Running With Pups 101

When properly trained, your pup can be one of the very best training partners you can find. But it’s not as simple as leading Fido out the door and hoping he’ll follow along. Just like their human companions, dogs require conditioning and build up before they can handle a running program.

Dr. Jamie Fleming, an internal medicine specialist with Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists and Performance Running Outfitters team member, provides tips for running safely with your pup so you both enjoy the miles.


With the warmer temps, more runners are bringing their pups with them for a run. What are some things people should keep in mind before leashing up?

Remember… your dog is much like you in terms of conditioning, both for distance and for heat/humidity. Just like you wouldn’t set out to run 3 miles with no build up, your companion needs to be conditioned to run any substantial distance (really anything over a mile or so). Imagine a canine version of “Couch to 5K”. If it’s humid or above 75 degrees, make sure to have water available for your pooch, as the risk of heat exposure/heat exhaustion is a serious threat at warmer temperatures – or even cooler temperatures with high humidity.

Can all dogs go for a run? Or are there certain types/breeds that should stick with walking?

Obviously, the more sporting breeds (labs, retrievers, pointers, etc.) are better suited to running compared to some of our smaller breed friends. In general, before introducing a running plan, if your companion has never run with you before, it’s always a great idea to check with your veterinarian to ensure that there are no health concerns that might make walking a safer/healthier option. In general, breeds with a short snout (called brachycephalic breeds, like the bulldog) should exercise with caution due to their limited ability to cool effectively.

What distances are safe for dogs to run? What about paces?

Just like you, with proper conditioning, there are no absolute rules/restrictions when it comes to distance or pace. Often, our dogs are comfortable at paces much quicker than their human companions. A good rule of thumb is gradually building into any sort of distance (again, anything over ½ to 1 mile should require some build-up) to make sure your pet is able to run comfortably next to you as you increase the distance over time. If you notice your 4-legged friend is lagging behind, or taking longer to recover, this might be a sign that he/she is being pushed too hard. Again, consulting your veterinarian if you have specific questions or concerns about your dog and longer distances is always a good idea.

Are there any weather conditions that might be dangerous for pups to go for a run?

I would be cautious about running any sort of distance in humid climates and as the temperature rises over the summer months. With the warmer and more humid weather, making sure you are choosing cooler times of day, such as early morning and late evening, will help to minimize the risk of heat stroke. Dogs are significantly affected by the heat and humidity, as they do not sweat/perspire through their skin, like we do. Instead, they exchange heat/cool themselves by panting, which means they cool their entire body through a very small surface. Imagine how difficult it would be for us to cool off, if we didn’t sweat and use our skin for heat exchange!


Are there any rules for pup hydration? What about diet – should people avoid feeding their dog right before going for a run?

In terms of hydration, a good rule of thumb is that if you are warm/thirsty, your dog probably is too. Whether hanging out in the heat or going for a run, anticipate your dog’s water needs by carrying a portable water bottle/drinking bowl. If your dog likes to swim, running near a clean/safe water source is always a great way to ensure they stay cool and hydrated, too. Figuring out your dog’s hydration needs is a part of the build-up and conditioning – some dogs will finish a run and dive into the water bowl and others are more gradual. You do not need to use Gatorade or other electrolyte supplements; however, if going on a lengthy hike, your dog might appreciate a dog friendly snack, just like us humans do! It is always easier to stay ahead of hydration needs than to deal with the serious consequences that our dogs can suffer when they become dehydrated and overheated.

In general, I recommend against feeding prior to a run, although research has not linked this to any significant issues. Some veterinarians do feel that running on a full stomach can increase the risk of bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus). A small snack is probably sufficient for a light to moderate run.

Why are leashes important – even if your dog is friendly?

As part of a veterinary team that deals with the daily consequences of “good dogs” being hit by cars or getting into fights with other dogs, leashing your dog is a MUST. Even if your dog is the model by which all dogs should be judged, if another dog misbehaves, the leash is also a way to pull your dog into safety and away from the aggressor.

