Sunday’s Packers/Bears Matchup: Why It Matters to Runners

If you haven’t signed up for the Milwaukee Running Festival yet, here’s your chance to save on registration. To celebrate the start of the NFL season and the legendary rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, the race is offering a unique promotion where every score counts!


For every score during this Sunday’s game (touchdown or field goal) MRF will offer $1 off registration to any of its race distances (marathon, half marathon, 5k and 1-mile). For example, if each team scores three touchdowns and two field goals – for a total of 10 scores – MRF will offer a $10 coupon off registration.

We’ll provide an update with the to-be-determined coupon that will be good throughout the following week: Monday, September 14 through Sunday, September 20. You can watch Sunday’s game live on Fox at 12pm.

That’s it for today! Enjoy your weekend miles and we’ll catch up with you on Monday!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Running League

Let’s see a quick show of hands:

Who likes running?

Who likes running with friends?

Who likes celebrating after a race with friends and beer?

If you raised your hand to any of the questions, you might want to check out Running League – a newer series of local races geared toward bringing people of all running abilities together for race – and post-race – fun.

Read on to learn more about the league, the courses and the awards!

For race specifics, view our Featured Races page.


Can you start off by telling us a bit about what makes this race unique in the MKE area?
There are bowling leagues, volleyball, softball, etc … but no running league. We started the very first running league that we know of and it’s a hit. We love the head-to-head matches each week where teams of all abilities can match up against each other because everyone has an average.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the league? How long has it been held in this area and why was it started?
It all started in November 2014 at the Pettit Ice Center. That night after an hour run and a couple beers, Scott turned to Mike and said “we should start a running league.” Mike owns a bowling alley where he coordinates bowling leagues so a running league only made sense. Over the course of the next six months, after more hour runs and beers, they put together a website, Facebook page, talked with other race coordinators, set up a registration account on Active and advertised on Running in the USA. They aimed for May as their start date and now it’s into July, starting Round 3.

What was behind the decision to make this more of a team-oriented event?
The idea of a team-oriented league was really important to us. We loved the idea of runners putting together a team of friends and competing. We loved the idea of the “back of the pack” runners being able to talk trash to the “front of the pack” runners because everyone is on an even playing field. The goal is to run the fastest under your team average so that really benefits the runners who are improving each week.


Do people need to sign up with a team or can they also sign up as individuals?
Everyone should sign up individually and then let us know if you have a team. If you are a single runner we will create or find a team for you.

How many teams are signed up to date?
The first round we had 6 teams of 3; 2nd round was 8 teams of 3; and it looks like 8 teams are signed up so far for round 3.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about signing up to encourage them to participate?
Free beer afterwards! Oh, and it’s only $9 per race.


Can you tell us how the awards work for this race?
Each week the team that is the most under their team average wins $45 to split. Awards at the end of round 2 – 1st place overall received $60 to split and the traveling trophy, 2nd – $30, 3rd – $21, 4th – $15.

What are the courses like? How did you select Frame Park and the travel date courses? And do you have any tips for runners hoping to crank out fast times?
Frame Park works great because we start and finish at Mike’s bowling alley – Fracaro’s Lanes. The course is flat and uses most of the same course that other Waukesha 5k races use. Scott is an expert trail marker. He found a great one that starts and finishes at Stubby’s Pub and Grub on Humboldt. That course is little hilly and part trail. Minooka Park is a staple in a lot of Waukesha runners’ workouts. Scott marked a tough but great trail run that starts and finishes at a site we rented. All of these courses fit nicely with the extremely fun after-race party we have.

What are some of the participant perks?
Did we mention free beer? Also, the unbelievably great running leaguers put together a food sign-up online each week for after-race fueling and sustenance to soak up the beer.

In the upcoming seasons/years – do you anticipate the league growing to include other locations in MKE?
One of our dreams for Running League is to have several locations. For example – Running League Waukesha, RL Milwaukee, RL Tosa, RL Brookfield, RL New Berlin, etc., and then have a SE Wisconsin state tournament in which all the RL’s will battle each other to be Running League champions.

Any other info/comments?
We are looking for energetic people to help manage these other RL’s, specifically a league secretary/manager who can keep the energy level very high and the atmosphere exciting. Running League night is our favorite night of the week and we strive to make that the same for everyone else.

