Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the 10K distance at the PNC Milwaukee Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Well, this race is getting some publicity and it is not good at all. For the second year in a row the course was marked incorrectly for the marathon distance and came up short. That’s the big news that is all out there. But what you may not have heard, because it is not the headliner, but the 10K distance was also short of its correct mark. I know this for fact as well because as I crossed the finish line (and I was aiming for a PR in the 10K distance) that my running app was going to come up short on the distance. So, as I crossed the line, I kept running right through the finishers line, grabbing my medal as I passed by but nothing else. I got to a clear spot away from everything and kept running until I hit my mark for the correct distance. This is unfortunate because it certainly tarnishes what should be a great race with a great expo.
The expo is held at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and there were plenty of vendors to keep you busy, interested and engaged. Packet pickup was easy and efficient (and that was even with picking up a friend’s packet for the half marathon as well). They had Saucony there showing off tons of shoes and gear but also an area where sale items were available. And the State Farm vendor was rather exceptional in my opinion. They had a tons of activities to keep kids busy and I always find that difficult when at expos so kudos to them for keeping them occupied. They also a had a course expert (ironic now, I know) who was going over the entire course for the marathon while I was there. Plus since it is held at the HD Museum, they have several models of bikes for anyone to peruse and check out, which I think is pretty cool.
The race itself is actually very nice. The 10K course was laid out very well and fair and not very challenging. No major inclines to worry about and you go around some nice parts of downtown. You get to run past the lakefront and the marina. Sandwiched between those two is the Milwaukee Art Museum which is incredible to look at as you run past. A small disappointment, although I think the weather had something to do with it (cool and breezy and cloudy), was there was only one musical act on the 10K course. It’s always nice to have a crowd cheering and extra music but there were very few race revelers on the sidelines. The orchestral band that was playing was great though, that must be said. The finish line area was well done with the announcer yelling out names as we crossed and then there was a bevy of items to grab on the way through the finisher area. After the medal, there was water, pretzels, bananas, bars and they were not stingy with the water. Also, you were given a beer ticket which was good for a Milwaukee Brewing Co. beer, a much better choice than a Miller Lite, etc. There was a runner’s recovery area (unfortunately it had a giant puddle under the tent due to massive rain the day before) and a Fuel Cafe station setup where free sample of coffee were available. Plus four food trucks were stationed just past the finisher area wafting sweet bbq smells into the crowd.
Aside from the disappointment of the course being too short (and, yes, I know that is a HUGE problem) this race really is a good race. Race management is up to speed and keeps you uber informed and the swag of the medal, race shirt and various coupons is worth signing up and participating. Hopefully they get another chance to fix this race marking problem and get it 100% correct next year. They have everything else in place to make this a great event.
Any questions or comments, fire away!
And, as always, happy running!