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.