Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lakefront Marathon Leadership Change

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Thursday July 12, 2012


Leadership Change for 2013

Some of you may have read that this is my last year as LFM Race Director. First, I want to assure everyone that our race team and I are fully committed to making our 2012 LFM the best ever. Because many of you have asked me about this and because we have always been completely transparent in our decision making I wanted to make sure that I communicated the circumstances surrounding this change.
As you may know Milwaukee is one of very few (maybe the only) major city without a large marathon/half marathon. Our Race Committee has long been concerned that Milwaukee is ripe for the entrance of a commercially produced marathon/half marathon - it is only a matter of time, we believe. We also have believed that such an event would have a negative impact on our race and on our owner, the Badgerland Striders Running Club. Based upon these "threats" our Race Committee engaged in a year long strategic process looking to options to expand our event's footprint. It will come as no surprise that the response everywhere we turned was to add a half marathon with a “City Course” - that would (at maturity) have given us an event with 5,000 or more participants. The critical challenge was to figure out how to do that without diminishing the marathon experience. Like you, when we’re running a marathon we really hate to see the half marathoners peel off halfway through our race. We came up with a concept that would see the half marathon begin at 7AM at the marathon finish in Veterans Park and proceed on a "City Course", finishing at Veterans Park in advance of the marathon finishers. This concept would have provided the added benefit of a large crowd of runners at the finish to greet our marathon winners. We saw this as a win-win as the marathoners would benefit from the community and sponsorship interest of a larger event as well as other economies of scale – without diminishing the marathon experience.
This expansion of the race would have obviously required a substantial additional time commitment from a Race Director and other race staff. However, because the Badgerland Striders have a strict policy of not compensating any race or other club directors (I have done this for 13 years as a volunteer), we also recommended an alternative business model that would have continued the race as a non-profit entity and continued to provide the same significant financial resources to BLS, while providing more autonomy for the management of LFM. Any excess funds would have been used to support kids running and fitness programs.  We presented this concept to the BLS Board of Directors and unfortunately it was soundly defeated. There was no support for expansion of this event. At the outset I had indicated that I was not willing to continue this significant volunteer commitment if this proposal was not accepted - knowing that we could not do what we believe is required to respond to the competitive environment. Our Race Committee and I remain, of course, fully committed to the 2012 LFM and to work with the successor volunteer race director.
I am happy to announce that Dr. Jon Mueller has stepped forward to assume the Race Director duties in 2013. Many of you know Jon from his work as the Director of our BLS Marathon Build-up Program. Jon will begin to work with our team immediately. Our team and I are fully committed to the 2012 race and to a smooth transition for Jon and his team.
It has been my honor and pleasure to stand on that scaffold in Grafton each year and send you on your way to the finish in Veterans Park. I feel such pride in each and every finish - that you trusted us with your Marathon Dreams. I am so much wealthier for your friendship and support.
See you in October!
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LFM Kid's Run Returns

Because this e-blast is being sent to a large number of LFM runners past and future, we also wanted everyone to know that registration is open for our Kid's Run - 3PM on Saturday.  The kids run 25 miles before race day and then run the final 1.2 miles of their own marathon - finishing at the official LFM Finish Line.  More information about the Kid's Run is on our web site.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Up-date

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Monday March 26, 2012


Registrations Ahead of 2011!!!

Registrations AHEAD of 2011! For any fence-sitters out there… registrations are 25% ahead of 2011 when we sold out in late April. If you plan to run LFM in 2012, now is the time to make that marathon commitment to yourself! It is important to know that we up-date our registration numbers on the LFM home page regularly – we want to make sure that everyone has an idea as to where we are with registrations. Understand, however, that the last 500 or so spots go very quickly as fence-sitters all seem to commit at the same time.

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Pasta Dinner Tickets

We are happy to announce a new partner for our pasta dinner - Ann's Hope Foundation was established in 2005 by two local woman who lost their loved ones to melanoma cancer. They felt compelled to teach others that it's not "just skin cancer" and to educate the community on the dangers of melanoma and other skin cancers.

This year the foundation will hold the 8th Annual “Block Melanoma 5k Run and 3k Walk” at the Milwaukee Zoo. To date Ann's Hope Foundation has committed and given away $900,000 in research and education grants to ground breaking melanoma clinical trials in the state of Wisconsin.

