Runner's Guide

Before the race...


What to do

There are lots of things to see and do in the Milwaukee area. For tourist information, please contact Visit Milwaukee at 1-800-231-0903, or visit them on the web at:



What you must do – expo and packet pick-up

All marathon participants MUST pick up their packets at the expo. Bring a photo ID. There will be NO race-day pick-up. You can have someone else pick up your packet. However, you MUST use the form posted at our website to do so. Go to:


As in the past, we have a FANTASTIC expo planned with many runner-friendly and local vendors (vendors are listed in this guide). Lakefront Marathon merchandise will be available at the expo and at the finish line. However, quantities are limited, so if you see something that you like at the expo, you may want to purchase it then. Only a limited number of items are ordered each year and they are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. 


The expo will be at the Italian Community Center, which is located at 631 E Chicago St in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward. Expo hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 1. Continuous shuttle service to and from the expo/packet pick-up is available from the host hotels. Service will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. You do not need to be a hotel guest to use this service. 


In addition to your personalized runner number, your packet will contain other important items that you’ll need for the race: most importantly pins, and a bag and tag for your warm-up clothing. And let’s not forget your official Lakefront Marathon ad-free technical shirt!


This year we are using MyLaps™ Bib Tags for timing the race. The timing tag is attached to the back of your bib. These timing tags must not be removed, damaged or altered in any way.


Tips for guaranteed timing:

  • Wear the bib number visibly on the chest.
  • Do not fold or crumple your bib number or tag.
  • Use a pin for each corner of the bib number, do not pierce the tag.
  • Do not remove the foam spacer. The foam increases the detection rate of your tag.

Runner packets will be in alphabetical order. Runners are asked to bring their e-mail confirmation to packet pickup and check it for accuracy ahead of time. If you notice a mistake, you can send a friendly note to us at


Also, when you pick up your packet, again, check your race bib for accuracy. If you do find a mistake that needs to be corrected, you can talk to one of the helpful, courteous, and incredibly attractive individuals at the “Trouble Table” during packet pick-up.  


Note that our previous Lakefront Marathon winners will be issued special red bibs. 



Expo Program

There will be several presentations at the expo on Saturday, including course briefings, race day medical tips, post-marathon recovery information and general presentations on training.   Consult the schedule that will be on the race website prior to the race ( Schedules will also be posted at the expo.



Where is the Italian Community Center?

The Italian Community Center is located at 631 E Chicago St in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.
Only three blocks from downtown Milwaukee and close to Lake Michigan, the ICC is easily accessible from I-794, a block to the west of Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds).

Parking is available at the Italian Community Center.



Red Hats

Have a question? Ask a REDHAT. You will find these helpful volunteers (in red hats) at the expo, start area and finish line. They are anxious to help you.



Food and Beverage

A wide variety of fine ethnic cuisine and traditional American food are available in the Milwaukee area. You’ll find many choices that tickle your taste. These are only a few of our favorites in or near the downtown area:



Quick and Casual:

•Milwaukee Ale House – 233 N. Water St.

•Alterra by the Lake – Lincoln Memorial Dr.

•Alterra at the Foundry – 170 S. 1st Street

•Buck Bradley’s - 1019 Old World 3rd           

•Bar Louie - 1114 N. Water St.

•Water St. Brewery - 1101 N. Water St.           

•Applebee’s - Grand Avenue Mall            



•Louise’s - 801 N. Jefferson St

•Joey Buona’s - 500 N. Water St           

•Buca di Beppo - 1233 N. Van Buren

•Pasta Tree - 1503 N. Farwell Ave.           

•Calderone Club - 842 N. Third St.



•Mader’s - 1037 Old World Third St.                       

•Karl Ratzsch’s - 320 E. Mason



What to Wear

“If you don’t like the weather in Milwaukee, wait ten minutes.” It’s a cliché, but one based in truth.   Weather on race day is usually what fall looks like in the movies – colored leaves, pleasant temperatures and cool breezes. But we do have our extremes. It could be sunny and 45 degrees at the start with a finishing temp in the mid-70s . Then again, it could be a lot hotter or a lot colder. We’ve had everything from rain to wind to sleet to snow. Be prepared. 




We suggest that you bring sweats or warm-ups, extra gloves and socks, a hat, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a 2-ply garbage bag in case it’s breezy at the start (or in case you want to pick up roadside litter during the race), an extra pair of shoes, and warm clothing for after the race.


Other helpful items to pack might include Band-Aids, Vaseline, extra pins, sunscreen, lip balm, etc. Items that you don’t take with you on the race course can be placed in your drop bag which will be available to you at the finish area. 



Read the Rules!

The complete race rules are on our website at They can be found under the “Race Weekend” tab at the top of the page. 




