there are no entry standards; all ages and abilities are welcome. The object is to have fun. We cheer each other on.

Let’s talk history: How long have these track meets been held and how did they get started? 

The track meets date from 1959 when the old Milwaukee Track Club (MTC) was founded by Jim Hanley and Brian Murphy. The MTC sponsored track meets and road runs. One of those road runs was a 10-mile race held for the first time in 1961. Today, under the auspices of the Badgerland Striders, it is Wisconsin’s oldest distance race, known as the Cudahy Classic; this year will be its 57th running.

Fast forward to 1973 when the well-organized MTC, with a large membership, lacked a base of operations. Conversely, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Track Club (UWM-Track Club), founded in 1972 with the intention of retaining post-college athletes, had few members. The two organizations merged to provide a home for the MTC and the opportunity to boost its image, while the UWM-Track Club gained the expertise and membership of the MTC.

By 1977, the UWM-Track Club, now separate from UWM and with members from all over Wisconsin, felt that the name limited the club geographically. In addition, the words “Track Club” bothered some people because the club was active in not only track and field, but also road running and cross country.

We (Alice and Ron Winkler) have been in charge of these track meets for about 25 years.

Has anything crazy or unexpected happened at any of the track meets in previous years?

We are literally next to the lake, so the track can be much cooler than the rest of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Many times people arrive at the track unprepared for the cooler weather. In addition, the weather at the track can change unexpectedly when the wind shifts to the east. The wind coming off the lake can cause sunny and warm to become cloudy and even foggy with an accompanying temperature drop of twenty degrees or more.

Will additional BLS track meets be held this summer?

The other track meets will also be held at St. Francis High School Track at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 20 and Tuesday, July 11.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Alice and Ron!

Who will we see at the upcoming BLS track meet? Which event(s) will you run?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Run4Food 5k

The most delicious race finish? A finish that ends steps away from a Bloody Mary bar and tasty eats!

One of Milwaukee’s newest races, Run4Food 5k, will offer just that on Sunday, March 12 @9am. And in case you’re thinking about skipping out because of potentially nasty March weather, the race will be held indoors at the Wisconsin Center.

Below, race director, Chris Ponteri, tells us more about the event.

run4food-logo_1480515216

This is the inaugural Run4Food 5k – can you tell us why the race was created and give us a general overview of the event?

The race is being putting on by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association as part of its annual Midwest Foodservice Show at the Wisconsin Center. They want to have a 5k race to give attendees something fun and healthy to do while they are in Milwaukee.

What makes this race unique?

Two things: 1) It’s indoors, and 2) The food theme. There will be “tasting stations” with food from several of the show vendors, including a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar after the race.

What was behind the decision to run the race indoors?

When I heard the Midwest Foodservice Show is in March, I suggested doing it indoors since they have a nice space for it and who knows what kind of weather we will have that time of the year. As far as I know, this will be the first race of its kind in Milwaukee. We have the Icebreaker, which is held at the Pettit Center, but that is on an existing running track. For this one, we will be creating our own course.

Running an indoor course is something most runners have never done – can you tell us about what the course is like?

The corridors at the Wisconsin Center are wide and in a U-shape, and we are going to connect by going through the kitchen area. The course will be a square shape and will be about a quarter mile long so participants will have to do around 12 laps.

Are there any other awards offered?

There will be prizes for the top three overall male and female finishers and age group awards in yet-to-be-determined categories.

What do participants get with their race registration?

Participants will get a shirt, a goody bag and free food and drinks after the race.

Tell us about the post-race party – it sounds like there will be a lot of great eats and drinks on hand for runners to sample!

In additional to the Bloody Mary bar with Tito’s Vodka and Jimmy Luv’s flavors, MillerCoors will be serving Leinenkugels, Blue Moon, Redd’s and Henry’s Hard Soda. There will also be food and/or drinks from Harvest Hill, Alpha Baking Co., Klondike Cheese, WhiteWave Foodservice, Campbell’s Soups, Kent Precision Foods, Outback Steakhouse and CiderBoys, with more to come.

Thanks for chatting with us, Chris, and for giving us the scoop on this new MKE race!

To learn more about the upcoming Run4Food 5k, or to sign up, visit https://raceroster.com/events/2017/11049/run4food

Enjoy what should be a gorgeous weekend for running – can you believe temps in the 50s are in the forecast? We’re getting spoiled this February!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Bloop

Here’s an exciting announcement to start the weekend: Milwaukee has a new race this spring – Bloop!

We bet you’re asking, “What’s a Bloop??” Chris Ponteri, Bloop’s Race Director, explains it’s short for “Bay View Loop” and can be used as a verb or a noun.

Verb: To complete a half marathon, marathon or ultra-marathon by running 1-mile loops around Humboldt Park in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood on Saturday, April 29.

Noun: A lap around Humboldt Park.

So let us introduce Bloop – Milwaukee’s newest race! Here are the details:

What: Bloop

When: Saturday, April 29 @8am

Where: Humboldt Park Pavilion, 3000 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee

Bloop offers both the marathon and half marathon distances as well as a 6-hour timed Bloop. All three courses officially close at 2 p.m.

What really makes this race unique is that the course is a 1-mile Bloop. So marathoners will do 26.2 Bloops, half marathoners will do 13.1 Bloops and those who opt to do the 6-hour timed Bloop will do as many Bloops as they can within the allotted time.