Ann's Hope Foundation will have a large group running LFM to raise money for this important cause and invite you to join them.

We invite you to purchase tickets for the pasta dinner that they are graciously organizing for our runners. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for youth 5-12. You can purchase tickets when you register or email them at If you have any questions about the pasta dinner, please contact them.

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Kids Run RETURNS!!!

We have had lots of questions about the 2012 Kids Run. The great news is that the very popular Kids Run will be held again in 2012. We are grateful that BodyBasix will return as our sponsor - thanks, Robin!!!

It will again be set for Saturday afternoon - October 6 - at the LFM Finish area. Details will be posted on the LFM site very soon.

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Building UP

It is never too early to talk about the Badgerland Striders Marathon Build-up Program – especially convenient for SE Wisconsin runners. The program starts Saturday June 30th and is open to EVERYONE. You don’t have to be a BLS member (though we think you’ll want to join), registered for LFM, OR pay a registration fee for the program. Just show up and run with lots of other great runners. The schedule is posted on our LFM website.

You should also consider several great BLS races as build-up opportunities. The South Shore Half Marathon April 7, Cudahy 10 mile July 29, and BLS Half Marathon on August 25 are great and reasonably priced races. You could register for ALL THREE and still have $$$ left over from the registration fee for those expensive races. Registration info is on the Badgerland Striders web site.

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LFM Veterans - Share Your Stories

As we look to promote our race and share the history of this great event with more and more runners, we'd like to include photos from you - our runners - from past races on our Facebook page. We'll be uploading photos dating back to our first race in 1981 if we can get them, but we need to hear from you! You can help us in two ways.

First, simply visit our page and post a photo with a brief description of the year you ran. Post it on the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Official Site. Or if you'd prefer to email it to us, we'd love that too. Feel free to send it to our media team -

Also make sure you keep coming back our Facebook page to see new photos we'll be uploading.

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Million Mile March!!!

We’ve talked to you about Million Mile March – a simple idea. 10,000 runners running at least 100 miles in the month of March and donating $1 per mile to the charity of YOUR choice. This idea is brought to you by the “hearts and brains” behind the Jennipede.

Take a look at the Crowdrise site and – commit to run – and choose a charity that is meaningful to YOU. Your trusty RD chose Girls on the Run of Greater Milwaukee – a great organization and one supported by many of our LFM volunteers. Believe me, it took less than five minutes to set this up. Please… look to your heart and harness the power of running for charity. There is still time to open your heart to others who need your help.

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Gatorade and Gel...

About this time we start to get a lot of questions about the Gatorade and gel that we will provide on race day. We are again happy to announce that Gatorade will provide Gatorade Endurance for our race. They generally provide lemon-lime flavor.

We will also again provide BodyBasix gel at approximately 7 and 19 miles. This is the same gel that we provided in 2011. It is available on-line and at a variety of running and cycling specialty stores in the Milwaukee area. We will also provide this gel at some of the later build-up runs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Registration Opens January 15 at 12:01 AM CST

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Friday January 13, 2012


Registration for 2012 Opens SUNDAY

The time is (almost) NOW! We will open registration for the October 7, 2012 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon at 12:01 AM CST on Sunday January 15. The entry fee will remain at $75 - the same as 2011. We have increased our entry limit slightly to 3100 and hope that many of you will be back with us at our Grafton start. This will be our 32md year of helping runners to make their marathon dreams come true. We’ll be back in touch soon with more details of the 2012 race. In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for late breaking news.

Please remember that the registration link for the 2012 race will not be active until 12:01 AM Sunday. Also remember that we do not allow the transfer of entries, provide refunds or allow you to defer your entry to another year. Once you're in, YOU're IN.

Set your alarms. Tick, tock…

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Million Mile March!!

Please don’t forget Million Mile March brought to you by the people behind the Jennipede. The idea is oh so very simple. 10,000 runners running 100 miles each in the month of March and donating a $1 a mile to the charity of YOUR choice. $1,000,000 raised for charity. Just find your charity on Crowdrise or set up a team of your own. If you provide your Crowdrise link to us, we’ll also post it on our LFM charity page.

