Join in for the 4th Annual Oak Leaf Trail Cleanup!

Welcome to May, everyone! At long last, all signs point to the arrival of spring: sunny days, warmer temps, birds chirping and plenty of runners hitting the local trails.

One of the most popular running trails is the Oak Leaf Trail, which extends through Milwaukee County and beyond. It’s a local running gem but it could use a good spring cleaning. That’s why several Milwaukee running groups are teaming up for the 4th annual Oak Leaf Trail Cleanup!

Below, Patrick Bieser with Milwaukee Running Group OMG, tells us more about the upcoming cleanup.

Can you tell us a bit about the event?

People who pick up trash in public places live longer, have fewer cavities, and enjoy that good feeling and glow you get when you do something good for the planet.

The 4th annual Oak Leaf Trail Cleanup is one of those planet-friendly, guaranteed-to-make-you-glow events. The cleanup will be held Sunday, May 6 from 1-3:30pm and will focus on a mile long stretch of the trail near Colectivo at the Lakefront. We expect over 100 people of all ages to gather on the lawn north of Colectivo starting at 1pm. We will return from the trail – with trash-filled bags – around 3:30pm. All volunteers are welcome to stick around and enjoy free snacks and beverages on the lawn.

This is a family, kid, and dog friendly event. Friends are welcome, too!

It’s great to hear several running groups are coming together to clean up the trail. Which groups are participating in this year’s clean up? And can people still join in if they’re not a member of one of these groups?

The Milwaukee Running Group OMG is excited to team up again this year with Badgerland Striders, Tri-Wisconsin, Splinter Striders, and members of the November Project. You do not need to be a member of one of these groups to participate. In fact, this is an excellent chance to learn more about these groups and meet their members. These groups are the most active running, biking and workout clubs in Milwaukee offering year-round fitness activities for insanely cheap membership dues, or free-forever in the case of November Project!

What makes the Oak Leaf Trail such a valuable community resource?

The east side segment of the Oak Leaf Trail is busy, 16 hours a day, with bikers, runners, dog walkers, and occasional raccoons, wild turkeys and deer. It’s a Milwaukee treasure, and one of the reasons we love running and biking here. The trail is 120 miles of railroad bed converted to smooth asphalt circling Milwaukee and showcasing our neighborhoods and charms.

Why should people come help out for a few hours?

When a friend has a problem, you don’t turn your back. The east side Oak Leaf Trail has a trash problem every spring (a winter hangover) and it needs your help. Other groups have walked the trail in the past few weeks picking up trash, but they’ve missed most of the harder to get to places along the trail. We’ll tackle those spots because we’re runners and we don’t give up easy!

As a bonus, we’ll ask people to keep track of the most interesting things found during the cleanup. Take a picture and send it to mke.run.group@gmail.com or post it to the public event Facebook Page.

Do volunteers need to bring anything?

OMG and Badgerland Striders will provide trash bags, trash-pickers, logistics, and a free picnic after on the lawn outside Colectivo. Volunteers should bring work gloves and clothes to get a little muddy. Recent drainage improvements to the trail have reduced the puddles that lined the trail in past years, but there is still mud! The costs of the cleanup will be covered by The Milwaukee Running Group, Badgerland Striders, and the Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful organization.

Any other comments?

Are you a runner or biker who uses the east side trail? Join us for a few hours of trail cleanup. Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of the Oak Leaf Trail!

Thanks for chatting with us, Patrick! This looks like a fantastic event and a great way to help keep our city and trails clean for everyone. To learn more, visit the Facebook event page.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

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Race It: Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk

One in five American adults is diagnosed with a mental health condition in any given year. Yet these conditions are often swept under the rug – people don’t want to talk about them or admit they’re struggling. That’s why Milwaukee native Adel Korkor decided to start the Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk Series. Through a series of run/walks across the country, Korkor hopes to bring awareness to the issue of mental health and help those who are suffering know they are not alone.

Below, Korkor tells us more about the run/walk series and how the community can get involved!

Why did you decide to embark on this journey?

We have a mental health crisis in America! About 300 people are dying every day from suicide or drug overdose. Depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness diagnoses are on the rise. One out of every five Americans suffers from mental health issues. In addition to being common, mental illnesses are disabling and costly. This run/walk series is design to bring awareness to all of the above.

