Race It: Badgerland Striders Track Meet

These days, you can run a local road race pretty much every weekend. But the opportunities to race on a track are few and far between. Luckily for MKE runners, the Badgerland Striders host several track meets throughout the spring and summer making it easy to test your speed on the oval.

Joining us today are event directors Alice and Ron Winkler. They’ve run the Strider track meets for 25 years and have all the info you need to jump in the upcoming meet.

To get started, let’s talk specifics: When is the May track meet and where will it be held?

The May Track meet is on Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30pm. It will be held at the St. Francis High School Track located at 4225 S. Lake Drive, across the street from the bike trail and Lake Michigan. It is on the boundary between St. Francis and Cudahy.

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

People of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. This is a developmental meet. There is no registration and there is no entry fee. Consequently, there are no awards. Participants can just show up prior to the 6:30pm start and run in as many events as they want.

Which distances will be run at the meet?

There are no hurdles or field events. The events are: 100 meters, 200 meters. 400 meters, 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3200 meters. The following relays will also be included: 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. Participants are welcome to compete in as many races as they like.

Will people run against others of similar gender, age, ability, etc?

Yes

A lot of newbie or slower runners may be hesitant to participate – are they still welcome to run? Are there any time requirements to participate?

This is a developmental track meet so there are no entry standards; all ages and abilities are welcome. The object is to have fun. We cheer each other on.

Let’s talk history: How long have these track meets been held and how did they get started? 

The track meets date from 1959 when the old Milwaukee Track Club (MTC) was founded by Jim Hanley and Brian Murphy. The MTC sponsored track meets and road runs. One of those road runs was a 10-mile race held for the first time in 1961. Today, under the auspices of the Badgerland Striders, it is Wisconsin’s oldest distance race, known as the Cudahy Classic; this year will be its 57th running.

Fast forward to 1973 when the well-organized MTC, with a large membership, lacked a base of operations. Conversely, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Track Club (UWM-Track Club), founded in 1972 with the intention of retaining post-college athletes, had few members. The two organizations merged to provide a home for the MTC and the opportunity to boost its image, while the UWM-Track Club gained the expertise and membership of the MTC.

By 1977, the UWM-Track Club, now separate from UWM and with members from all over Wisconsin, felt that the name limited the club geographically. In addition, the words “Track Club” bothered some people because the club was active in not only track and field, but also road running and cross country.

We (Alice and Ron Winkler) have been in charge of these track meets for about 25 years.

Has anything crazy or unexpected happened at any of the track meets in previous years?

We are literally next to the lake, so the track can be much cooler than the rest of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Many times people arrive at the track unprepared for the cooler weather. In addition, the weather at the track can change unexpectedly when the wind shifts to the east. The wind coming off the lake can cause sunny and warm to become cloudy and even foggy with an accompanying temperature drop of twenty degrees or more.

Will additional BLS track meets be held this summer?

The other track meets will also be held at St. Francis High School Track at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 20 and Tuesday, July 11.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Alice and Ron!

Who will we see at the upcoming BLS track meet? Which event(s) will you run?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

See It: Boston: An American Running Story

Hey Friends! Next week is the one-night-only premiere of BOSTON: An American Running Story. The film tells the story of the oldest annually contested marathon from its humble origin of 15 runners to the present day.

The film will be shown at three Milwaukee theaters: South Shore, The Ridge and North Shore. All three theaters have a 7:30pm showtime. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/boston

From the news release:

BOSTON is more than a running film. It is a timeless story about triumph over adversity for runner and non-runner alike.

It is the first ever feature-length documentary film about the world’s most legendary running race – the Boston Marathon. The film chronicles the story of the iconic race from its humble origins with only 15 runners to the present day and its thousands of annual participants. In addition to highlighting the event as the oldest annually contested marathon in the world, the film showcases many of the most important moments in more than a century of the race’s history. The Boston Marathon evolved from a working man’s challenge into a world-class event, welcoming foreign athletes and eventually women. The Boston Marathon became the stage for many firsts and in no small part, the event that paved the way for the modern marathon and mass participatory sports.

Following the tragic events of 2013, BOSTON showcases the preparations for and eventual running of the 118th Boston Marathon one year later, when runners and community gather together once again for what will be the most meaningful race of all. The production was granted exclusive documentary rights from the Boston Athletic Association to produce the film and to use the BAA’s extensive archive of video, photos and memorabilia.

The film was directed by award-winning filmmaker Jon Dunham, whose work you may know from his two previous Spirit of the Marathon films. BOSTON is his most important film project yet, and the masterfully done film is narrated by none other than Boston native and Academy Award winner Matt Damon, with music performed by the legendary Boston Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about the film, go to bostonmarathonfilm.com.

Who already has tickets? This an event you don’t want to miss!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Run4Food 5k

The most delicious race finish? A finish that ends steps away from a Bloody Mary bar and tasty eats!

One of Milwaukee’s newest races, Run4Food 5k, will offer just that on Sunday, March 12 @9am. And in case you’re thinking about skipping out because of potentially nasty March weather, the race will be held indoors at the Wisconsin Center.

Below, race director, Chris Ponteri, tells us more about the event.

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This is the inaugural Run4Food 5k – can you tell us why the race was created and give us a general overview of the event?

The race is being putting on by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association as part of its annual Midwest Foodservice Show at the Wisconsin Center. They want to have a 5k race to give attendees something fun and healthy to do while they are in Milwaukee.

What makes this race unique?

Two things: 1) It’s indoors, and 2) The food theme. There will be “tasting stations” with food from several of the show vendors, including a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar after the race.

What was behind the decision to run the race indoors?

When I heard the Midwest Foodservice Show is in March, I suggested doing it indoors since they have a nice space for it and who knows what kind of weather we will have that time of the year. As far as I know, this will be the first race of its kind in Milwaukee. We have the Icebreaker, which is held at the Pettit Center, but that is on an existing running track. For this one, we will be creating our own course.

Running an indoor course is something most runners have never done – can you tell us about what the course is like?

The corridors at the Wisconsin Center are wide and in a U-shape, and we are going to connect by going through the kitchen area. The course will be a square shape and will be about a quarter mile long so participants will have to do around 12 laps.

Are there any other awards offered?

There will be prizes for the top three overall male and female finishers and age group awards in yet-to-be-determined categories.

What do participants get with their race registration?

Participants will get a shirt, a goody bag and free food and drinks after the race.

Tell us about the post-race party – it sounds like there will be a lot of great eats and drinks on hand for runners to sample!

In additional to the Bloody Mary bar with Tito’s Vodka and Jimmy Luv’s flavors, MillerCoors will be serving Leinenkugels, Blue Moon, Redd’s and Henry’s Hard Soda. There will also be food and/or drinks from Harvest Hill, Alpha Baking Co., Klondike Cheese, WhiteWave Foodservice, Campbell’s Soups, Kent Precision Foods, Outback Steakhouse and CiderBoys, with more to come.

Thanks for chatting with us, Chris, and for giving us the scoop on this new MKE race!

To learn more about the upcoming Run4Food 5k, or to sign up, visit https://raceroster.com/events/2017/11049/run4food

Enjoy what should be a gorgeous weekend for running – can you believe temps in the 50s are in the forecast? We’re getting spoiled this February!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Bloop

Here’s an exciting announcement to start the weekend: Milwaukee has a new race this spring – Bloop!

We bet you’re asking, “What’s a Bloop??” Chris Ponteri, Bloop’s Race Director, explains it’s short for “Bay View Loop” and can be used as a verb or a noun.

Verb: To complete a half marathon, marathon or ultra-marathon by running 1-mile loops around Humboldt Park in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood on Saturday, April 29.

Noun: A lap around Humboldt Park.