Let’s come together and show the world the power of runners and what big hearts we have! Also feel free to post on our Facebook page or Tweet to us about it. The Jennipede showed us the way – really!

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Not running LFM? Want to be part of the greatest marathon around?

We are always looking to add friendly and committed people to our volunteer and leadership team. We ALWAYS need volunteers and always have a few leadership positions open each year. We are also always looking to expand our sponsor involvement and to add exhibitors to our health and fitness expo.

Please shoot an email to Kris if you’re interested in leadership options, sponsorship or the expo. Contact Alice to volunteer.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Final Up-Date

Thursday September 29, 2011


Race Weekend is HERE!

What time does the race start? 7:30!! 7:30!! 7:30!!

Race weekend is here – we will be so excited to welcome our runners to the Expo on Friday night and Saturday and to the Start in Grafton on Sunday. We want to make sure that you have all of the breaking news related to the race.

Friends and family want to follow your progress along the course? Options for that? Boy (or girl), do we have options! They can follow you via email, Facebook and/or Twitter. Please note that these are separate links and applications.

Please review the packet pick-up procedures in the email confirmation you received last week. If you lost it or didn’t get it, please save poor Pauline (our Registration Manager) a little trouble – look on our web site to confirm that you are registered and then review the procedures outlined on our blog (we copied the confirmation email there).

Please remember another runner CANNOT run the race with your number. We take steps to ID people who do this - when they are ID'd both runners will be barred from participation in future races. There are lots of reasons not to run with another runner's number, one of which is "Do you want your family to be called if THE OTHER RUNNER goes to the hospital?" and "Do you want YOUR family to be delayed when they call the registered runner's family?"

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Last Minute Construction...

Something always happens at the last minute – really, every year… We actually plan for it. This year it is a construction project at about the 22.5 mile mark. The contractors are working very hard to finish their work but you MAY be diverted to the sidewalk for approximately one block. If this is required, the transition will be at the widest driveways possible and you will be directed by Course Marshalls. Any change in the course (a few feet) will be accommodated by a change at the Finish. If a change in the course certification is required, we will follow-through wth that as well.

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We really want to love your spectators as much as you do - sometimes they don't make it easy. We know, you are sick of our harping on this issue – please have your friends and family read and follow the directions we provide on the web site and in the Weekend Guide.

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Perfect Storm of Sporting Events

Our out-of-town visitors might not realize this but this weekend will present the “Perfect Storm” of Wisconsin sporting events – the Milwaukee Brewers are in the play-offs with games on Saturday & Sunday, the Badgers play Nebraska on Saturday night, and the Green Bay Packers play on Sunday afternoon. Ummm… we’ve been working hard on media coverage but it is TOUGH this year. These events will likely affect your Saturday dinner plans and may affect other issues. Please be alert to this.

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Thanks, Please???

Many of you know that our race is a volunteer-driven effort. Our race staff from Race Director to Course Marshalls do this for the love of running and runners. This is how we spend our vacation time… The staff of our host municipalities and their residents also go the extra mile for our runners. Please remember to thank the staff, volunteers, police, residents – it means a lot to them to know that you appreciate what they are doing.

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Jennipede Up-Date

We have been following our Guinness World Record attempt - the Jennipede - all summer. They will come to the Start with 60+ runners prepared to "make it happen" for Jenny. Speaking of which...some of you may want to be part of this magical journey through a personal contribution. It is easy to contribute on-line. They are approaching $100,000 raised for her on-going therapy - we can do this if we work together.

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Race Course Medical Assistance

We have been working for a couple of years to improve the first aid support to you on the course. This year we will have two full First Aid Stations – at the aid stations at 13 and 20 miles. The first will be staffed by the Concordia University of Wisconsin Athletic Training Department and the Medical Reserve Corps. The second will be staffed by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Athletic Training Program, Medical Reserve Corps and Bell Ambulance. All Aid Stations will also be equipped with the usual “band-aids” and Vaseline. However, for liability reasons, we do not provide aspirin, etc.

We thank these organizations AND our Medical Staff from the Medical College of Wisconsin for helping to keep you safe on the course and at the Finish.

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I-94 Construction South of Milwaukee

If you are coming to Milwaukee from the south via I-94 or the west via I-43 note that some freeway closures or re-routing may affect your trip. For more information visit the project web site.

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon