Monday, September 27, 2010

Race Weekend Approaches!

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Saturday September 25, 2010

Ready for Race Weekend?

Race weekend is almost here – we can hardly believe that in just a week we will be welcoming all of you to Milwaukee and to the 30th Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. Your race staff has been working very hard to make sure that you can run the best race that your training will support!

This is your "almost final" e-blast. You can expect another on Thursday or Friday.

Questions... Questions... Lots of you have lots of questions related to packet pick-up, the expo, race rules, the race (of course), etc. We have tried to assemble lots of information to answer those questions on our web site. We hope that you find everything that you need on the Race Weekend and Maps tabs.

If you have questions related to you registration – correcting data errors, lost your confirmation e-mail, etc. please contact our Registration Manager directly at . If you need to have someone pick up your packet you need to use the Packet Pick-up Form. Please fill out the form as indicated, attach a copy of your photo ID, and give it to the person who is going to pick up your packet.

This might be a good time to tell you all a little bit about our race and some of the things that we think contribute to making it special to everyone. First, we are sponsored and owned by the Badgerland Striders Running Club. We have approximately 1600 members and are very active putting on 15-20 races annually. The race is put on by an army of people who have full-time “day jobs” or are lucky to be retired… We have more than 50 Race Captains or Managers and marshall more than 1300 volunteers to assist on race weekend. We think that the fact that we are all runners putting on the type of race we’d like to run is one of the things that makes LFM special.

We could not conduct this great race without the support and assistance of our host municipalities. We work closely with their public safety personnel - their greatest concern is the safety of you, the runner. Please be sure to thank the residents and police as you see them and remember that we are guests in their homes.

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Expo & Packet Pick-Up

In case you don’t have the information handy… packet pick-up and our Health and Fitness Expo will be held at the MSOE Kern Center on Friday from 4-7 and Saturday from 9-6. We have a great line-up of vendors and exhibitors. We will also again have our “Cheer Sign” area to provide a chance for kids to make special signs to support their favorite runner.

The Preliminary Expo Seminar Program has been posted on our web site. We hope that you plan your trip to the Expo to take advantage of some of these great presentations. Of special note is our traditional Saturday morning fun run with special guest two-time Olympian Anne Marie Letko. She will lead a run from the Kern Center to the LFM finish and back - about 4 miles. The group will leave the front of the Kern Center at 8AM on Saturday morning. Anne Marie will also speak at the Expo and will be available to meet you at the Jenny Crain Make it Happen booth.

Last year you told us that you’d like to see more seminars and technical information so we added a second, smaller seminar area to the Expo. We have invited our Expo vendors to make presentations in this area. We will post the preliminary schedule soon.

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Finish Area Runner Parking

As you know we strongly encourage you to park near the finish area and take the FREE Runner Shuttle Bus to the start. Last year we had runners park at O’Donnell Park and loaded the buses at the Milwaukee Art Museum. O’Donnell Park is closed due to structural issues. We have secured parking for the runners (paid for by the race) at the Italian Conference Center (ICC) approximately .75 mile from the finish area. We will load the buses to the start on Chicago Street directly in front of the ICC. Take a look at the handy map on the web site for details. As always, the buses to the start are for registered runners ONLY – no spectators.

Please note that you will (definitely) not be able to park off of Lagoon Drive or in the War Memorial lot. Please use the parking at the ICC. We will have shuttles going back to the ICC after the race for runners who don’t want to (or can’t) walk that far.

Buses to take runners to the start will also leave the Hyatt and the Courtyard by Marriott at 6AM sharp. As with the ICC buses, the hotel buses to the start are for registered runners only.

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Have Your Friends & Family Follow You on Facebook

This year your friends and family can follow your progress via Facebook. YOU need to set this up on Facebook prior to the race using the link provided . Please follow the instructions provided - they are so easy that even your overloaded RD coulf figure them out :). We will have timing mats at 7 miles, 13.1 miles, 20 miles and the Finish.

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Elite Athlete Technical Meeting

We have scheduled a special Technical Briefing for Elite Athletes on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 in the small seminar area at the Expo. The briefing will be conducted by Elite Athlete Captain Dan Held, assisted by Race Director Kristine Hinrichs and our USATF Official. The briefing will cover race rules and other logistical issues. If you think that there is any chance that you will compete for prize money, WI USATF Championship, or RRCA National Championship we strongly suggest that you attend. Note that Masters and Grand Masters athletes also compete for these awards.

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Race Weekend Freeway Closures

WDOT announced last week that a portion of I-894/I-43 in the Milwaukee area will be closed on race weekend. This will not affect most of the runners but may affect you if you come from communities southwest of the Milwaukee area. Information about this closure is available in this article in the JournalSentinel . Also...runners coming from the south should be aware of freeway construction from the WI/IL border through the Mitchell Field area.

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The "Rule of 2000"

Huh??? Yep – you know the concept… “I know that I shouldn’t be doing this but IT is JUST me and it can’t matter to anyone.” One latte cup left on a resident’s lawn might not be a big deal – 2000 spectators, each dropping a cup IS a big deal. One spectator who thinks that it is cool to follow their runner by car might not cause a problem – 2,000 cars on the course following a runner – chaos. One runner too impatient to use the porta-pottie – 2,000 runners…get the idea?

We know that runners are great people and that your friends and families are the greatest in their support for you. However, we would like to remind you to review the Race Rules and Spectator section of the Runners Guide. As we have said before, we get more complaints about the behavior of spectators than any other issue. Please make sure that your spectator is not the one that makes it difficult to get a permit next year, makes it impossible to secure use of a private parking lot, or does something that will result in YOUR disqualification.

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Runners of Note

We have many special runners who will toe the line on October 3rd – including each of you! However, there are a few that you’ll want to watch for. First, we have assigned #1 to Anne Marie Letko and #2 to Mike Henze member of the US 24 Hour Team who won a bronze medal at the World Championships in May. Mike's performance in that race was nothing short of amazing! We also have several former winners who have come back to help us celebrate our 30th Anniversary. With the exception of Cornia Canitz running with her favorite #4 in honor of her four beautiful daughters, all of the Champions will have red race bibs - their race number represents the year they won the race.

We also have three guys who have toed the starting line every single year – James Bahr #38, Duane Tate #39, and Bill Boehm #40. If you see them, give them a high-five.

You also might see a guy out there running a bit of the race (he has retired from marathons) wearing #30. That will be Bob Fitts – our original Race Director. Thanks, Bob for setting us on the course from Grafton to Milwaukee. We hope that you like what your baby has grown up to be.

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