So let us introduce Bloop – Milwaukee’s newest race! Here are the details:

What: Bloop

When: Saturday, April 29 @8am

Where: Humboldt Park Pavilion, 3000 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee

Bloop offers both the marathon and half marathon distances as well as a 6-hour timed Bloop. All three courses officially close at 2 p.m.

What really makes this race unique is that the course is a 1-mile Bloop. So marathoners will do 26.2 Bloops, half marathoners will do 13.1 Bloops and those who opt to do the 6-hour timed Bloop will do as many Bloops as they can within the allotted time.

There will be one aid station near the start/finish, and all participants are responsible for providing their own drinks. A table will be set up to store bottles during the race, and volunteers will hand them to you and retrieve them when you are done. Bathrooms will be available near the start/finish as well.

All Bloopers will receive a stylish hoodie and unique finisher’s medal. The top three Bloopers in each race will also receive an award.

Registration is currently set at:

  • Marathon: $60
  • Half Marathon: $50
  • 6-Hour UltraBloop: $70

Prices will increase on April 1.

To learn more, or to register for the race, visit runbloop.com.

Tell Us: Are you in for the inaugural Bloop?

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!

Race It: 2017 Polar Bear Dash 5k

January 1 marks the start of a new year. So why not make a splash?

The Polar Bear Dash provides a fun 5k course for runners to test their speed and then an optional dip in Lake Michigan after the finish line to test their courage. Make no mistake – it will be cold no matter what the temperature is on race day but we know a lot of you pride yourselves on being able to take whatever Mother Nature throws your way!

Below, Race Director Bill Schneider tells us more about this year’s race, including a new contest that just might get you to take the plunge.

Get race specifics on our Featured Races page .

What makes the Polar Bear Dash different from other 5k races in the area?

The Polar Bear Dash is the first race of the New Year. Why not start the year off on the right foot…then the left? It is a winter race taking place on New Year’s Day morning with an indoor heated packet pickup and post-race gathering area. The unique part of the race is an optional dip into Lake Michigan right after the finish line, which is located on the Grant Park beach. Runners who take a full dip in the lake are eligible for prizes. The race is run entirely in Grant Park in South Milwaukee on a completely closed-to-traffic route. There is no better way for runners to start the year off. Our charity partners are the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We also have hot chocolate at the finish line!

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

New this year will be a contest to see who enters the water in the best and most creative way. Every year we take video of runners jumping into the water; this year we will choose 5 or so of the most creative ways people get into the water and post the video on our Facebook page. Our Facebook friends will then vote to determine which one they like the best and that person will receive a free entry into the next Polar Bear Dash.

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We are also looking into having a bonfire on the beach to help warm up those runners who do decide to brave the water as well as for the friends and family that come to watch the excitement on the beach.

What are the course uphills, downhills, turns, etc. that runners should know about?

The course begins at the Grant Park Clubhouse and finishes down at the beach. There is a small uphill at the beginning and then a beautiful run through the park. The race finishes with long downhill to the beach. If the roads are clear of ice, this can be a very fast course. If there is snow, runners need to be more cautious.

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Who were last year’s winners? Are any of them back to contend for the win again this year?

Last year’s overall winner was Mike Treder with a time of 17:57. The female champion was Kelly Ryan with a time of 20:00. At this time we do not know if they will be defending their titles but we sure hope they come back.

Is there anything participants should know about water stations, etc.?

This race is only a 5K so unless the weather is unusually warm, there is not a water station along the course. We do not want to cause a slipping danger by having water spill onto the road. If the weather is warm, we will have an aid station along the course. Of course, there is plenty of water at the finish line in Lake Michigan. We do not suggest drinking that water, however. There will be hot chocolate at the finish line for all participants and snacks in the clubhouse after the race.

Can you talk us through the dip into Lake Michigan – how does it work? How many participants have taken the plunge in previous years? Do participants have to take a dip to qualify for awards?