What about dogs that haven’t gone on a run before – do you have any tips to help people get started with running with a dog?

First, start with walking. Make sure your dog is comfortable heeling next to you and not pulling you over, tripping you, or dodging in all directions. Once you and your dog are comfortable at a walk, you can try jogging – again, keep in mind conditioning and start with distances around ½ to 1 mile. Also, consider rewarding your dog’s good behavior.

Any other tips to help people run safely with their dog?

Remember, that if your dog runs too far without proper conditioning, or the ground is really hot, they can damage their footpads, resulting in significant pain and discomfort (burns, tears, etc.). Again, by heading out in the cooler times of the day and following proper conditioning, this should help to minimize the risk. If you do use booties, proper fit is vital (just like our running shoes!) and make sure to evaluate for any rubbing or damage after your run.

Booties might be indicated to help protect against abrasions on rough or hot pavement, on rocky hiking trips, and during the winter in the extreme cold and ice.

Any other comments?

With the humidity and heat – when in doubt, keep the runs short, take your dog out early or later in the cooler temperatures, and remember that you have to look out for your dog, as they will run from the heart to keep up with their human companion (and not look out for their own needs).

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Dr. Fleming! If you’re interested in learning more about running with your dog or have other general pet questions, Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists is a wonderful resource with locations in Oak Creek, Glendale and Port Washington. You can learn more here:

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Check It Out: Milwaukee Running Expo

Looking for something to do this weekend? If you’re free on Saturday, check out the Milwaukee Running Expo at Fleet Feet Sports Brookfield!


At the expo, you can check out the latest running shoes and accessories, sign up for local races and learn more about running-related products and services. All major shoes brands will be in attendance, along with many local race directors, business owners and running experts.

Every hour on the hour from 8am-3pm, there will be a 2-mile group run, during which you can test out any demo shoe. This is a great opportunity to try out a pair of shoes before you buy! If you can’t make one of the group runs, you can still try on any shoes you want and take them on a test run.

There will also be group workouts lead by Tori Hartmann of FitHart at 9:30am and 10:30am.

Expo vendors include:

Shoes: Asics, New Balance, Hoka, Brooks, Saucony, Adidas, Mizuno

Socks: Feetures, Balega

Compression: CEP

Injury Prevention: Trigger Point

Race Directors: Chris Ponteri (Milwaukee Running Festival), Lighthouse Events

Running Coach: Matt Thull of ThunderDome Running

Nutrition: CLIF, GU

Local Health Experts: Kyle Weber, PT of Weber Physical Therapy

If you’re interested in attending, register here:

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Join in the Fun at Milwaukee Running Day!

Join your fellow running enthusiasts and come celebrate our city’s newest holiday: Milwaukee Running Day! Hosted by the Milwaukee Running Festival, this is a must-attend event for all runners in the MKE area.

Today we have Chris Ponteri, Executive Director of Milwaukee Marathon Inc., here to tell us all about the upcoming celebration. But before we get started, here are the specifics you’ll need to mark on your calendar:

What: Milwaukee Running Day

When: Thursday, June 2 @6:30pm

Where: Veteran’s Park

What is Milwaukee Running Day?

It’s a day to celebrate running and Milwaukee. We are planning a celebration event at Veteran’s Park that evening which will include a 4.14-mile fun run and a party with vendors and refreshments. We will also read a proclamation from Mayor Barrett declaring it Milwaukee Running Day, and who knows, maybe he will attend and read it in person.

Why did you decide to create a Milwaukee Running Day and how did you pick June 2 to celebrate the holiday?

National Running Day is June 1, and we thought the day might be best. That way, it could be a two-day celebration of the activity we all love so much.

Why should MKE runners join the event?

It will be a great way to meet like-minded people in a beautiful lakefront setting, get in some miles and talk running.

Can you tell us a bit about the course? What is the distance and where does the course travel?

The course is 4.14 miles (Milwaukee is the 414 area code, so why not?!?!?). It will start/finish near the lagoon in Veterans Park and stay on the Oak Leaf Trail. It is not a timed run and will be only for fun.