Race Morning


FREE transportation to the start

We encourage you to use our free bus service to get to the start. However, please note that the bus service to the start is ONLY FOR REGISTERED RUNNERS.


Runners can catch a bus to the start from one of the race hotels (the Hyatt at 333 W Kilbourn Ave or the Courtyard by Marriot at 300 W Michigan), or near the lakefront at the Italian Community Center.


The Italian Community Center is located at 631 E. Chicago Street approximately three-quarters of a mile from the marathon finish. To get there from the expressway take I-94 east to I-794. Get off at the Jackson St. exit. Go south two blocks. The Italian Community Center is on the southeast corner of the intersection of north Jackson and east Chicago Streets. Enter the parking lot from Jackson Street. 


There will be shuttles from the marathon finish area to the Italian Community Center after the race. But again, it is less than a mile so those of you who still have a little energy left in your legs may prefer to walk back to your cars. 


There will be toilets available near the bus pick-up area. PLEASE do not relieve yourself anywhere but in a portable toilet or bathroom. This is an urban race, not a trail run. Anything you do can threaten a public use permit, including an angry phone call from a citizen viewing a runner relieving him or herself on the side of the road. 


Buses will load from 5:15 to 6:15 a.m. race morning at the Italian Community Center – again, NOT AT THE MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM. 


The hotel buses will leave at 6 a.m. SHARP. Again, these are from our race hotels: Hyatt and the Courtyard by Marriott - Downtown. You do not need to reserve a spot and you do not need to be a guest at the hotel to take this bus, but you do need to be on time. Buses will return to the hotels and the ICC parking area from the finish line from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Spectators staying at the host hotels may use the bus shuttle to the finish area and back from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please do not sneak spectators on the bus to the start line. There are no arrangements for return transportation from Grafton. If you get a spectator to Grafton you will have to find a way for that person to return to Milwaukee. Really. The buses that go to Grafton have other assignments once they have discharged their runners. 



Start area

Remember, we are starting 30 minutes earlier than previous years. Our race start is at 7:30 a.m. at Grafton High School in Grafton, Wisconsin –– about 26.2 miles or so north of downtown Milwaukee. If you are driving to the start (or more likely, having someone else drive you), allow plenty of time.


Take I-43 north toward Grafton. Exit on Hwy 60W in Grafton, approximately one mile from the high school. Follow the signs and directions of parking volunteers once you get to the vicinity of the school. Grafton High School is on the right. You can expect congestion of both cars and people.


Please note that there is NO BUS SERVICE back to Grafton High School after the race. If you park at the start line, you are on your own after the race to get back to your car. 


The school will be open to runners and their guests starting at 5:45 a.m.


Additional toilet facilities and an aid station will also be at the start. (Please do not change clothes, read the Sunday paper, or contemplate the meaning of life during your visits to the portable toilets –– others are waiting!) .


However you decide to get to the start, make sure you bring your race number.


Also, please note that in 2011 the start was moved to Cheyenne Ave. just north of Hwy 60, less than a block from the old site.



Drop bag

Don’t forget to bring your warm-up bag! There will be a UPS truck at the start area in which you can place your bag; the bags will be waiting for you at the finish.   Obviously, don’t put valuables (such as your car keys, cell phone or wallet) in the bag. You will find a day-glow sticker with your race number on it in your race packet. Put that number on your bag and place your numbered bag in the UPS equipment truck near the start. Clothing left on the course will be taken to the finish line (if possible) and will be discarded if not claimed before 2:30. If you leave clothing on the course, there is no guarantee that you will see it again. If you are going to wear a warm-up for just a few miles, use an old shirt that you don’t mind losing. And if you do discard clothes, please do so at a mile marker or aid station. This will make for easier clean-up.



Be nice!

Be considerate of our host communities (they issue our permits) and their residents (they vote) –– use the portable toilets provided at the start and at each aid station on the course (P=DQ!) and throw your gel packets and other garbage in the trash. Always obey law enforcement personnel, course marshals and race officials. You may be DQ’d if you don’t. 



Assemble at the Start Line

The start line is on Cheyenne Ave. north of Hwy. 60. Again, the race starts promptly at 7:30 a.m. Plan to arrive a few minutes early, but be aware that traffic congestion in this area is ALWAYS an issue –– plan for it! Go to the front if you’re a speed demon. Otherwise, line up according to your planned marathon pace. Pace groups should be obvious. The course is USATF certified and sanctioned, and the race is the state of Wisconsin USATF championship. 



Start Running!

At least two lanes will be available at the start of the race. The course narrows to the left side of the road at the 2-mile mark and continues that way for the remainder of the race. You must stay to the left of the cones marking the course, both to avoid other traffic and to stay on the regulation course. Runners who stray are subject to injury, disqualification, or both.



