Latest reviews by Sam
There is so much hard work that goes into putting on an event like this, and this team does an incredible job with all the logistics of a big city race while still giving it the feeling of a locally run event. You can tell the team puts a lot of heart and thought into this event. While there are still some kinks that need to be worked out, I am excited to continue to run this event each year. I did the full last year, and loved it.
Elevation: Milwaukee is hilly. No matter what race you are doing for a distance longer than a 5k outside of a county park, you'll soon realize this. But the scenery makes it all the more bearable.
Scenery: Easy segway. This is why I LOVE this race. I have lived in Milwaukee my whole life. This course (and this goes for both the full and the half) has led me to paths I've never been. Did you know there is a Packers practice field smack dab in the middle of the city? Me neither. And you get to run around it when you take on the 26.2. Don't worry, the half marathoners get some beautiful views of Harley Davidson and some Lake Michigan beaches. And some industrial areas too! We literally see so many different facets of this awesome City. This is my favorite part of this event.
Aid Stations: Awesome. The volunteers are incredible. I wish there were GU at on the half at some point, but understandable that is really isn't a necessity for that distance. I never experienced lines at the restrooms on the half either. There could have been a few more stops later in the race (I don't recall where the mileage was, but the stops were a little more sporadic at that point), but it wasn't completely unbearable.
Parking: Parking is always challenging at Milwaukee races. Arrive early and plan is always my game plan. I got there at 545 (715am start) and there was a line to get in already, but I was able to get a decent spot on the grass. If you are running late, plan to run an extra 5k from your car (but this is usual for this spot in MKE and most other locations for events in the City).
Swag: Love love love the medal. It sports my city and my distance (and change from last year). The tee is also nice as well. A long sleeve - classic tech. As a Packer girl, I appreciated it not being Bears' colors this year ;-)
Expo: Packet pick-up was a breeze. In and out and there were a decent amount of need to see vendors, as well as official race merch. There is also a course preview chat which is nice! (I watched last year and it was very helpful to know what was coming next!)
Race Management: I think they did a great job. There is so much involved in an event like this that many don't realize. Even as runners, we don't know everything and can't imagine the pressure that is involved. Unfortunately, there was a snafu where a citizen kicked over the cones at a vital turnaround point which caused some runners to go further than needed- but it was corrected as soon as it was discovered. This is heartbreaking to hear and I can only imagine how devastated the race crew is, as their heart and soul goes in to this. The running community is a tight-knit one, and I can't wait to continue to support this event and watch it grow year after year.
Overall: This is a great event. There is great support for slower runners like myself and they showcase this amazing city (all parts of it!) I highly recommend it as the growth potential to get better and better is there. As a runner, the value in your shirt, medal and post-race goodies are matched with personal touches of a locally run race.