What’s the general route for the series? How did you decide on the start/finish?

We will start in Hawaii (May 5) and end in Milwaukee (June 23). The logistics dictated our plan. We divided the country into eight regions. We will fly in between but drive within each region. The route can be found on our website www.fivefiftyfifty.com.

How have you prepared for the series over the months? What type of training did you do?

I have always been a runner. I have added core training and am doing more cross training with the addition of cycling and elliptical activities.

What is your run plan/approach for the 5ks?

I hope to run every race. I do not have a certain time to hit.

Are there any challenges you expect along the way? How will you overcome them?

There will be many challenges: weather, air travel, transportation, race logistics among others. However, my team of five individuals who are managing the process are trying preemptively to deal with any anticipated challenges.

What motivates you to run?

Running has saved my life. I suffered from a panic attack in my early 40s and running has helped me control the symptoms of anxiety and manage my disease.

What are you looking forward to most during your upcoming journey?

Meeting people, sharing stories, enhancing awareness, removing stigma and raising funds.

How can people participate in the Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk Series?

Go on our website www.fivefiftyfifty.com, sign up for one or more of the races. If they are unable to join the run/walk for any reason, they can sign up for the virtual run/walk. Donations through our website are also greatly appreciated.

Can you tell us more about the organization the series benefits?

The organization that will primarily benefit is my foundation www.adelbkorkorfoundation.org. My foundation’s goal is to make the world a better place for individuals with mental health issues. Other participating and collaborative organizations and foundations will benefit as well.

Any other comments?

There is no time to waste. We have a crisis on our hands and as a society we must react positively and constructively.

Thanks for chatting with us Adel and best of luck with your upcoming journey! To learn how you can get involved with the Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk Series, check out the website: https://fivefiftyfifty.com/

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Pettit Indoor Marathon, Half Marathon & Relays

Although the Pettit Indoor Marathon is a new race, it will seem familiar to runners who’ve run a Pettit race in the past. There’s a new race weekend (Feb 9-11) and a few changes to the race distances, but one thing that’s staying the same is the fun factor.

Below, Race Director Bill Schneider tells us more about the race weekend and how there’s a race distance for every runner.

Let’s start with a Q we’ve heard a lot of runners asking – is the Pettit Indoor Marathon a new event or is it a new name for the beloved Icebreaker Indoor Marathon?   

The Pettit Indoor Marathon is a new event. However, it will have the feel of the old event as most of the organizing crew from Icebreaker is organizing the Pettit Indoor Marathon. I have been a part, in some form, of all nine years of Icebreaker having run the full marathon eight times and on the organizing team for seven years. Because of my familiarity with the crew at the Pettit Center, they asked me to organize this new event. I was more than happy to keep the great marathon tradition alive at the Pettit Center.

What distances are offered during race weekend? 

On Friday, February 9th, we begin with a new event, the Half Marathon Relay. Just as the name suggests, it a relay equal to the distance of a half marathon (47.5 laps) for teams of four runners. Besides the normal divisions: male, female and mixed, we have added a new boys and girls high school division to the half marathon relay.

On Saturday, February 10th, we will have two heats of the half marathon at 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM followed by a 1:00 PM full marathon relay. Then on Sunday, February 11th, we will run our crown jewel event, the full marathon.

Also returning will be the “Running In The USA 142.3 Challenge” for runners brave enough to run the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. This year, not only will the 142.3 Challenge runners receive three total medals, but they will also earn themselves a dozen specially made Running in the USA Cookies.

What makes this event different from others in the area?

This event is unique not only in the area, but the entire nation. We are the largest indoor marathon in the world, on the longest running track in the nation. There are other indoor marathons in the US, but none with temperatures as perfect as at the Pettit Center (~50F) and gradual turns. Our 3-lane, 445 meter track allows for little to no extra stress on your turn leg and ease of passing throughout the race.  We have 95 aid stations for the full marathon and 47 for the half. There are 190 opportunities to use the restrooms only feet from the course. We are also the flattest race in the world, with an elevation change 0.

Can you explain how the relay races work? What types of strategies work best for achieving a fast time?