During the race


Keep Your Friends Off the Course

Simply put, people on or with wheels are not allowed on the course. You MAY NOT have someone accompany you via any form of transportation. You MAY NOT have a friend on a bike, roller blades or skateboard ride alongside you. Also, you may not have an UNREGISTERED person run alongside you. This is considered a hazard to other runners and unfair competition and will be grounds for disqualification. This is strictly enforced. 


There is a section regarding spectator information further in the booklet. Please share this with friends and family who may come to cheer you. 



Keep Your Own Wheels Off the Course

Due to insurance regulations, participants in the Lakefront Marathon are not permitted to use roller blades, roller skates, roller skis, baby joggers or strollers. Again, people with wheels are not allowed on the course with the exception of race vehicles or handicapped entrants.  



Hear this!

The USATF Rules of Competition prohibit the wearing of headphones used with MP3 players and other similar devices for persons competing for USATF Championship awards or prize money.  Other participants are allowed to use MP3 players.  However, this is an important safety issue and runners are cautioned to consider the dangers that might be presented by their use.  Every year course sentries and bicycle escorts report participants who cannot hear the directions and instructions provided to them – putting themselves and others at risk.  Participants who fail to comply with the directions of ANY race official will be subject to disqualification.



Take Fluids During the Race

Water and GATORADE, the “Official Thirst Quencher,” will be available approximately every two to three miles. Check the course map for exact locations.


Fluid tables will generally be on the left side of the course, with GATORADE available at the first table and water at the rest. Vaseline will be at all fluid stations. Gel will be available at approximately 7.5 and 20 miles. We cannot provide aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. If you require pain-relievers, please carry them with you. 




Hydration is important, but over-hydration can also be a problem. If you have questions regarding appropriate hydration, please go the USATF web site at Also, consult our special medical bulletin on the LFM website (



Keep Track of Where You Are

Each mile is marked and times will be called out. (You know you are going the right direction if the mile marker numbers keep getting bigger.) Digital clocks will be displayed at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13.1, 15, 20, 22, 25 and 26 miles. You’ll also find portable toilets at all aid stations.



Leisurely Runners

If you are taking your time during this race, please keep in mind that official scoring will close at 2:00 p.m. That is 6.5 hours after the start of the race. We will re-open the course to local traffic on a six-hour pace. If you can run/walk a 13:45 pace, you should be able to finish within the allotted time period. Once the roads are open, slower runners will be directed to the sidewalks. Sentries will monitor all crossroads, and vehicles will be patrolling the course to pick up any runners needing assistance based upon a 6.5 hour course closing.   Please wave at them and give them a “Thanks” as you go by. No early starts are allowed; our road permits are very specific and only allow us use of the roads for a limited period of time. Please respect this rule to ensure that we can continue to receive our permits in the future. There will be no medals for finishers after 2:30 p.m.



Need Help?

If you need medical assistance during the race, or if you notice another runner who appears to need help, notify nearby police, a volunteer, or flag down one of our runner assistance vehicles. There will be a first-aid station at mile 8 staffed by the Concordia University’s athletic training department. Also, an ambulance will be at approximately mile 19 (Klode Park) and there will be medical assistance at the finish area. Runners appearing to be in trouble at the finish will be directed to the medical tent. Of course, if someone appears to be experiencing an urgent medical emergency have someone call 911 immediately. 


Monitor your body carefully. If you begin to develop stress symptoms that are abnormal for YOU, decrease your pace or stop running. Seek medical assistance if you experience severe cramping, dizziness, shivering, loss of perspiration, visual problems, or decreased ability to function.


Have a problem pre-race? Colombia-St. Mary’s will staff an aid station at Grafton High School near the start. 



The Finish Line

After crossing the finish line marathon finishers will receive an official Lakefront Marathon medal. Your bag will be waiting for you at the drop bag pick-up area near the finish line. Go ahead; pamper yourself in some clean, warm clothes and get a massage from our friends at In-Step. You’ve earned it.


Please note! We will have a special finisher’s jacket for sale, as well as some finisher's shirts at the expo and at the merchandise tent in the finish area. If you want to wait to get yours after your finish, plan ahead and tuck some money in your shorts.



After the Race


Race Results

We usually post preliminary results online during the event. (Go to: Full results will also be available at: Click here to print your finisher certificate.



Awards Ceremony

Cool down, stretch, and hang around to pick up your award at the awards ceremony. It begins at approximately 12:15 p.m. Awards will be distributed as follows (Please note that while chip times will be listed in the results, USAT&F championship winners must be determined by gun time. The same holds for prize-money winners):


Awards will be given to the overall male, female, male masters, female masters and wheelchair winners. In the open category, 1st place wins $500, 2nd gets $300 and 3rd $100 for both the men and women. The overall masters and 50+ wins $100 (male and female). A person may only win one cash award and cash award winners will not be eligible for age group awards. 


