Thursday September 29, 2011
Race Weekend is HERE!
What time does the race start? 7:30!! 7:30!! 7:30!!
Race weekend is here â€“ 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 â€“ 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?"
Something always happens at the last minute â€“ really, every yearâ€¦ 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.
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 â€“ please have your friends and family read and follow the directions we provide on the web site and in the Weekend Guide.
Our out-of-town visitors might not realize this but this weekend will present the “Perfect Storm” of Wisconsin sporting events â€“ 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. Ummmâ€¦ 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.
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 timeâ€¦ 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 â€“ it means a lot to them to know that you appreciate what they are doing.
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.
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 â€“ 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.
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.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Tuesday September 27, 2011
Ready to Race???
Things are moving quickly here in Milwaukee. Your LFM staff is focused on your race and on doing the best we can to help you achieve your own marathon dreams.
LAST time... What time does the race start? 7:30! What time? 7:30!!
Runner Tracking. We have had several questions about the availability of runner tracking. Here is the link and instructions that will allow friends and family to track your progress via email. We also have a link that will allow them to track you via Facebook . Note that they will have to follow the link from the instruction page AND allow Facebook to access their profile info. We also up-load finisher times in “almost real time” from the Finish Area.
We are so excited to announce that we have secured a wonderful sponsor for our Finish Runner Food Tent â€“ Peapod! They deliver for us and for YOU. We have made an operational change in our food distribution this year â€“ you’ll receive a bag of food with a variety of items from Peapod (supplemented by our friends at Kangaroo Brands). You’ll also be able to choose from soda or a bottle of chocolate milk from our friends at Nestle. Please thank our sponsors and patronize them â€“ ALL of these sponsor contacts came via the LFM community. OUR runners stepping up to help us and YOU.
The final Speaker Schedule for the Expo has been posted â€“ take a minute to review it and plan to attend one of special guest, Bart Yasso’s talks or other popular sessions. Also note the Saturday morning Fun Run with Bart â€“ that is always great fun! We will also have a set of Technical Sessions put on by our Expo exhibitors â€“ they have special areas of expertise and are happy to share that with all of you.
Remember that the Expo is open to the public â€“ so invite your friends and family to come along.
Please have your friends and family read the instructions for spectators and directions to Spectator Parking â€“ we don’t want them to get a ticket because they parked in the wrong place on the course or tried to park in the wrong place at the Finish. Really â€“ we do this for you and for THEM.
We have tried to identify all of the “elite” athletes based upon their stated marathon times or contacts with our Elite Runner Captain. However, if you believe that you are in a position to run a time that might place you in the top males and females, please plan to attend the technical meeting at 3:00 at the Expo â€“ in the Technical Session area. At that time our Elite Runner Captain, Dan Held and our independent USATF Official will be present to go over the race rules and other issues of interest.
Have a little time on Saturday afternoon? Head down to the Finish Area at 3:00 for our Kid’s Run â€“ this is such a great event. Our LFM Kids have been training all summer and logging their miles. They will come to the start with 25 miles logged and will run the last 1.2 miles of their own special marathon â€“ finishing at the same place you’ll be on Sunday. It will bring happy rears to your eyes.
And, speaking of kidsâ€¦ remember that our popular Cheer Sign area will return to the Expo, sponsored by Performance Running Outfitters. Have your kids (or kids at heart) decorate a sign or two to help support you on race day.
Our Registration Manager, Pauline includes all sorts of vaulable information in the confirmation email she sent to you last week. Please take a look at it again - we've also posted it on our blog.
You will notice that we have reduced the number and size of the printed materials that we provide to you on race weekend. We found that the vast majority of you have internet access on race weekend and noticed that many of the races we attend provide little or no printed material â€“ looking to be Green and use the $$$ on more important items. You will receive a Weekend Guide in your packet â€“ with a course map. If you need other materials or more specific maps, please download them before race weekend.
We are also experimenting with a Virtual Goodie Bag to supplement our regular goodie bag materials. This will provide an opportunity to provide our sponsors with additional value and provide you with materials that you can choose to print or view. You will receive a separate email containing that just before and just after race day.
Last year we were so honored to welcome many of our Lakefront Marathon Champions â€“ former winners â€“ back to the race. We decided then that we would recognize them with special race bibs and will continue that tradition in 2011. Our Champions will be wearing race bibs with a wide red stripe. Soâ€¦ when you see that fast guy wearing a red bib 1995 know that it is multi-year winner Randy Damkot (1995 was his fastest winning time) or that lady wearing red bib 1989 that is Mary Bolich â€“ she won LFM in 1985. Our 2010 Champions Nacole Fredrickson (#1) and Scott Jansky (#2) and multi-year winner Corina Canitz (#4) will also be wearing the red bibs.