The relays are the fastest events of the weekend. Teams of two to four run the entire distance in relay format, alternating runners. Instead of a baton, runners exchange an ankle chip that counts laps. We allow teams to exchange as many times as they wish allowing for many creative strategies. It does take a few seconds to move the ankle chip from one runner’s ankle to another runner’s ankle (and, yes, it is REQUIRED to be worn on their ankle), so how long you run all depends on what is best for your team. I have seen teams running 4-lap repeats and some running 11 laps at a time. The chip exchange is always fun to watch. Teams may want to consider having a 3rd teammate do the exchange, thus saving a second or two.

We love the idea of a half marathon relay – can you tell us why you added this race to the weekend?

We decided to not have the 5K as the number of participants just wasn’t what it needed to be. When discussing what should be done instead. Randy Dean, the Executive Director of the Pettit Center, came up with the idea. The full marathon relay is always a very popular event, so, to be able to add more teams to the weekend, it was decided to add the half marathon relay. This allows runners who don’t run longer distances to participate (as the average distance per half relay runner is only 3.3 miles). So, if you are a 5K runner, this is right up your alley.

Obviously, the course is mega flat with ideal temps. But, do you have any tips for runners hoping to run a fast time?

Fast times are possible at the Pettit Center. Since a lap is 445 meters, making it virtually impossible to have mile markers, runners should review the pace chart in advance in addition to keeping track of their lap times. Every 445 meters can be seen if your lap time is on pace with your goal. Also, if all runners follow the rules as to which lane to run in, this will allow for the best possible passing situation. If slower runners are in lane 1, it makes passing difficult. If there is anything special you need during the race, please make sure you keep it trackside (along the wall on the east turn) for ease of pick up whenever needed.

Are overall and/or age group prizes awarded?

For full marathon and half marathon we will have awards for the top three overall males and females.  Each runner will receive a finisher’s medal. For the relays, awards will be given to the top 3three teams for males, females, and mixed. We will also have awards for the top boys and girls high school relay teams in the half marathon relay. All members of these teams must be in high school or younger.

What do participants get with their race entry?

All participants receive a goodie bag including a Pettit Indoor Marathon long-sleeve technical shirt, ideal for running at the Pettit Center. Runners will have post-race refreshments in the Hall of Fame room, including the world-famous Running in the USA cookies.

Are spectators welcome?

Absolutely! Spectators are more than welcome to sit in the bleachers and watch their family or friends run their race. We encourage the kids to give high fives from the bleachers and signs are welcome.  Where else can you watch someone run a marathon in person and see them pass by 95 times without moving an inch? Just bring a light jacket or sweatshirt as it gets cold in the Pettit Center.

Tell us more about these famous sugar cookies …

Mary Flaws from Running in the USA is baking her world-famous cookies for all runners. They will be available after every race. In fact, Mary and Running in the USA are now sponsors of the Running in the USA 142.3 Challenge. Runners who complete both the half marathon on Saturday and follow up with the full marathon on Sunday will receive a dozen of these cookies.

Any other comments?

We will be keeping the great running tradition at the Pettit Center alive and well. We hope those who have run at the Pettit before return in addition to introduce a new batch of runners. For those who have more questions, please see our website at www.pettitindoormarathon.com or email us at pettitindoormarathon@gmail.com. Feel free to ask me questions, in person, at the Pettit Center. I am usually there running on Saturday mornings in the winter, and on some evenings with my daughters.

Thanks for chatting with us, Bill – we’re looking forward to an awesome weekend of racing!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Will Two Treadmill World Records Go Down On Jan 29?

It’s that time of year when runners complain about winter weather forcing them to run on the treadmill – otherwise known as the dreadmill to some. But your hour-long training run will seem like a piece of cake when you hear what one local runner is attempting at the end of this month.

On January 29, Dave Jesse – MKE runner and endurance coach – is making an attempt to take down two treadmill world records. Starting at 6am at the Princeton Club in New Berlin, he will start on a treadmill adventure that is expected to last til 7:44pm-ish.

Below, Dave tells us a bit about the records he is chasing and how he is training his way to the record books!

What records are you chasing during the event on the 29th?

There are actually two records that I will be “chasing”. The first is the farthest distance covered on a treadmill in 12 hours, which is currently at 89.36 miles. After that, I will continue running and try to reach 100 miles to set the fastest 100 mile run on a treadmill, currently at 13 hours 44 minutes and 42 seconds.

