Marquette students created Milwaukee Marathon run challenge

Marquette+University+students%2C+faculty+and+alumni+had+the+opportunity+to+participate+in+the+university+challenge+for+the+Milwaukee+Marathon+this+past+Saturday.
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Marquette students created Milwaukee Marathon run challenge

Marquette University students, faculty and alumni had the opportunity to participate in the university challenge for the Milwaukee Marathon this past Saturday.

Marquette University students, faculty and alumni had the opportunity to participate in the university challenge for the Milwaukee Marathon this past Saturday.

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Marquette University students, faculty and alumni had the opportunity to participate in the university challenge for the Milwaukee Marathon this past Saturday.

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Marquette University students, faculty and alumni had the opportunity to participate in the university challenge for the Milwaukee Marathon this past Saturday.

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Marquette University students, faculty and alumni had the opportunity to participate in the university challenge for the Milwaukee Marathon this past Saturday.

The challenge was issued by 1881 Event Productions, a for-profit event-organizing company made up of Marquette students. 1881 Event Productions sent codes out through social media to individuals who wanted to be a part of the university challenge. The codes were sent to Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to attract more runners to the marathon.

Originally, 1881 Event Productions planned to acquire the marathon; however, Rugged Races became the new owners of the marathon, Kat Christian, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration and president of 1881 Event Productions, said.

The new owners Rugged Races is a company that organize races and cycling events all over the country. The starting and finishing line, which has been changed over the past three races, was also moved to Fiserv Forum.

Even though the university challenge is new this year, the Milwaukee Marathon has taken place twice over the past three years. However, the marathon was criticized for its course being too long in 2016 and too short in 2017. 

Participants ran in three categories: a 5K, a 13.1-mile half-marathon or a 26.2-mile marathon. The marathon passed by the Lake Michigan Waterfront, Lake Park, Veterans Park, Washington Park, Marquette University and Wisconsin Avenue, some highlights of the city of Milwaukee.

Christian also said the marathon is an opportunity to see different parts of the city for Marquette students.

“(It was) beautiful weather (and the) perfect running temp,” Jenna Schmitt, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said. “It was well-organized and it was a really great route. We ran mainly near the lake and got to finish the last two miles at home (Marquette’s campus).”

Christian said about 27 runners from Marquette registered for the marathon.

“We want that number to grow,” Christian said. 1881 Event Productions also wants more exposure for next year’s marathon to recruit more runners from the different Milwaukee-area universities, Christian said.

The staff of 1881 Event Productions helped organize the marathon months in advance by working with Rugged Races.

“We did weekly calls with Rugged Races,” Christian said. “We helped sell partnerships … and organized volunteer recruitment.”

Approximately 7,500 runners ran in the three categories this year in contrast to about 4,000 in the previous marathon, Andres Isidoro, a junior in the College of Communication and chief marketing officer for 1881 Event Productions, said.

“The turnout was amazing, and everyone was having a great time,” Isidoro said.

Dale Emerichran, a participant in the marathon, ran the half-marathon in a firefighter uniform decorated with pink to support firefighters who have died from cancer.

“Cancer has become the No. 1 killer of firefighters,” Emerich said. “I do a bunch of different races (to support firefighters).”

When registering for the marathon, runners were asked if they would like to donate to or create a fundraising page for the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Fund, a fund for childhood cancer and blood disorder research.

Tthere was an after party at Fiserv Forum’s entertainment plaza. There was food, drinks, music, giveaways, and appearances by the Bucks Beat drum line, Milwaukee Bucks Dancers, Hoop Troop and the Bucks’ mascot.

Christian thought the marathon was a success.

“Hopefully in the next couple years, we’ll be able to do more and more,” she said. 

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