What’s happening after the run/walk portion of the event?

We plan to have plenty of food and beverages for purchase, will be playing music and should have most of the local running stores in attendance. We will have more details on this as the date gets closer. We are going to try to create a fun, running-themed atmosphere.

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

There is no need to register and it’s free. Just show up and enjoy. We have created a Facebook page and the link is here This will have all of the details and current information.

Are walkers welcome? What about strollers and/or pets?

Walkers, strollers, pets are all welcome!

Who are the event sponsors?

This event was made possible by a generous donation from Running in the USA. Since it’s a free event and does not generate any revenue, it was important that we raise enough funds to cover the insurance and permit fees, and Running in the USA’s contribution did just that. We can’t thank Bill and Mary Flaws enough for making this happen.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Chris!

Will we see you at the upcoming Milwaukee Running Day celebration?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Try It: AlterG Treadmill Training

If you follow the training of professional runners, you may notice that many of them utilize an AlterG® at some point or another to either add volume without additional stress on the body or to maintain fitness while recovering from an injury.

Even though the great majority of us are not training to compete at the highest level, we can still take advantage of this technology. Locally, you can run on an AlterG® at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic.

Below, Sara Ziegele, DPT with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic tells us more about how runners can benefit from this training tool.

Can you start off by telling us a bit about how an AlterG® treadmill works?

The AlterG® is a specialized treadmill that allows an individual to run or walk at partial body weight. For example, an individual weighing 150 pounds can set the treadmill to 50 percent and have only 75 pounds impact the treadmill. The runner wears a specifically designed pair of shorts that zip into a waist-height “tent” around the treadmill. The “tent” inflates with air to place an upward force on the lower body and reduce the weight.


What are the benefits of using an AlterG® treadmill?

Runners can maintain cardiovascular conditioning while minimizing stress on the lower body, reduce compensations and habits that develop from running with pain and return to running sooner than on the ground.

Can you tell us more about the degree of lift? How is the degree of lift determined for each participant?

The AlterG® can be set between 20 percent and 100 percent of body weight. That translates to more than 80 percent of your weight being held up by the air. The degree of lift will be individually determined by the Runners’ Clinic staff. Usually, runners recovering from impact injuries are set between 50-75 percent. Uninjured runners are set between 75- 95 percent.

Can you tell us more about how an AlterG® treadmill benefits each of the following groups?

  • Injured or recovering runners: Allows the runner to return to training sooner while unloading the injured region
  • Runners looking for a performance boost: Allows the runner to maximize cardiovascular training while reducing lower extremity stress
  • Runners just getting into running/exercise: Allows the runner to gradually increase the training load

How do you recommend runners incorporate AlterG® treadmill running into their training?

Training strategies on the AlterG® are very similar to any other surface. A runner should build up gradually to avoid overtraining. The higher percentage of body weight, the more natural the mechanics.

What’s the procedure for using the AlterG® treadmill at the Runners’ Clinic? Can people use the treadmill even if they are not a current Runners’ Clinic patient?

The AlterG® is available at the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic for patients and uninjured runners. Runners currently completing physical therapy (PT) can incorporate the treadmill into their rehabilitation program. To use the AlterG outside of PT, fees range from $15 (single, 30-minute sessions) to $175 (12-60 minute sessions across the course of a month), with additional options available.

Thanks for chatting with us, Dr. Ziegele! To learn more about Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic, visit their website or call 414.805.7114.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Try It: Froedtert Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation

Last fall, we announced a new partnership with the Froedtert Runners’ Clinic – a fantastic resource for MKE runners. The clinic offers everything from physical therapy to recovery tools to performance enhancement programs.


Today, we’re focusing on the Clinic’s Running Evaluations. You might be thinking, ‘I don’t need one of those – I’m not injured!’ The truth is, all runners can benefit from a Running Evaluation. Getting one just might prevent an injury down the road. At the very least, you’ll gain insight into your running form and things you can do to become more efficient.