The finish line of the Polar Bear Dash is on the beach in Grant Park about 10 to 20 meters from the waterline. We encourage runners who are 18 and older to take a dip into Lake Michigan after the race to celebrate the New Year. However, this is completely optional. Awards for times in the 5K are separate from awards for the brave souls who jump in the water.  We do have a drawing for prizes for those who decide to take a FULL DIP into the water. And by Full Dip, we mean entire body, head to toe.

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The South Milwaukee Water Rescue Squad has helped us every year with keeping the runners safe as they jump in the water. They will have two members in the water assisting anyone who needs help. We have up to about 40% of the runners jump into the water depending on the weather that day. Last year we had great weather for a dip with temps in the 20s and low winds. In other years, the winds were higher with temps in the single digits. We have less that go in on those days. It is a great site to see everyone going in the water.

How do most people do their dip into the lake? What are some of the funniest/most memorable dips into the lake that you’ve seen over the years?

I love watching the runners jump into the lake. There are many different ways people go in. Some just casually wade in and that is as far as they go. Some run in as fast as they can and after a few steps in, dive into the water.  There is a lot of screaming that happens when the water hits their bodies. Some of my favorite ones in the past were couples running in together holding hands or the guy who did a cannonball last year. Costumes are always fun to see as well. In my opinion, the ones who run into the water are the best.

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Do you have any tips for runners planning to take the plunge?

I think the best advice I could give is once you commit, do it quickly. Run in as fast as you can. The slower you go, the worse it is. Also, wear shoes into the water. It can be quite painful walking over the stones and ice with bare feet. Have dry clothes to change into right away once you are out of the water. Most importantly, have fun and make a great memory.

Any other comments?

We look forward to starting the New Year off on the right foot again this year and invite everyone to make their way to Grant Park on New Year’s Day to participate or spectate. Everyone who participates is helping not only themselves, but also the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We hope to see you out there.

Thanks for chatting with us, Bill! To learn more, or to sign up for the race, visit http://www.polarbeardash.com/.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Spartan Race Now Offers Season Passes + A Race Entry Giveaway!

The holiday season is in full swing, which means it’s time to start thinking about what to gift your favorite runner.

One gift idea we love is a race entry – or a gift card to cover a race entry if you don’t know your recipient’s upcoming race schedule. Wrap it up and use a new pair of running shoelaces as the bow (or one of these cute Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wraps!) and you’re ready to start gifting!

Of course, you could go all out and gift not just one race but a series of races. Just in time for the holiday season, Spartan Race is offering 2017 season passes. We think any one of the three pass options would make a fine gift!

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The options include:

Trifecta Pass

  • 3 race codes, valid for the 2017 calendar year
  • Free Spectator Pass
  • Free Bag Check
  • Valid for all heats (including Elite & Comp.)
  • Valid for Continental US & Hawaii Events

Open Season Pass

  • Unlimited racing during the 2017 calendar year
  • Free Spectator Pass
  • Free Bag Check
  • Guaranteed entry to all events (not guaranteed heat)
  • Multi-Lap Discount
  • Valid on all Continental US & Hawaii Events
  • Valid for Open Heats ONLY
  • Upcharge for Elite (+$30) and Competitive (+$15)

Elite Season Pass

  • Unlimited racing during the 2017 calendar year
  • Free Spectator Pass
  • Free Bag Check
  • Guaranteed entry to all events (not guaranteed heat)
  • Multi-Lap Discount
  • Valid on all Continental US & Hawaii Events
  • Valid for ALL heats (Elite, Comp. & Open)

To learn more about the Spartan Race season passes or to purchase one, visit the race website.

Spartan Race would like to gift a Keep Running MKE reader with a free U.S. Spartan Race. In 2017, the race series includes a Stadium Race at Wisconsin’s own Lambeau Field. To add to the excitement, there will also be new finisher’s medals and plenty of new and challenging obstacles.

To enter to win the race entry, answer in the comments section:

How are you staying fit through the holiday season?

We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, December 7.

Best of luck to all who enter the giveaway and, as always,

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.