There will be one aid station near the start/finish, and all participants are responsible for providing their own drinks. A table will be set up to store bottles during the race, and volunteers will hand them to you and retrieve them when you are done. Bathrooms will be available near the start/finish as well.

All Bloopers will receive a stylish hoodie and unique finisher’s medal. The top three Bloopers in each race will also receive an award.

Registration is currently set at:

  • Marathon: $60
  • Half Marathon: $50
  • 6-Hour UltraBloop: $70

Prices will increase on April 1.

To learn more, or to register for the race, visit runbloop.com.

Tell Us: Are you in for the inaugural Bloop?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: 2017 Polar Bear Dash 5k

January 1 marks the start of a new year. So why not make a splash?

The Polar Bear Dash provides a fun 5k course for runners to test their speed and then an optional dip in Lake Michigan after the finish line to test their courage. Make no mistake – it will be cold no matter what the temperature is on race day but we know a lot of you pride yourselves on being able to take whatever Mother Nature throws your way!

Below, Race Director Bill Schneider tells us more about this year’s race, including a new contest that just might get you to take the plunge.

Get race specifics on our Featured Races page .

What makes the Polar Bear Dash different from other 5k races in the area?

The Polar Bear Dash is the first race of the New Year. Why not start the year off on the right foot…then the left? It is a winter race taking place on New Year’s Day morning with an indoor heated packet pickup and post-race gathering area. The unique part of the race is an optional dip into Lake Michigan right after the finish line, which is located on the Grant Park beach. Runners who take a full dip in the lake are eligible for prizes. The race is run entirely in Grant Park in South Milwaukee on a completely closed-to-traffic route. There is no better way for runners to start the year off. Our charity partners are the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We also have hot chocolate at the finish line!

Is there anything new or different happening at this year’s race?

New this year will be a contest to see who enters the water in the best and most creative way. Every year we take video of runners jumping into the water; this year we will choose 5 or so of the most creative ways people get into the water and post the video on our Facebook page. Our Facebook friends will then vote to determine which one they like the best and that person will receive a free entry into the next Polar Bear Dash.

pbd-16-02All photos courtesy of Bill Schneider

We are also looking into having a bonfire on the beach to help warm up those runners who do decide to brave the water as well as for the friends and family that come to watch the excitement on the beach.

What are the course uphills, downhills, turns, etc. that runners should know about?

The course begins at the Grant Park Clubhouse and finishes down at the beach. There is a small uphill at the beginning and then a beautiful run through the park. The race finishes with long downhill to the beach. If the roads are clear of ice, this can be a very fast course. If there is snow, runners need to be more cautious.

pbd-16-01

Who were last year’s winners? Are any of them back to contend for the win again this year?

Last year’s overall winner was Mike Treder with a time of 17:57. The female champion was Kelly Ryan with a time of 20:00. At this time we do not know if they will be defending their titles but we sure hope they come back.

Is there anything participants should know about water stations, etc.?

This race is only a 5K so unless the weather is unusually warm, there is not a water station along the course. We do not want to cause a slipping danger by having water spill onto the road. If the weather is warm, we will have an aid station along the course. Of course, there is plenty of water at the finish line in Lake Michigan. We do not suggest drinking that water, however. There will be hot chocolate at the finish line for all participants and snacks in the clubhouse after the race.

Can you talk us through the dip into Lake Michigan – how does it work? How many participants have taken the plunge in previous years? Do participants have to take a dip to qualify for awards?

The finish line of the Polar Bear Dash is on the beach in Grant Park about 10 to 20 meters from the waterline. We encourage runners who are 18 and older to take a dip into Lake Michigan after the race to celebrate the New Year. However, this is completely optional. Awards for times in the 5K are separate from awards for the brave souls who jump in the water.  We do have a drawing for prizes for those who decide to take a FULL DIP into the water. And by Full Dip, we mean entire body, head to toe.

pbd-16-03

The South Milwaukee Water Rescue Squad has helped us every year with keeping the runners safe as they jump in the water. They will have two members in the water assisting anyone who needs help. We have up to about 40% of the runners jump into the water depending on the weather that day. Last year we had great weather for a dip with temps in the 20s and low winds. In other years, the winds were higher with temps in the single digits. We have less that go in on those days. It is a great site to see everyone going in the water.

How do most people do their dip into the lake? What are some of the funniest/most memorable dips into the lake that you’ve seen over the years?

I love watching the runners jump into the lake. There are many different ways people go in. Some just casually wade in and that is as far as they go. Some run in as fast as they can and after a few steps in, dive into the water.  There is a lot of screaming that happens when the water hits their bodies. Some of my favorite ones in the past were couples running in together holding hands or the guy who did a cannonball last year. Costumes are always fun to see as well. In my opinion, the ones who run into the water are the best.

pbd-16-04

Do you have any tips for runners planning to take the plunge?

I think the best advice I could give is once you commit, do it quickly. Run in as fast as you can. The slower you go, the worse it is. Also, wear shoes into the water. It can be quite painful walking over the stones and ice with bare feet. Have dry clothes to change into right away once you are out of the water. Most importantly, have fun and make a great memory.

Any other comments?

We look forward to starting the New Year off on the right foot again this year and invite everyone to make their way to Grant Park on New Year’s Day to participate or spectate. Everyone who participates is helping not only themselves, but also the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We hope to see you out there.

Thanks for chatting with us, Bill! To learn more, or to sign up for the race, visit http://www.polarbeardash.com/.

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!

genericpass2016_300x250

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!

index

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!