Race It: Around the World in 5k

It’s not often you can travel the world in the time it takes to race a 5k. But the upcoming Around the World in 5k offers just that.

Below, Race Director Chris Ponteri tells us more about this year’s race, including exciting course updates!

For race specifics, please see our Featured Races page.


Can you tell us a bit about the Around the World in 5k? What makes this race special?
It’s a flat and fast 5k run/walk and ends with a trip to the Holiday Folk Fair in the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Hall. If you’ve never been to the Folk Fair, get ready for an international taste bud sensation! There is food from many different countries, as well as dancing and other cultural activities.

Is there anything new or different happening at this year’s race?
The course! Instead of winding through State Fair Park, the entire race will be held on the historic Milwaukee Mile, which is the oldest race track in the United States.

Can you tell us about this year’s course? How would you rate the difficulty of the course on a scale of 1-5 (1 = easiest)?
Since the race will be held on the track this is a 1+. It is flat and since the track is so long, the turns are very gradual. Get ready for a great time!

What do participants get with their race entry?
A shirt and admission to the Holiday Folk Fair.

What types of overall/age group awards are offered?
The top three men and women in the following age groups will receive awards: 14-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+. There are no overall awards.

Can you tell us a bit about the race’s charitable partner? Is there a way for people to contribute to the cause at the race?
A portion of the race proceeds will support the Salvation Army’s Homeless Children’s Program, while the balance will be used to provide educational opportunities to help children take pride in their own cultures while developing respect and tolerance for other cultures through the International Institute of Wisconsin. There will be representatives from the Salvation Army on hand to accept donations.

In your opinion, what are the best Holiday Folk Fair foods to indulge in after the race?
Last year, I went straight to the France exhibit and got pastries, then to Mexico for a tamale.

Thanks for chatting with us, Chris!

Join the conversation: What Holiday Folk Fair foods would you indulge in after the race?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Around the World 5k Race Preview + A Giveaway!

After spending the summer and fall training for longer distances, now’s the time to take a bit of a break. From racing longer distances that is. Instead, consider testing your legs at a 5k, such as the upcoming Around the World 5k!


Below, this year’s race director, Chris Ponteri, tells us about the course (hint: flat and fast) and what makes the event unique.

For more details about the Around the World 5k, visit our Featured Races page.

Can you tell us a bit about the Around the World 5k?

This is the 13th year for the ATW 5k. It’s held on a fast and flat USATF-certified course at Wisconsin State Fair Park. The staging area is at the Expo Hall.

What makes the race unique?

It really has a lot of things going for it. Runners get to do a lap on the Milwaukee Mile, which is the oldest auto racing track in the United States. And equally cool, is that all participants get a free entry into the Holiday Folk Fair, which happens to be going on in the same building as the awards ceremony and opening at the same time. So you run the race, go to the awards ceremony, and then stay for the Folk Fair. And if you’ve never been, you need to check it out. The food is fabulous and you can sample items from many different countries and cultures. There is also a team competition in this race, which you don’t see very often these days.

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

There are two significant changes. First, my company Longrun Athletics has been hired to manage the race, replacing SMA. Second, and most importantly, there is a charity partner this year: the Salvation Army. The race will serve as the kickoff to their holiday bell-ringing campaign.

What is the course like? Do you have any tips for runners hoping to PR at the race?

I have run this race a few times, including last year, so I can say from experience that it’s a fast course. It’s flat and you can really get some speed going on the race track.

Ready, Set, Go!

We’re giving away a free entry to the Around the World 5k! To enter the contest:

  • Tell us what you would most like to see/do at the Holiday Folk Fair.

For additional entries do the following and let us know you did each action in separate comments:

  • Like Keep Running MKE on Facebook
  • Follow Keep Running MKE on Twitter (@KeepRunningMKE)
  • Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and tag Keep Running MKE in the post

Good luck! We’ll pick a winner at random on Thursday, November 14 and announce the winner the following day. Be sure to check back on Friday morning to see if you’re our winner!*

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.