Non-cash awards will be given in the following divisions (one award per person):


MALE: Top three in 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+. 


FEMALE: Top three in 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+.


CLYDESDALE AND ATHENA: Top three overall.


WISCONSIN USAT&F: Top male and female Wisconsin resident –– based upon CLOCK time.


RRCA State Championship: Overall, masters, grand masters –– male and female.


Marathon runners under age 18 are not eligible for awards.


If you are receiving an award, be there to accept the award, the applause, our VIP guest's hearty handshake, and all the glory that you deserve. If you really can’t be there to receive the award yourself, have a friend pick it up. And if you are not receiving an award, please stay to celebrate the performances of those who have. 


For those who are unable to stay for the Awards Ceremony, please send a check or money order for $7.50 with name, mailing address, gender, age group to Judy Springer, 2701 North 68th St, Milwaukee, WI 53210.  All award requests are due by Monday, October 31, 2016.  Awards will be mailed after due date.



For All Finishers

As noted earlier, LFM finishers medals will be awarded to all marathon finishers when they come across the line.



Post-Marathon Showers 

The Milwaukee Downtown Y has graciously offered its facility to Lakefront participants following the marathon. You can stop there to shower and change before heading home. The Y is located on the fourth floor of the Plankinton Building (Shops of Grand Avenue - about one block north of the Marriott) at 161 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Parking is available in the structure located at the corner of Michigan and Plankinton Streets with elevator (or stair) access at the south mall entrance.


Lakefront runners will be required to display their Lakefront bib number and a valid ID to enter the facility. The Y will provide locker-room access, a medium size locker and towels for showering.


Please note: there are no facilities for luggage storage before or after the marathon.



Problems? Complaints? Kudos?

We want the Lakefront Marathon to be a great race for everyone. If you have problems related to the race, please let us know. Write the Lakefront Marathon at:


Lakefront Marathon
c/o Badgerland Striders 
12650 Arden Place
Butler WI 53007         




NOTE: We also accept compliments and glowing testimonials!



Race Communications Provided By...

Waukesha REACT.




As soon as the all the images from race day are identified, expect to receive an email within 4 days after the marathon with a direct link to your images.  All print orders should arrive within one week of placing your order.  If you don’t receive an email notice about your proof images, go to their website and select your event and type in your bib number.  In the event that you did not have any images identified to your bib number, you can check the “Lost & Found” section and/or contact their customer service at:


            Sport Photo



Tell them your race number, what you were wearing, and your approximate finish time. This will help them find your photograph. REMEMBER, if they can’t see your number, they can’t find your photograph!



Boston, Stats and Sanctions

Milwaukee’s Lakefront Marathon is certified and sanctioned by USATF. You can use it as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon in 2017! We provide results directly to B.A.A.



Race Timing Information

This year we are using MyLaps™ Bib Tags for timing the race. The timing tag is attached to the back of your bib. These timing tags must not be removed, damaged or altered in any way.


Tips for guaranteed timing:

  • Wear the bib number visibly on the chest.
  • Do not fold or crumple your bib number or tag.
  • Use a pin for each corner of the bib number, do not pierce the tag.
  • Do not remove the foam spacer. The foam increases the detection rate of your tag.




The following sponsors have made it possible to, once again, offer a quality Lakefront Marathon.  If you run into a representative of one of our sponsors, please say thanks!


•Bell Ambulance

•Colombia St. Mary’s Grafton Clinic

•Concordia University of Wisconsin

•Gatorade, the Official Thirst Quencher

•Highland House

•InStep Physical Therapy and Performance Footwear

•Medical College of Wisconsin

•Mike Kasun Illustration

•Milwaukee Ale House

•Milwaukee Fire Department

•Northshore Fire Department

Sport Photo

Sports Management Associates, Inc

•Tropic Banana

•United Postal Service

•UWM Athletic Training Students

•Wheel and Sprocket










ALSO, many thanks to our host communities:


Village of Grafton

Town of Grafton

Ozaukee County

Village of Bayside

Village of Fox Point

City of Mequon

Village of Whitefish Bay

Village of Shorewood

City of Milwaukee

Milwaukee County.



And finally, HELP!

Like any major event, we need volunteers. If you have friends or family who would like to help, please contact us at our e-mail address: You can also register to volunteer online at Volunteers get free t-shirts AND our never-ending thanks.



For Runners. By Runners

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Milwaukee's Lakefront Marathon
c/o Badgerland Striders
12650 Arden Place
Butler, WI 53007


Club Office:
       Badgerland Striders
       12650 Arden Place
       Butler, WI 53007
       Phone: (414) 476-7223



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