How did you decide to take a crack at these records?

A friend posted a link on my Facebook page and said that he could see me doing this and that I should. Maybe I should stop listening to that friend!!!

What’s the longest time and distance you’ve run on the treadmill?

Currently my longest run on a treadmill is 5 hours. I hope to get up to 6.5 hours before the attempt.

How have you been training for this attempt?

I have been basing my runs around a time commitment instead of a mileage commitment. Most of my training has been on the treadmill. The other key component is nutrition. For a longer event such as this, your success can hinge on nutrition so I have been practicing that as well.

15873115_747174255445790_3877453573379325325_nPhoto from the No Limits Athlete Tracker and Fundraising page

Have you decided on a running strategy to help you break these records? If so, what is it?

Great question! My crew and I have discussed this very topic and have tried various formats. As of now, the plan is to break the time into 60 minute “segments” with the first 15 minutes of each segment to be done at a consistent pace. After that the plan currently is to take the speed up by .5 mph for one minute every 10 to 15 minutes. Hydration will happen every 10 minutes and I will have “real” food as needed.

A lot of people say they get bored when running on the treadmill. How will you stay focused?

For me, what works on the training runs is to be doing something every 10 minutes (or less). This can be as simple as taking a drink or increasing the pace for a predetermined amount of time or even going up on the incline as well. Doing this allows me to focus on the 10 minutes that I am currently in while looking forward to the “change” that is upcoming.

Are there any rules you need to follow for your record attempt?

All kinds! First, and most important, is that I personally cannot touch the treadmill as I am running. I will have someone standing by to increase pace or whatever needs to be done. Also, I cannot be off the treadmill if the belt is moving. If for any reason I need to leave the treadmill the belt must be stopped. The 12 hours is continuous so I can stop and use the restroom, if needed, but the event time does not stop.

In addition, I need to provide as evidence witness statements, documentation of milestones (10 miles, 26.2, 50K, 50 miles, 75 miles), a general log as to what has happened during the event, as well as a video capturing the entirety of the event (the complete treadmill must be seen in the video the entire time, so the camera will be in a “fixed” position”).

Tell us about the fundraising aspect. Who will this event benefit? Why is this cause important to you? How can people contribute?

Last year I started raising funds for the awareness of ALS and plan to continue to do that this year as well. However there is an instructor at the gym where I train who was diagnosed with cancer. When I found out, I remembered what a good friend once said a few years back. “Don’t fly over a mission to get to a mission”. Those words ring true for me for this event. More can be found about the fundraising efforts on my athlete Facebook page or at the following link: www.gofundme.com/christiandiompy

Any other comments?

Just a special thank you to those that are helping me, not only on the day of event, but through the training process as well. These are some very special people.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Dave, and best of luck on the 29th!

We’re always interested in talking with runners about running. If you have a story tip or info about an upcoming race/event, email us at keeprunningmke@gmail.com

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Spartan Race Entry Winner!

Good morning! Today, we have exciting news to share – the winner of the Spartan Race entry! Without further ado …

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The winner is … Dan! Please email us within the next 48 hours at keeprunningmke@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

Stick around, MKE – we have a winter running style guide and more race previews yet to come this year!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k

For those of you not already signed up for this year’s Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, consider running the inaugural Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k! Whether you want to test your speed in a shorter distance or want to get in a few miles while waiting for family and friends running the marathon to cross the finish line, this is a great race to add to your fall calendar.

What: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k

When: Sunday, October 2 @8:30am

Where: Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee

Cost:

Runners start in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum and follow a course that goes around Lakeshore Park before winding through Veterans Park for a loop around the lagoon before crossing the same finish line as the marathon runners.

Chip timing is available for the race and there is a 60-minute cutoff time. Awards will be given to the Top 3 Overall Male and Female winners as well as the Male and Female Overall Masters winners. Age group prizes will also be awarded.

Participants who register before September 21 are guaranteed a race t-shirt. All participants will enjoy snacks and free beer from MKE brewing after the race.

All proceeds will be donated to the Milwaukee Police Department Endurance Club for use in purchasing updated recreational equipment for the MPD.

To learn more and to register for the race, visit the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k website: https://www.zapevent.com/reg/event/11365

Will we see you on Oct. 2?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!