On late Sunday afternoon you can expect to receive an email with the link to our post-race survey. PLEASE take a few minutes to respond to this. We really use this information to improve our race and to secure sponsors and community support and interest. Your RD reads ALL of the comments â€“ she really doesâ€¦
Monday, September 26, 2011
All marathon participants must pick up their packets at the expo. The expo is being held at the Kern Center in downtown Milwaukee (1245 N Broadway) on Friday, September 30, from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. There is NO race day packet pickup.
Runner packets will be in alphabetical order. Make sure that the packet you pick up is your packet. Double check the city, state and division on the label on the packet. You can also pass the chip over the scanner at "Chip Check" to make sure that you were given the correct chip.
Everyone must provide a photo ID to pick up their packet. If you can't pick up your packet, we allow you to have someone else pick it up for you. You must fill out a Packet Pickup Authorization form . The form requires a copy of your phote ID or driver's license as well as your race number. The individual picking up the packet must bring the authorization form to the expo and show their photo ID also. They should bring a copy of their own photo ID.
We decided that sending out race results to every individual was not necessary. Instead, you will have more options this year for getting your race results. You, your friends and relatives can sign up to receive updates on your progress thru Facebook and email. I'll put directions on the front page of the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon web site sometime next week. (Sept 19-24)
When you finish the race, you will be able to walk over to the scoring tent from inside the runner's area and have your individual preliminary race results printed immediately. Look at the finish area map to see where the results will be. For spectators, the race results will be printed and posted on the results board near the awards area.
Finally, you will be able to see the results online at OnlineRaceResults. The results booklet that was previously sent out will be posted in PDF format on our web site a week or two after the race.
In case you have't found some very important items on our web site, here are links to some of them.
1. 2011 Runner's Guide
2. Directions to free runner parking
3. The Spectator's Guide
4. Full course map (5 pages)
5. Pace Team FAQ
6. Pasta Dinner Buffet
7. Weekend Guide (NEW)
8. 2011 Kid's Run
9. Runner Stories
10. The Jennipede (Guiness World Record Attempt)
First make sure that you read the runner's guide. Then check the Lakefront Marathon web site. If you still have questions, there will be volunteers wearing red hats at the expo, start area and finish line to help you.
We do know that some of you have had changes in plans or are (unfortunately) injured and will not be able to run the race. PLEASE, please remember that we do not refund your entry, allow you to transfer it to another runner, or allow you to defer it to 2012. We really mean this so please do not ask. We know that some of you will not run so take that into consideration in setting our entry limit.
IF we allowed transfers, etc. we'd just have to lower our entry limit. You may still pick up your packet at the expo. Please leave the chip at chip check if you aren't going to run. We can use your help as a volunteer, if you will be in the Milwaukee area race weekend.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday September 14, 2011
Start timeâ€¦ What time does the race start this year, runners??? 7:30 â€“ that’s right, 7:30. We moved the start time up 30 minutes to mitigate any heat issues and to reduce inconvenience of the residents on the course. What time? 7:30 â€“ you got it.
We encourage runners to park FREE at the Italian conference Center (ICC) and take the FREE shuttle to the Start. This reduces traffic issues at the Start and ensures that your car is near the finish. We will have shuttle service from the Finish Area to the ICC after the race if you aren’t up to the .75 mile walk. Directions to the ICC are on the website. Remember that WE DO NOT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION BACK TO GRAFTON AFTER THE RACE. Reallyâ€¦ We mean, reallyâ€¦
Entry transfers, refunds & deferrals. I get LOTS of questions about this about now. Remember, we don’t allow the transfer or deferral of entries for any reason and do not refund your race fee if you can’t run. Please don’t ask for an exception. IF you find that you can’t run, we’d (absolutely) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have you as a volunteer. Marathon runners make the best volunteers. We have lots of spots and options for volunteers â€“ take a look at our on-line volunteer page.
There is still time for vendors to get in on our Health and Fitness Expo on Friday night and Saturday at the MSOE Kern Center. If you are interested in showcasing your business or know someone else who is please contact us ASAP. We also have opportunities to distribute promotional material in our goodie bags â€“ just contact us.
We are blessed with many friends and sponsors. Come to think of itâ€¦ our sponsors are our friends â€“ how lucky for us. We could not put this race on without their support. Please take a minute to look on our sponsor page and thank them on race weekend.
There is still time to buy your ticket to the American Cancer Society DetermiNation Pasta Dinner. Tickets are a reasonable $13 for Adults and $6 for Children ages 5-16. This is a great opportunity to share a meal with other runners. If you want to participate in the dinner, make your reservations now. Race weekend sales will be limited so get yours now.