Thanks for all the great info from Running League! The first race of round 3 is Thursday. If you’re interested in learning more and/or signing up to run, here’s how you can connect:



We’re halfway through the week! Or, depending on how you look at it, halfway to our weekend long runs 😉

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Build Up Runs Start This Weekend! Plus, Join In For Local July Fun Runs!

Hey everyone! Who’s already counting down the minutes til the weekend is here??

In case you don’t already have it on your calendar, remember that this Saturday is the first Milwaukee Running Festival (MRF) Marathon and Half Marathon Buildup Run. The runs will be held at 8am on Saturday mornings leading up to race weekend. The start/finish location will be the Brady Street footbridge on Lincoln Memorial Drive just south of McKinley Marina.

This Saturday, marathon runners will run 8 miles and half marathon runners will run 3 miles. To see what distance the group will run each week or for more details about the buildup runs, visit the Milwaukee Running Festival website.

Note: The buildup runs on July 25th, August 9th and September 19th will take place starting at the Grant Park Clubhouse in South Milwaukee due to other events along the lakefront.

In addition to the MRF buildup runs, here are a few upcoming fun runs you won’t want to miss:

July 9 – MRF Thursday Night Social Run
Urban Ecology Center (Menomonee Valley)
3700 West Pierce Street, Milwaukee
Details: 5k on the Hank Aaron Trail; refreshments served post run

July 11 – Flapjack 5k Fun Run with Asics
Performance Running Outfitters (Brookfield)
2205 N Calhoun Road, Brookfield
Details: Test out the new Asics Cumulus 17 shoes; enjoy flapjacks, coffee and a raffle post run

July 15 – Badgerland Striders President’s Fun Run
Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Details: 3 mile and 6 mile runs; refreshments served post run

July 16 – MRF Thursday Night Social Run
PNC Bank, Mitchell Park
1597 W National Ave, Milwaukee
Details: 4-miler through Mitchell Park; refreshments served post run

July 16 – Summer Sizzler Pub Run
Performance Running Outfitters (Shorewood)
4533 N Oakland Avenue, Shorewood
Details: 5k run through Shorewood; join the group at Three Lions Pub post run for discounted food and beverages

July 21 – Trail Fun Run with Saucony
Nashotah Park
W330n5113 County Rd C, Nashotah (Meet at the Park & Ride)
Details: Hosted by Performance Running Outfitters. Group will do a 5k. Test a pair of Saucony Nomad Trail shoes and be entered into a raffle to win a pair!

July 22 – Badgerland Striders Junk Food Fun Run
Veteran’s Park, Milwaukee
Details: 3 mile and 6 mile runs; junk food delights served post run

July 23 – MRF Thursday Night Social Run
Wild Workouts and Wellness
3056 South Delaware Avenue, Milwaukee
Details: 4-miler around the South Shore; refreshments served post run

July 25 – Flapjack 5k Fun Run with Adidas
Performance Running Outfitters (Brookfield)
2205 N Calhoun Road, Brookfield
Details: Test out Adidas Sequence 8 shoes; enjoy flapjacks, coffee and a raffle post run

July 29 – Badgerland Striders Corn Roast Fun Run
Minooka Park #4 ($4 parking fee), Waukesha
Details: 3 mile and 6 mile runs; roasted corn and other refreshments served post run

July 30 – MRF Thursday Night Social Run
Pere Marquette Park, Milwaukee
Details: 3-miler on the Riverwalk; refreshments served post run

For more information about the fun runs, visit the following:

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

RRCA Coaching Certification + Running’s RAD

Local runner, Richard Dodd, has a long running resume. He’s competed as an elite runner and currently is the Head Boys & Girls Cross Country Coach & Assistant Track Coach at Hartford High School as well as the Race Director of the Adrenaline Marathon in West Bend, the Adrenaline Half, Quarter and 5K; and Adrenaline Triathlon in Random Lake. Now he adds RRCA Certified Running Coach to the list.

Read on to learn more about RRCA certification process as well as Coach Dodd’s new coaching business, Running’s RAD!


Can you start off by telling us what it means to have an RRCA Coaching Certification?
It means that I’ve taken the two-day RRCA Certification Course (18 class hours total) and passed the exam as well as received certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED Training. I’m one of only 19 currently such-certified coaches in Wisconsin as of today!

What was the coaching course like and what did you learn?
It was a very intense weekend with 9-hours of class (in South Carolina) both Saturday & Sunday, and some “homework.” One thing that was encouraging to me was that a lot of what I’ve gleaned over a 42-year running career and 19-year coaching career was reinforced in class, meaning I’ve been doing a lot of things correctly for some time! I had been “weaned” on Arthur Lydiard, Joe Vigil, Jack Daniels, etc., so it was a little like “old home” weekend for me!

What was the testing process like? What requirements did you need to meet to receive the certification?
The 100-question, multiple-choice, online test afterward was actually quite daunting with the knowledge if more than 15 answers were wrong you failed the test – with no refunds. Even though it was open book(s), there was a lot of material covered – It took me some 10 hours to complete! Once you hit “submit” your test was scored, with no recourse. After that I had to pay for and take a course in Waukesha for my First Aid/CPR/AED Training, all within a month’s time of taking the RRCA Course.

Do you feel it was worth it to get a Coaching Certification? Why should people interested in coaching get certified?
I honestly think that the RRCA Coaching Course was well worth it. The class-manual and Jack Daniels’ book and the in-class learning justify the time and cost. I believe that if you’re going to coach other individuals that you need to know what you’re doing as well as basic first-aid procedures & CPR. A course has just been posted for Milwaukee in October – hurry, they fill up FAST!

Had you done any coaching previously? What made you decide to get RRCA Coaching Certification?
I have been a high school cross country and track coach for boys & girls for 19 years now (over 1,000 athletes) – 16 years at my alma-mater Whitnall HS and the past 3 years at Hartford Union HS. I was named Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel “Coach Of The Year” in 2004. The high schools sports that I coach are “no-cut”- meaning that I coach boys and girls of all abilities.

In addition, I’ve coached a number of adults gratis; most notably Matt Kruger (2:39 Marathon) and Jessica (Davida) Hoepner (owner of Performance Running Outfitters) to a 3:16 Marathon debut at age 21.

I’ve also been inspired by my outstanding (Hall Of Fame) college coaches at UW-La Crosse in Dr. Phil Esten and Gary Wilson

Can you tell us about your new coaching business, Running’s RAD?
While it is still definitely in its infancy and is a work in progress, I have already had the pleasure of coaching some clients to (modern-day) successes! One item I need to address soon is expanding the website; computer technology is not a strength of mine – but I am improving! I came up with the name because RAD is my monogram and, well, Running’s RAD! I plan on expanding my clientele into the fall marathoning season and beyond! I’m also volunteering my time & services to help the Badgerland Striders’ Half Marathon Buildup Program get off the ground this summer.

What types of coaching services do you offer?
While more of a hands-on (i.e. in-person) coach by design, I do offer online and cellphone planning/tips. In the 51 marathons I have completed, the last 50 are Boston-Qualifiers (I missed by 31 seconds in my first attempt at age 18) – so I would have to say marathons (2:19:38 PR) and half-marathons (1:08:29 PR) are my strong suit; although I’ve coached everything from the ½-mile (800-meters) on up! I also have completed two Ultra-marathons, including a 2:59:56 (WI State Record) 50K, and would feel comfortable working with runners with those aspirations.

I am a big believer in the psychological side of running/racing – sometimes a runner is only six inches – the space between their ears – from a great race!

Thanks for chatting with us, Coach Dodd! To learn more about Running’s RAD, you can connect here:

Phone: (608) 770-5906

To learn more about the upcoming RRCA Coaching Certification course in MKE, visit

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend! And as always …

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Get to Know More MKE Neighborhoods During June Fun Runs

Looking for a fun way to get your miles in while socializing with other runners? During June, the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival continues its series of Thursday evening social runs leading up to race weekend. The runs start at 6pm and run through October 22. The runs will be 3-5 miles in length and take place in various locations around the city.

Below are the June social run dates and locations. We’ll post info about the July, August, September and October social runs as the dates get closer.

