See Dane Run at the Milwaukee Running Festival!

 

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Dane Rauschenberg has run on the mountain-ringed sand flats near Bonneville Raceway in Utah this year, and he’s immersed himself in the French and Creole influences of New Orleans by running in the Crescent City Classic. He’s marveled at breath-taking geological wonders, running on the beach at the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, in the ‘Not Since Moses’ event. He’s taken in the Nordic wonders of Iceland in the Reykjavik Marathon.

Rauschenberg is seeing the world one step at a time, and his journey of discovery will bring him to the streets of Milwaukee for the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival, Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

“I try to find interesting locales,” said Rauschenberg, who ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks in 2006. “I’ve found that there’s great running all over the country, and one of the ways I’ve tried to see this country, and I think that the best way to do that, is on foot. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend some time in Milwaukee, and found it to be an absolutely wonderful city for the sport of running. It’s very welcoming.”

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“When you run 13 or even 26 miles, it’s amazing what you can see of a city. Doing it on your feet instead of in a car or on a bicycle … it really opens your eyes to the diversity of a city. You will see Milwaukee, from its lakefront paths to its more urban areas, to everything in between.”

Rauschenberg said that while seeing the wonders of the world is near the top of his checklist when he selects an event to run in, he also wants an event that makes the running experience exceptional.

 

“There are a lot of little things, being a seasoned runner, that you notice that maybe someone else wouldn’t necessary notice that are very runner-centric,” Rauschenberg. “But on top of everything else, a race is only as good as its race director. While this is the first PNC Milwaukee Running Festival, Chris Ponteri has put on some great races in the past. Usually, you go with the horse that got you there. If you’ve a good race director in one capacity, he’s going to be there for more.”

One of the more fascinating features of the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival for Rauschenberg is the mile run. The Milwaukee Miler Race presented by Hanson Dodge Creative will be on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 9:30 a.m.

“The mile is magical,” Rauschenberg said. “It has captured our attention for decades, when Roger Bannister broke four minutes, to today.

“I think it’s great that they’re having it in Milwaukee. It’s a way to incorporate this love affair that America has with the mile. Finding miles races … they are few and far between. The fact that Chris Ponteri has added this to the repertoire for the weekend is a telltale sign of a person who knows what he’s doing.

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“Everyone should get behind the mile. It’s an unbelievable event for people to get out and cheer, and to get out on the streets of Milwaukee. I’m really excited about running the mile in Milwaukee.”

Rauschenberg called the mile “America’s distance.’ He is working with a group called “Bring Back the Mile” to have the distance replace the 1,500-meter and 1,600-meter runs in running events globally.

 

“There’s just something about that mile … everyone has run a mile in their life, whether they had to do it in high school for P.E., or something like that,” Rauschenberg said. “It’s something that we completely all understand. I’ve been in foreign countries, and they measure everything in kilometers, but when they talk about everything else, they talk in miles. They will ask me, ‘How many miles did you run this week?’ or ‘What was your mile pace?’ It’s funny, because people think we’re behind the times for not using kilometers, but they’re still talking about miles.”

Rauschenberg started running about 12 years ago. The Penn State graduate has raised more than $100,000 for charities worldwide through running, but he feels that he’s gained more from the sport than he’s invested.

“I feel that running has given me so much, from health and wellness, to a making a cacophony of friends worldwide, as well as a vocation,” Rauschenberg said. “Giving back in any way, shape or form, is something I try to do on a daily basis, even if it’s just motivating one particular person to go out for a run, or not quit whatever they’re trying to go for.

“What I’ve tried to do is allow people to utilize myself … to motivate other people. It’s amazing what you can do when you just go out there and ignore the impossible.”

Rauschenberg loves the perspective of the running culture.

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“People are worried about being last,” Rauschenberg said. “I’ve often said, the last person in a race is the one who gets the biggest cheers, because they’re beating every single person who sat at home that day.”

Participating in the first Milwaukee Running Festival is exciting for Rauschenberg.

“I like to put together these partnerships at the beginning,” Rauschenberg said. “That way, when they grow, you can be proud of it. You almost see it as your baby, and you say, look what we’ve done together. To be involved from the beginning, that’s something I really enjoy.”

 

We’re looking forward to having Dane at the event! You can read more about Dane on his blog here. Register for the Milwaukee Miler, or any of our distances here today!

#MKERunFest Photo Series Week #17: Sherman Park

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After mile 12, our marathon runners will head north for a mile out-and-back along Sherman Boulevard.  Once a rural area far outside the city of Milwaukee, Sherman Park was purchased in 1889 by the city park commission.  The neighborhood was home to many of Milwaukee’s first business owners and these pioneers built their beautiful Craftsman, Bungalow, and Tudor-style homes in the 1920s and 1930s at the westernmost point of the city at the time.

Herb Kohl, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and his college roommate Bud Selig, former MLB commissioner, grew up in the Sherman Park in the 1940s. Both attended Washington High School, located on Sherman Boulevard. NBA star Latrell Sprewell and actor Gene Wilder are Washington High graduates as well.

Source: Sherman Park Community Association

 

Runner Profile: Andrea Johnson

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As a high school athlete I had sports-induced asthma, which made it challenging for me to run just one mile. I despised the thought of distance running because I feared failing. During college I took up leisurely jogging as a stress-reliever and within a couple years I realized I could run farther than I thought, without any asthmatic symptoms. This was such a liberating discovery! I moved to Milwaukee in 2009 for graduate school where I met the man who is now my husband. During our courtship (which I succumbed to after he chased me for a year with little incentive) we went on many runs through the streets of Milwaukee; this was a formative time for our relationship. In fact, the day I told him I was ready for our relationship to be publicly official was the morning he ran the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. He PR’d that day.

His passion for and dedication to running was inspiring and motivated me to sign up for my first half marathon, the Brewers Mini Marathon in September 2012. Training was hard, but exciting. Crossing the finish line left me awestruck and incredibly proud – did I really just do that?! Then I proceeded to register for and run six more half marathons within a year of my first… which was stupid. After being very pleased with my time of 2:05 for my first half marathon, I became frustrated as each race after that ended with a progressively worse time, initially just by a couple minutes then by ten minutes or more. Running felt like a chore and I wasn’t enjoying it anymore.

The last half marathon I ran was in February 2014, just a couple weeks after learning I was pregnant. Needless to say that was my slowest half marathon, which I happily accepted as I made my way through the course with excessive caution as to not disturb the incredible construction project taking place in my womb. I promised myself I was going to be one of those fit pregnant women. You know the type, proudly displaying their bare six-month baby bump as they run effortlessly despite the extra weight (which of course can only be attributed to the bump because the rest of their body looks like the model on the cover of Runner’s World). Well, I loathed these women as I was running… to the bathroom every morning and ten times a day to crouch beside the toilet and experience the dreaded pregnancy symptom of morning sickness. While nausea and weakness prevented me from running in the first trimester, discomfort and exhaustion was my excuse for the rest of the pregnancy.

I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Sofia in October 2014, and running a marathon was nowhere near the top of my agenda. Actually, I had previously said I was never going to run a marathon… unless it was somewhere really cool, like Ireland. Then I heard about the Milwaukee Running Festival and thought there couldn’t be a better first marathon experience than running through the city that I love on a course that even goes through my neighborhood. So cool! I signed up on the second day of registration, immediately questioning what I had gotten myself into. But then I recalled the second time in my life that I experienced that awestruck and incredibly proud did I really just do that moment – the day I gave birth to Sofia. After going through the physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging process of natural childbirth I felt like a superhero. I can totally run a marathon! Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not going to be easy and I don’t mean to belittle the accomplishments of marathoners. Before Sofia came along, I didn’t have the confidence necessary to even give running a marathon a serious thought, which was a huge barrier. Now I do feel confident in my own strength and my ability to endure the pain and discomfort that lies ahead.

So here I am chasing after a nine-month-old all day and squeezing in my training runs between dinnertime and bedtime routines, or sometimes after she has fallen asleep. Occasionally we’ll fit in a stroller run in the park during the day, but Sofia’s patience wears thin around three miles. My husband is also training for the marathon and wakes up early to run before he goes to work (again, his dedication is inspiring) and he goes above and beyond to accommodate my running plans. The next few months will be filled with challenges as our training runs get longer, but I am so happy to have a partner that inspires, supports, and pushes me toward achieving this goal. I am looking forward to that awestruck and incredibly proud moment when I cross the finish line and think, “Did I really just do that?!”

Andrea- we’re so glad you chose the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival for your first marathon! Best of luck to you. 

If you would like to share your running story, please submit it to tracey@milwaukeerunningfestival.com. You can read more of our Runner Profiles here!

#MKERunFest Photo Series Week #16: Harley-Davidson Headquarters

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Mile 11.5 will take our marathon runners right by Harley-Davidson Headquarters. Built in 1906 by William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson, the first Juneau Avenue plant was a modest 40 ft × 60 ft single-story wooden structure. The company produced about 50 motorcycles at this location that year.

In 1913, the original factory was demolished and a new 5-story structure was built. The factory would take up two blocks along Juneau Avenue and 38th Street and production that year skyrocketed to 16,284 motorcycles.

Today Harley-Davidson is the world’s fifth largest motorcycle manufacturer. Harley-Davidson manufactures its motorcycles at factories in New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Missouri, Manauas, Brazil and Bawal, India, but it’s headquarters remain right here in Milwaukee.