Below, Dr. Andrea McCarthy with the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Center tells us more about the value of getting a Running Evaluation – whether you’re a beginner or have been running for years.

Why is the start of a training cycle a great time to get a Running Evaluation?
By getting a Running Evaluation early, a runner will gain insight into his or her gait mechanics and techniques to improve his or her running form. It is helpful to put these tips to use when you are starting out and your mileage is low. Often times, adjusting your running form requires increased use of different muscles than those you currently rely on. It is best to make this transition with lower mileage to give your body time to adapt and avoid causing overuse injuries.

The start of a training cycle is the time where a runner creates a routine. The Running Evaluation can provide insight into your areas of weakness and allow you to incorporate new exercises into your routine to optimize performance and minimize the likelihood of injuries.

Why is a Running Evaluation beneficial for all runners – whether they are beginners or have been running for years?
Unless you are running in front of a mirror or have a way to record yourself, how we think we run and how we actually run can be two very different things. While I know all the little nuances of my husband’s running gait, I am always surprised how I look when someone captures a picture of me mid race (I pictured myself looking so much more graceful). By recording a runner, we have the ability to slow down images of his or her gait and analyze the fine details that may otherwise go unnoticed. Experienced runners can gain as much insight as novice runners because everyone has at least one or two things that can be improved upon. It’s important to realize that running form can change over the years as a result of things such as injuries, training partners and running terrain.

Even if a runner isn’t currently injured, why a Running Evaluation be a good idea?
The Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation is actually best suited for non-injured runners. A Running Evaluation is a great way to learn about weaknesses and imbalances that leave a runner prone to certain injuries. By understanding the runner’s strengths and weaknesses, we can establish a program that helps prevent injuries from occurring.

What happens during a typical Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation?
First, the physical therapist will take the runner’s subjective history including past or present injuries, training regimen and goals. Next, the therapist conducts a brief assessment of the runner’s strength, range of motion and balance. Lastly, the runners gait is recorded on a treadmill for about five to 10 minutes. The therapist will review the recording and analyze the findings with the runner. The therapist relies on information from all three portions of the evaluation to prepare an individualized plan and exercise program for the runner. Each runner should expect several tips to improve his or her running form as well as a few exercises to improve or prevent injuries.

How long does a typical Running Evaluation take? Does the runner need to do anything to prepare?
The evaluation lasts approximately one hour. We ask that you arrive a few minutes early to fill out an intake form. Please wear running clothes and your normal running shoes. We encourage runners to dress based on their comfort levels, but prefer a running outfit that lets us see the most of a runner’s gait. Ideally, we like to see runners in shorts that give a full view of the knee and a tank top or T-shirt that is a different color from the bottoms to allow for us to see hip motion.

What information do runners gain from doing a Running Evaluation?
By reviewing the video with the therapist, the runner will receive information on all aspects of his or her running form. The information will include cadence (how many steps taken per minute), foot strike position, trunk position and knee mechanics, just to name a few. The runner will gain an understanding of weak areas that he or she can strengthen or stretch to avoid injuries or altered mechanics.

Are there follow-up steps after a Running Evaluation?
We provide each runner with several exercises and running tips that can be implemented right away in his or her routine. We offer a 30-minute follow-up session that is included in the cost of the Running Evaluation. The follow-up session can be scheduled several weeks after the initial evaluation. This session allows the runner to check that he or she is performing the exercises correctly and ask the therapist any additional questions or exercise progressions.

Any other comments or info about the Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluations?
The Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation is best suited for non-injured runners. If a runner has an injury, we recommend going through the steps to obtain a prescription for physical therapy. This can be done by contacting your primary care provider or a sports medicine physician.

At Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, Craig Young, MD, is available to assess your running injuries. Upon receiving a physical therapy script, the runner can call our clinic and schedule a physical therapy evaluation. Please mention that you are a runner and would like to be placed with one of the Runners’ Clinic physical therapists. This will allow us to treat your injury fully over the course of several sessions or weeks. We will complete a Running Evaluation as part of your physical therapy. Unlike the Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation, the physical therapy can be billed to your insurance.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Dr. McCarthy! To learn more about the Froedtert Runners’ Clinic, visit

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Join PRO’s Run Club in 2016!

Need a little extra motivation to run this year? Performance Running Outfitters makes running even more fun with its new PRO Run Club!


Here’s how it works: Participate in any of PRO’s fun runs, pub runs or demo runs and the store will log your miles. When you hit 50 miles, you’ll receive a “50 mile” club sticker and when you hit 100 miles you’ll receive a custom PRO “100 mile” club hat. You’ll also get an invitation to a PRO party in the fall to reward everyone for their accomplishments!

Upcoming PRO runs include:

Shorewood Run Club – Join local runners every Thursday at 6pm for a 3 mile run from PRO Shorewood.

Frosty Flapjack Fitness Challenge – Join runners at the PRO Brookfield location every Saturday through Feb. 20 for 3 or 6 miles. The group starts running at 8:30am.

Cupid Shuffle Fun Run & Walk – Join in for a 3 or 6 mile run or walk at PRO Brookfield on Saturday, Feb 6 at 8:30am. During the run you can try out a pair of the new Adidas Ultra Boost ST. After running, enjoy flapjacks, coffee and cocoa. RSVP required.

For a complete list of upcoming runs, check out PRO’s event calendar.

Will we see you at any of the upcoming events at PRO?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Charting the Race Course

When most of us think about a race course, chances are, it’s mostly about how flat or hilly it is and perhaps the aid station locations. But did you ever think about the planning that goes into the course for a major race?

We recently chatted with Chris Ponteri, Executive Director of Milwaukee Marathon, Inc., and got the scoop on what went into planning the courses for the upcoming Milwaukee Running Festival.


Can you tell us a bit about the planning that goes into the courses for a major event like this one?
My background has been in planning races with 1,000 runners or less, so this has been quite a learning experience. There are so many things that go into planning a major event like this. From small things like choosing the size of the stage for the expo speakers to big things like how many EMS units to have on the course, it’s a huge undertaking. I can’t begin to describe the enormity of setting something up like this. And this has been done with minimal staff.

When did you start planning the race courses? What was the process for getting them approved?
The original work on the courses was started a few years ago. Over time, changes were made for this reason and that reason. Just last week there were a half a dozen changes made to the marathon course. They are always a work in progress due to construction or logistical concerns. In fact, our marathon course is still not finalized because it is in the process of being certified to make it a Boston qualifier. So even though our GPS measurements say it’s 26.2 miles, it’s likely shorter than that and distance will need to be added somewhere.

How did you decide on the course locations and path traveled? Were there any factors that influenced the courses?
We tried to strike a balance between going big and going small. By big, I mean major urban arteries like Wisconsin Avenue, and by small I mean trails like the Hank Aaron State Trail. If you are paying $90 to run an urban marathon, you want to make sure you get the urban experience. But at the same time, if every street on the route was a major one it would make police costs and barricade rental costs too expensive.

Do things like water stations, port-a-potties, and other types of aid stations require additional permits? Also, how did you decide where to place these stations on the course?
We did not have to get any permits for those types of things. The permits we have gotten are from the city, county and state for use of their land by runners. We have 18 aid stations on the marathon course, which I think is higher than your average marathon, but we wanted to make sure our participants were safe. We chose locations by distance from the previous aid station more than anything.

Were there any landmarks, hills, bridges or other components you really wanted to include in the courses?
Obvious things like the Milwaukee Art Museum and lakefront needed to be on the course, but we are also very pleased to be going through or by several county and city parks in both the marathon and half marathon. We wanted to make sure we were going by the corporate headquarters for two iconic Milwaukee companies: Harley and Miller. My personal favorite landmarks are all on the marathon course: Sherman Boulevard, the VA Grounds, and the Journey House Packer Practice Field in Mitchell Park. The marathon runners are really in for a treat.