June 4
Nomad World Pub
1401 East Brady Street, Milwaukee

June 11
Astor Hotel – Hosted by Momentum of Milwaukee
924 East Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee

June 18
Fleet Feet Brookfield
17550 West Bluemound Frontage Road, Brookfield

June 25
Lake Park – Hosted by Milwaukee Running Group
Lake Park, Milwaukee

Who’s planning to join for one – or all – of these runs?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

We Heart Track Part Two: MKE Track Workouts

Last week, we featured tracks around the city where you can get your speedwork on. This week, we’re sharing a few local groups you can meet up with when you want to fly.

This summer, let’s get faster together, MKE!

Badgerland Striders Track Workout
Tuesdays @6:30pm
Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Details: The workout is led by Matt Thull from ThunderDome Running. Participants should be warmed up and ready to start by 6:30pm. During the late fall and winter months, workouts are held at the Pettit National Ice Center indoor track and are led by Angie Smith.

Greater Milwaukee Track Club
Dates vary
Marquette University Track
Details: The goal of the club is to encourage adult cross country and track & field participation. No performance standards to join. Members can attend group workouts that are typically held a few times per week at the Marquette outdoor track.

InStep – Delafield
Wednesdays @6pm
InStep, 615 Genesee Street, Delafield
Details: Runners meet at the store for a 10-minute warmup run to the track. Program runs May – October.

Milwaukee Running Group (OMG)
Tuesdays @6pm
Shorewood High School
Details: There are two separate groups – one for faster runners (6-10 min pace) and one for slower runners. The group is pretty informal and workout suggestions are always welcome.

Performance Running Outfitters
Thursdays @6:30pm thru August 13
Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Details: Participants should be warmed up and ready to start by 6:30pm. Workouts may include tempo runs, hill repeats, intervals and sprints. All abilities are welcome. Know your 5k race time to be put into groups.

We’re curious: Do you prefer to do speedwork alone or with a group?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

We Heart Track Part One: Places to Run in MKE

It’s that time of year when, no matter what distance you’re training for, you likely have speedwork on the docket. Fortunately for MKE runners, there’s no shortage of tracks in the area.

We recently asked about your favorite local tracks on Facebook. Here’s our round-up, including notes and recommendations from runners who regularly run at the facilities! Unless noted, the tracks are free to use.

Brown Deer High School
8060 N. 60th Street, Brown Deer
Notes: Restrooms next to the track are usually unlocked during the spring and summer. Easy access to neighborhood roads for warmup and cooldown miles.

Hart Park
7300 Chestnut Street, Wauwatosa
Notes: Bathrooms and a water fountain are available as well as easy access to paved paths outside the track facility.


Marquette University
Shimek Track & Field
1818 W. Canal Street

Menomonee Falls High School
W142 N8101 Merrimac Drive, Menomonee Falls

Nicolet High School
6701 N. Jean Nicolet Road, Glendale

Oak Creek High School
340 E. Puetz Road, Oak Creek
Notes: Only open to the public on Saturday mornings from 7-11am.

Pettit National Ice Center
500 S. 84th Street, Milwaukee
Cost: $4 for single admission/day pass; $2 for Badgerland Strider members
Notes: Bathrooms, water fountain, vending machines, showers and locker rooms are available.

Pettit National Ice Center TrackPhoto by Bill Flaws – Running in the USA

Pulaski High School
2500 West, W. Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee

Riverside High School
1615 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee
Notes: A water fountain is located about a quarter mile away from the track at the Urban Ecology Center.

Riverside High School TrackPhoto by Sheila Wordell (she’s also the runner in the pic!)

Shorewood High School
1701 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood
Notes: Port-a-potties located around the track for public use.

University of Wisconsin – Parkside
900 Wood Road, Kenosha

Waukesha South High School
401 E. Roberta Avenue, Waukesha, WI

Whitefish Bay High School
1200 E. Fairmount Avenue, Whitefish Bay
Notes: Water fountain located next to the track. Easy access to neighborhood roads for warmup and cooldown miles.

Know of a local track we should add to our list? Tell us about it in the comments section!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Thursday Social Runs Feature Milwaukee Neighborhoods

Looking for a fun way to get your miles in while socializing with other runners? The PNC Milwaukee Running Festival is hosting a series of Thursday evening social runs leading up to race weekend. The runs start at 6pm, starting on May 7 and run through October 22. The runs will be 3-5 miles in length and take place in various locations around the city.

