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!

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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.

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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!

Run Like A Mother 5k Race Entry Giveaway Winner!

Good morning, MKE runners! Today we’re announcing the winner of the Run Like A Mother 5k race entry.

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The winner is … halfmarathoner30! Please email us within the next 48 hours at keeprunningmke@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Remember, there’s still time to sign up for the Run Like A Mother 5k. The price goes up on April 1 so take advantage of the discounted registration during the next few days!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Run Like A Mother 5k + A Race Entry Giveaway!

In honor of moms everywhere, Run Like A Mother is a 5k that’s all about making moms feel special. Below, Race Director Chris Ponteri tells us a bit about this year’s race and why you should consider joining in the fun, whether you are a mom yourself, are running with your mom or are racing in honor of your mom!

For race specifics, see our Featured Races page.

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Can you start off by telling us a bit about Run Like A Mother? How many years has the race been run in Milwaukee?

It is a 5k run/walk with mothers in mind. Since it’s held on Mother’s Day, we like to pamper mothers (and all finishers) and make them feel special. This is the 5th year. The first two years were held at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa, then it moved to Veterans Park at the lakefront, and now the race will be back at Hoyt Park. I feel like the Tosa location is much better for an event like this. It just seems like the right home for us.

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What makes this race different/unique? Is it true only women can run the race?

It’s open to everyone, but we usually see about 99% of the participants being females. All finishers get a flower and a medal, which is something you typically don’t see in a 5k race. And the shirts are very high quality.

Tell us a bit about the race location and course – and do you have any course tips for runners hoping to run a fast time at the race?

The race starts in Hoyt Park and heads to the Oak Leaf Trail where there is an out-and-back, and then it finishes where it started. I would consider it a fast course since there aren’t too many turns and it’s fairly flat.

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What about the training plans offered on the race website – what types of plans are offered and who might they benefit?

Our running store partner – Performance Running Outfitters – is offering a training program to get beginners ready for their first 5k. You can find more information about this on our website or by contacting the Brookfield location.

Are there overall and/or age group prizes?

We will give awards to the top three overall finishers and have plenty of age group prizes.

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What do participants get with their race entry?

Everyone gets a nice bag and a very high quality shirt. Finishers get a medal and a flower.

Can you tell us a bit about this year’s nonprofit partner?

Our partner is the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation again this year. They do great work and are very supportive of local running events. We are happy to have them back.

Thanks for chatting with us, Chris!

Run Like A Mother is generously providing a race entry for one Keep Running MKE reader. To enter to win, answer the following question in the comments section:

What’s one thing you learned from Mom?

Best of luck to all who enter! We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 30.

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.

North Face Endurance Challenge WI Race Entry Winner!

Let’s brighten up a gloomy Hump Day, shall we? Today we’re announcing the winner of The North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin race entry!

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

Thank you to everyone who participated! Remember, there’s still time to sign up for The North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin. Save 15% on registration by using the code MKE15.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!