Lakefront marathon spurs university competition

Preceding+winners+hand+the+trophy+off+to+new+victors+each+year.+Photo+courtesy+of+Barbara+Jewell.
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Lakefront marathon spurs university competition

Preceding winners hand the trophy off to new victors each year. Photo courtesy of Barbara Jewell.

Preceding winners hand the trophy off to new victors each year. Photo courtesy of Barbara Jewell.

Preceding winners hand the trophy off to new victors each year. Photo courtesy of Barbara Jewell.

Preceding winners hand the trophy off to new victors each year. Photo courtesy of Barbara Jewell.

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As part of its Homecoming festivities, students can represent Marquette in a 5K challenge against students from other universities in the area at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. The event is part of the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, hosted by Wisconsin’s largest running club, the Badgerland Striders.

While there has been a university challenge for the 26.2 mile race for the past seven years, the 5K university challenge is in its inaugural year.

To participate in the university challenge, runners have the option to enroll with a university team when registering, Sean Daley, this year’s 5K race director, said. University challenge participants’ times are pooled with those of other students at their university to determine a winner. Marquette won the university challenge at the marathon last year.

Participants will race alongside students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Concordia University Wisconsin and Cardinal Stritch University.

The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon’s university challenge program is in its eighth year, according to a UWM press release. The race has also had a 5K option for the past three years, according to the Badgerland Striders’ website. 

Barb Jewell, finance chair of the Badgerland Striders and team coordinator for Marquette, said Marquette was supportive of adding the 5K challenge this year.

“I’m excited that Marquette contacted the Badgerland Striders and asked us to consider adding the (university) challenge to the 5K, which opens the race up to more people,” Jewell said.

According to the marathon’s website, the marathon has been a certified Boston Marathon qualifier for the past 38 years. It starts in a suburb north of Milwaukee at Grafton High School and ends at the Summerfest grounds.

The 5K will begin and end at the Summerfest grounds. There is a post-race celebration specific for the university challenge.

“We’ll have a separate area for the university challenge in the 5K area where people can congregate and celebrate,” Daley said.

Daley has participated in the marathon previously, running it seven straight years.

What separates this race from any other is the friendly competition. The challenge — people from different universities racing against each other — allows people to meet fellow runners or walkers and offers the winning team bragging rights.

“I think the idea of the team challenge (has) two goals: the team can bond together, and people from other schools can meet people they didn’t know and have friendly competition with other schools,” Jewell said.

A little camaraderie while representing Marquette is a component to why Emily Haag, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said she hopes to participate in the run.

“I mean, it’s against other schools which seems interesting to me, and it’s a way to compete with Marquette,” Haag said.

Rachael Daniel, captain for UWM’s team, said she thinks those who have participated in the team races in the past have had a good time.

“It’s a great way to show school spirit for the great universities in Milwaukee,” Daniel said.

Daley said there has been a number of Marquette students who have signed up for both the 5K and the marathon challenge this year.

Haag said she likes the idea of a 5K run along the lakefront as well the fact that the race revenue is going to the Girls on the Run Program in Southeast Wisconsin. Girls on the Run empowers girls through running activities and other interactive programs culminating to a celebratory 5K at the end of the program.

There are some unique amenities that come along with doing the 5K, such as finisher medals and shirts, post-race foods and refreshments, age group awards and awards for the top three male and female finishers.

The last day to sign up online is Oct. 5 at 11:59 p.m. for $25. Runners can also register on race day for $35 at the exposition on UWM’s campus in the student union, located at 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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