Below are the May social run dates and locations. We’ll post about June, July, August, September and October social runs as the dates get closer. You can also view the full calendar on the race website.

May 7
Holey Moley Donuts
316 North Milwaukee Street, Milwaukee

May 14
Performance Running Outfitters – Cookie Run
4533 North Oakland Avenue, Shorewood

May 21
PNC Bank
5499 South 76th Street, Greendale

May 28
Fleet Feet Sports – Thrill Run (scavenger hunt)
17550 West Bluemound Frontage Road, Brookfield

Who’s planning to join for one – or all – of these runs?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Tune In To Spartan Up! + A Race Entry Giveaway!

If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get out the door for a workout this winter, Spartan Race has a new podcast series that highlights success stories.

ScreenHunter_36 Feb. 24 16.53

Spartan Up! already has several episodes available for download. During each episode, Joe Desena – founder of the Spartan Race series – interviews everyone from world-class athletes to Fortune 500 CEOs, including a lesson breakdown and blueprint for success.

Even hardcore runners can benefit from listening to the series. For example, during one episode, Mike Sandrock – marathon runner and author of Running With the Legends – discusses “Lessons From the World’s Toughest Runners”. Other episodes discuss practical topics, such as proper fueling. Some even get into topics such as grit and mental toughness.

ScreenHunter_35 Feb. 24 16.52

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We recommend checking it out – there are great lessons to be learned by runners of all ages and abilities.

So now the part you’ve been waiting for – who wants to win a race entry to an upcoming Spartan Race? To enter, tell us in the comments:

Who or what inspires you to keep running?

Best of luck to all who enter. We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 4.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

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

Tips for Racing at the Pettit

Will this weekend be your first time racing at the Pettit National Ice Center indoor track? Or perhaps it’s been awhile and you need a little refresher course.

sm20140126_010646_img_1584Photo by Bill Flaws – Running in the USA

We recently asked a few local runners for their best tips for racing at the Pettit. Whether you’re doing the marathon, half marathon, 5k or relay event, their tips will help you perform your best on race day:

“I would say divide your goal time by the number of laps to figure out what you need to average per lap. Then use the same fixed object (that is easy to see) to check your own lap times each time around; the video screen can be very difficult to read at speed!” – Richard Dodd

“Try not to think of the whole race at once; breaking it into smaller segments makes the laps go by quicker. If I’m doing a shorter race, I just imagine myself doing a speed workout with my friends.” – Angie Smith

“Having something warm to drink will help with Pettit lung and bring some cough drops.” – Sara Brozek

“In the relay, our team broke it into two-lap segments for each runner last year – you can run quicker and have less “down” time.” – Steve Pavlik

“I set my Garmin to show the average lap time and then hit the lap button every time I go around. I’ll have a number that I never want to see the average dip below.” – Tracey Gessner

“Constantly look up and ahead. So many times at the Pettit it is easy to look only five feet in front of you or at the shoes of another runner right in front of you. Doing periodic look-ups and checks way ahead (especially looking to the corners) will help in not getting lulled into a slower pace when you begin to tire. Plus you can BREATH better when you are NOT looking down!” – Matt Thull

“Best scenario is to concentrate/or perfect your form/stride because you don’t have to combat outside factors of weather/hills.” – Sheila Wordell

“Make sure to take advantage of the ability to take fluids or gels every lap (not that you should take something every lap). You should go in with a plan and let your volunteer at the table know that plan prior to the race.” – Chris Ponteri

“Have a plan with hydration. Because it’s there every lap, it is oddly easy to forget. I like to get fluids every 10 to 12 laps and keeping track gives my little brain something to do.” – Mary Flaws

“What I like to do is bring a TV tray table and set it up along the wall in an open area. There I will put whatever I might possibly need for the race – GU, water, salt, bananas, Body Glide/Vaseline, etc. It is then available to me every lap without me having to ask for it and I don’t have to bend down to search and get it out of my bag.” – Bill Schneider

MKE runners: What’s your best tip for racing at the Pettit?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!