Can you rate the difficulty of the race courses (marathon, half marathon, 5k, 1-mile) on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the hardest?
I would rank the marathon course as a 3 on difficulty level. There are more hills than you think there would be in Milwaukee, but none of them are crazy hard. Whatever the hills add to your time the cool weather will more than make up for it.

Marathon course, as of today

The half marathon course is much easier than the marathon course since most of the hills are on the west portion of the marathon course. I would give it a 2 on difficulty level, and that’s mainly because of the early hill on Lincoln Memorial Drive.

The 5k and 1-mile courses are very flat and are a 1 on the difficulty scale. The 5k course sticks to the lakefront and is very scenic. I am particularly proud of the 1-mile course. It’s entirely within the confines of the Harley-Davidson Museum grounds and is actually quite beautiful. I think people are going to be very surprised when they see how cool that mile course is!

What can you tell us about course set-up and take-down? How many volunteers are needed?
Course setup will begin on Friday afternoon and will continue on Saturday and into early Sunday morning. We have trucks that bring out aid station supplies and tables, other trucks with cones and signs, and we have hired a company to put out all of the barricades (we need over 1,000 of them!).

Any other comments?
I can’t even begin to tell you how humbled I have been by the support of so many people in the Milwaukee running community. There is a long list of people who, without their help, this would not have been possible. It takes so much teamwork to get to the point where we are. I just wish I could properly express my gratitude in words to all of those people who have worked so passionately to make this happen. They know who they are.

Thanks for chatting with us, Chris! There’s still time to register for the inaugural Milwaukee Running Festival. To learn more about the races or to regsiter, visit

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Check It Out: Hitting Your Stride

Hey MKE! Who’s getting excited for the inaugural Milwaukee Running Festival? We’re finding it hard to believe it’s only a little more than two weeks away. But in our minds that means the party at the finish line is that much closer 😉

Anyhow, today, we want to share an upcoming event that will benefit anyone participating in the upcoming Milwaukee Running Festival – or really just anyone that runs or is into fitness!

Hitting Your Stride is a collaboration between the Milwaukee Running Festival and the Downtown YMCA and will include a 1-mile time trial and circuit workout lead by the YMCA’s fantastic group exercise instructors.

Date: Saturday, Oct. 17; 12-1:30pm

Location: Downtown YMCA (inside Grand Avenue Mall)

Cost: Free for all participants; donations to the Y will be accepted

You can use your time trial results to hone in on a realistic race-day goal pace. During the circuit workout, you’ll move through conditioning and stretching exercises to help you get to the start – and finish – line strong and healthy.

ScreenHunter_69 Oct. 14 08.36The Y’s 3-lane track is six laps to a mile

All ability levels are encouraged to attend and there will be several time-trial heats to ensure participants run with others at a similar pace. There’s no need to pre-register for this event and you do not need to be a YMCA member or signed up for the Milwaukee Running Festival to participate.

As an added bonus, all event participants can enter a raffle to win either a Milwaukee Running Festival race entry or a Milwaukee Running Festival VIP package.

To learn more about the event, visit the Facebook event page:

See you on Saturday!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Find the Perfect Sports Bra Fit at Bubbles & Bras

Did you know that 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong bra size?

At Performance Running Outfitter’s next Ladies Night, Bubbles & Bras, you can work with an expert bra fitter to find the perfect size. It’s your chance to find the right fit to make your workout as comfortable and supportive as possible.

Ladies Night will be offered at both the Brookfield and Shorewood PRO locations. Each store has a different event date.


When: Tuesday, September 29 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Performance Running Outfitters, 2205 N. Calhoun Road, Brookfield

When: Wednesday, September 30 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Performance Running Outfitters, 4533 N. Oakland Avenue, Shorewood

During Ladies Night, PRO is offering 15% off apparel and bra purchases and 20% off Moving Comfort items. You can also enter a raffle to win a Oiselle, Handful or Moving Comfort bra.