The 2011 Runners Guide has been posted on-line. In an effort to reduce unnecessary paper, we will not print the full Runners Guide tabloid this year. The vast majority of you indicated that you have access to the internet on race weekend so we figure that you can view this material on-line. We will, however, publish a one-sheet piece that includes the course map, up-dated runner instructions, and the Spectator Guide. We will also post this on-line as well as make copies available at the Expo.
We have alos up-dated many of our Race Weekend documents â€“ FAQ’s, Race Rules, Course and Finish Area maps, Spectator Parking directions, etc. Please review these and let us know if you have any questions.
We have up-dated our race rules. PLEASE take a few minutes to review them to ensure that all of your hard work will result in an official finish. We would really hate to DQ you but we’d have no choice if you are found to violate the rules. Elite athletes â€“ those who might run well enough for USATF, RRCA, or prize money awards â€“ are urged to particularly review the sections that apply to them as well as the USATF Rules of Competition.
Within the next week or so you’ll receive your special confirmation email indicating your race number and your registration information. Please review the information carefully to ensure that it is correct. Let us know ASAP if there are any changes â€“ it is MUCH easier to fix things now than in the middle of the Expo.
As you know, there is no race day packet pick-up. However, you can authorize a friend to pick yours up for you. The confirmation email will also include the link to the Packet Pick-up Form.
We really do love our runners â€“ we also love their friends and families because we know that marathon day is a big deal to them, too. If nothing else, it represents proof that they “get their runner back” after a summer of long runs, hydration strategy discussions, and energy gel tests (can you really substitute gel for jelly in a PB&J?) However, I do have to tell you that we receive more complaints about spectator behavior than ALL other issues combined. We know that their hearts are in the right place because they are focused on YOU, but reallyâ€¦? We hear about spectators who park in front of No Parking signs, who park in intersections, who crowd the road and refuse to move when directed, and those who think that their mom or the “Latte Fairy” is out there picking up all the discarded cups and trash. Runnersâ€¦your loving friends and family are sometimes our (and your) worst enemy on race day.
Please make sure that your friends and family who are there to share your day follow the instructions in our Spectator Guide and follow the directions of police and race officials. It is important for them to know that street parking is prohibited in the first eighteen miles of the course. We have made provisions for them to park in designated areas at approximately 7 and 16 miles â€“ but that REALLY is it. Please let them know that they will be ticketed if they violate parking restrictions or impede traffic. Also â€“ those of you whose spectator friends are riding bikes (especially those going against traffic) please tell them that they can also expect to be ticketed and you can expect to be DQ’d.
Spectators are sometimes confused finding parking at the Finish. There is really only one place for them to park this year â€“ the O’Donnell Park Parking Structure on the NW corner of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Michigan Street. There are three entrances to the structure noted on the map on our website . We will also have directional signs to assist them and volunteers to direct them to the finish from O’Donnell Park. Note that there is an $8 fee to park in the structure and that Milwaukee County Parks staff will collect the fee as they enter (helps when everyone leaves at once). They can also park free at the ICC but will have to walk from there to the Finish. We cannot emphasize this enough â€“ there is no spectator parking at the War Memorial or off of Lagoon Drive. If they try to park there, the Sherriff will make them turn around and go to O’Donnell Park â€“ delaying their arrival at the Finish = they may even miss seeing YOU finish. So, it really does come back to YOU.
We are so happy to welcome Runners World’s Bart Yasso as your special race weekend guest. Bart will lead a fun run on Saturday morning, speak at the Expo, greet the finishers of our Saturday Kids Run, and serve as honorary Grand Marshall of the Jennipede â€“ the attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most number of people running a marathon while tethered together.
Jennipede, you ask? We’ve named it that as the participating runners will be raising money for the continued therapy for runner Jenny Crain, seriously injured in 2007 while training for the Olympic Trials. (Get it? Jenny + Centipede=Jennipede) To date, they have raised more than $50,000 of their goal.
Speaking of Guinness records, our own Milwaukee Film will premiere the documentary film “Breaking and Entering” the week before our race. Take a look for details on the film and show times. A bunch of us will be going to the film on opening night - so think about joining us then. This film documents the (sometimes zany) lengths that some people go to in their quest for a Guinness record. Who knows, maybe our Jennipede will be on the marque next year.
Volunteersâ€¦ Yada, yada, yadaâ€¦ Really, it takes 1300 volunteers to put this race on for YOU. If you have time on Friday or Saturday, we’d love your help. If you’re injured and can’t run, we’d love to have your help on Sunday. If you have friends and family members who want to see the marathon up close and have a great time with positive and great people, we need them too. Please contact Alice if you can help â€“ pretty please? Also â€“ if you have volunteered via the database and have not yet been contacted, also let Alice know.