1881 Productions adds university challenge to Milwaukee Marathon

The+University+Challenge+allows+UWM%2C+Marquette%2C+and+MSOE+to+run+with+their+school.

Photo by Claire Gallagher

The University Challenge allows UWM, Marquette, and MSOE to run with their school.

1881 Productions, a for-profit event-organizing company of Marquette University students, has added a university challenge to this year’s Milwaukee Marathon this Saturday.

The university challenge allows students, alumni, and faculty to run with their school. 1881 Productions put out codes on social media that individuals can use to enter the university challenge when they register for the marathon online. The codes are on 1881 Productions Instagram and Twitter accounts, and to further help spread the word it sent the codes out to Marquette, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee School of Engineering for them to put in newsletters, school emails and to post on their own social media accounts. 

The event has three different categories of courses including a 26.2-mile marathon, a half-marathon of 13.1 miles and a 5K. All three events will end up at the Milwaukee Bucks’ newly-constructed, live block entertainment complex, the Fiserv Forum, in the heart of Milwaukee, according to the Milwaukee Marathon website.

“The purpose of the Milwaukee Marathon was to bring together all the different communities in the city,” said Thomas Biegler, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration and chief financial officer and founding member of 1881 Productions,

When Marquette teamed up with the current owners of the marathon, Rugged Races, they decided they wanted to focus on bringing together communities in the Milwaukee Marathon, Biegler said. 

The goal that 1881 Productions had in mind when it created the university challenge was to help bring together schools in Milwaukee, Biegler said.

“Essentially, universities will be represented by their students in the Milwaukee Marathon. The top time (with) the top ten student times combined will be the winner,” Biegler said.

The participants times correspond with their registration code and are entered as part of the school’s times. 

Isabella Station, a sophomore in the College of Communication and associate project manager for 1881 Productions, said 1881 Productions has helped set up the entire marathon.

“We’re involved in blocking off the streets and actually planning it. The route, the marketing, the tickets sale, everything.” Staton said, “The goal of the university challenge was to get more members of the community in Milwaukee to participate and become more involved.” 

The Milwaukee Marathon, which has around 8,000 runners, is 1881 Productions’ biggest undertaking. Biegler said the company was only expecting around 5000-6000 runners. 

“There’s so much that goes into it. A lot of our other events is booking places, getting food and what not. With the Milwaukee Marathon, it’s not just booking a venue, it’s booking the entire city,” Biegler said,

Biegler said they had to hire a lobbying firm to convince the alderman to shut down the city for the day. They also had to get police involved for security and needed 26.2 miles of traffic cones. 

The Milwaukee Marathon will pass by the Harley-Davidson Museum, Miller Park and Veterans Park.

Biegler said the marathon will be going through highlights of Milwaukee.

“Our thought was if we’re running past the schools in the heart of Milwaukee, why not have them be involved in some way?” Biegler said. “Why not have them represent their school, that part of Milwaukee and just create some friendly competition to help the students represent (their community) and give them a little more reason to run?”

Christine Hazel, the assistant director of development and advancement at Marquette, said she looks forward to run in the Marathon.

“Our office developed an initiative to help develop team bonding and we kind of made a pact with the key runners in our office,” Hazel said.

Hazel and her office group are going to be participating in the 5K portion of the Milwaukee Marathon. She said she heard about the university challenge through the Running with The President Facebook group, which is a university group that allows students to to run with University President Lovell. 

“I think it’s great for our group and we have people who aren’t participating in the running who will be helping to volunteer,” Hazel said.  

Marquette students, faculty and alumni can sign up online and use their specific code — which can be found on 1881 Event Productions Instagram page at “1881eventproductions” — to join the university challenge.