In addition to the bra fittings, there will be champagne, chocolate, cupcakes and shopping all of PRO’s other apparel and accessories.

Space is limited, so make sure to RSVP for the Brookfield or Shorewood event.

Hope to see you there!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

See It: Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco

Hey MKE Runners! Exciting news: the Milwaukee Running Group – OMG is sponsoring a one-night only viewing of “Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco,” a feature-length documentary about ultra-running legend Micah True. The movie will be shown at the Times Cinema in Milwaukee on Wednesday, November 11 at 7 p.m.

Run Free JPEG Poster Large

Tickets for the event are $12 in advance at or $15 at the door the night of the show. The Times Cinema is located at 5906 W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee.

From the news release:

Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco – the White Horse – was the focal character of Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best-selling book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” about the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico. Also known as the Rarámuri, or Running People, they are some of the best long-distance runners in the world.

Caballo Blanco was an enigmatic visionary who lived and ran with the Tarahumara after moving to remote Copper Canyon in the 1990s, and who created the fifty-mile Copper Canyon Ultra-Marathon to honor their running traditions and aid in their sustainability. Now in its thirteenth year, the race attracts hundreds of local Tarahumara to the village of Urique to compete alongside some of the best runners in the world. All race finishers receive five hundred pounds of corn, which the international runners traditionally donate to the local Tarahumara, commemorating the spirit of sharing, or “kórima,” which is a way of life among the natives of Copper Canyon.

The documentary is directed by Sterling Noren, a filmmaker from Seattle who met Micah True in 2009. Most of the material for the film was recorded in the weeks leading up to the 2012 race. Shortly after that race, Micah True disappeared in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico during his daily run, prompting ultra-runners from all over the country to drop everything and join in the search. His body was recovered several days later, found on a trail in a deserted canyon by some of his friends.

“We wanted to tell the story of Micah True in a way that was exciting and authentic, so that viewers could get a sense of what an amazing and inspiring person he was,” said Noren, of Seattle. “Micah’s vision lives on and his legacy is honored in this film. The film shares Micah’s compelling message of love, hope and kórima with the world while helping sustain the people and culture that meant so much to him. We’re honored to be part of this project and are committed to keeping Micah’s mission alive.”

Caballo Blanco Photo - CopyMicah True, aka Caballo Blanco

“Micah’s genuine passion for honoring the sacred running traditions of the Tarahumara people was the essence of his being,” said Maria Walton, executive producer of the film and Micah True’s girlfriend at the time of his death. “We made this film to share Micah’s vision of hope for the Tarahumara culture and empower people everywhere with his joy of running.”

The 90-minute film recently won the 2015 Bud Greenspan Memorial Film and Video Award, presented by the Track & Field Writers of America. In addition, the film also was named winner of the prestigious Award of Excellence from the IndieFEST Film Awards, which recognizes film, television and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, contributing to profound social change. The IndieFEST Film Awards said of its latest winners, “The IndieFEST is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent. The judges were pleased with the exceptional high quality of entries,” of which Run Free was singled out for its creative excellence.
Most recently, the film was named the Best Documentary at the 2015 Arizona International Film Festival.

A percentage of the film’s profits, including from DVD sales, will go to benefit Norawas de Rarámuri (Friends of the Running People), the non-profit agency founded by Micah True to preserve traditional Tarahumara culture. Norawas de Rarámuri works to provide maize, non-GMO seed corn, and cash awards for participating Tarahumara runners, both men and women alike. On this way, the organization offers Tarahumara families nutrition during drought and support for a tradition of small farms necessary to both physical and cultural survival.

For more information about the film, go to

The Milwaukee Running Group – OMG offers training runs every day except Friday with over 350 members of all abilities, who share motivations ranging from “staying healthy” to “training for marathons.” Most of the runs are held on the east side of town and are geared for all abilities, including beginners. The group also gets together for several social activities that do not involve running. For more information, go to

This is an event you won’t want to miss, MKE! Who already has tickets? We can’t wait to see the movie.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!