After the marathon and half marathon split at Marquette University, marathon runners will continue heading west on Wisconsin Avenue on their 26.2 mile journey. When they reach 27th street they will enter what is known as the Historic Concordia Neighborhood. This area was named after Concordia College, which used to be located in the neighborhood on West State Street.
In the early 1900s, Concordia was home to Milwaukee’s most prominent and affluent families, however many of the neighborhood’s great Victorian mansions were demolished in the 50s, 60s and 70s. During the mid-80s, neighborhood residents banded together to start bringing the area back to it’s original glory. Together they formed the Historic Concordia Neighbors, Inc. HCNI began working with homeowners to repair and restore houses in the neighborhood.
Today the Concordia Neighborhood is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the larger homes have been converted into bed and breakfasts and in 2000 the area was designated as The Milwaukee Bed and Breakfast District.
Spectators: West Wisconsin Avenue in the Historic Concordia Neighborhood will be a great place to catch your runner after they split from the larger half marathon crowd. Give them a little pick-me-up as they settle to the middle portion of the race. Also, HCNI will be out in force on race day hosting an aid station for our marathon runners on West Wisconsin Avenue!
At mile 8, both marathon and half marathon runners will head down Wisconsin Avenue, also known as Milwaukee’s “Main Street”. Wisconsin Avenue runs the entire east-west width of the city and is the center of Milwaukee’s downtown business district. Highlights include the Grand Avenue Mall, the Wisconsin Center and the Milwaukee Central Library.
During this stretch our runners will also pass through the heart of Marquette University’s 93-acre campus. The university was established in 1881 by John Martin Henni, the first Bishop of Milwaukee. Marquette is a Catholic Jesuit school named after the missionary and explorer Father Jacques Marquette. In 1909 Marquette became the first co-ed Catholic university in the world, and today it has a student body of about 12,000.
Look for a campus party to be happening on Wisconsin Avenue on race day!
Spectators: Marquette’s campus will be another great spot to catch a runner in either the full or half marathon. The half marathon will split from the full at the corner of 16th and Wisconsin, with marathon runners continuing west while half marathon runners head south, looping back to the finish. Take a look at our interactive course map here.
Crossing over the Milwaukee River via the Marsupial Bridge, our runners will next enjoy a short jaunt through what’s known as the Beerline B before they enter Milwaukee’s West Town Neighborhood.
Beerline B is a former industrial corridor along the Milwaukee River. This area was once part of a railroad route used to serve the Schlitz, Pabst and Blatz breweries. Now a neighborhood of modern condominiums, the Beerline is home to the popular Lakefront Brewery. The Lakefront Brewery tour has been ranked the 4th best brewery tour in America. During this stretch of the race, our runners will also pass the old Schlitz Brewery, once the location of the largest beer company in the world and “the beer that made Milwaukee famous.”
One of the high points on our course is when the marathon and half marathon route takes a turn down Historic Brady Street around mile 5. Stretching nine blocks east to west between Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River, Brady Street was once considered to be Milwaukee’s own “Haight-Ashbury.” It has a vibrant nightlife and in late July is home to the popular Brady Street Festival.
Between 1860 and 1930, Brady Street was home to early Polish, German and Irish immigrants. By 1930s the neighborhood became more predominantly Italian and earned the nickname “Milwaukee’s Little Italy.” Today Brady Street is known for it’s mix of retail shops, ethnic cuisine, coffee shops and salons. Currently there are over 90 businesses in operation on the street.
Several independently owned businesses have called Brady Street their home for many years. Glorioso’s Italian Market is an independently owned and operated family store celebrating their 70th birthday in 2016. Regano’s Roman Coin, a favorite family-owned pub, will celebrate their 50 year birthday in October this year. Many of the business owners on this street still live right above their stores.