Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
Erin Smith-Race Director
The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, more affectionately known as LFM, is an event that caters to runners of all abilities. Each year LFM hosts a large number of first time marathoners, runners with their eye on a BQ, and veteran runners out check off a new state. On the first Sunday of October for the last 37 years, runners have converged on Southeast Wisconsin for their 26.2 mile journey from Grafton High School to Veteran’s Park.
In 2017, runner’s kicked off their race weekend experience by visiting the new Westin hotel in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. The expo offered runners an intimate space to pick up their race weekend booklet, bib, and race shirt not to mention some awesome LFM race gear. Runners were also welcomed by many local and national vendors, the Lakefront Marathon Pace Team, pre-race taping and massage by InStep Physical Therapy as well as a riveting and entertaining course talk by, none other than, the race director.
Many runners opted for race day packet pick up at Grafton High School. A new option for 2017, runners could pay a $25 convenience fee at the time of online registration to have their bib ready on race morning. This is a convenient option for runners who like the idea of their own bed the night before a race but can’t justify a two hour drive to pick up their race packet on Saturday. We had great feedback and plan on bringing this option back for 2018.
When race day finally rolled around on Sunday, October 1, 2017; after months of training, planning, and hard work, it was time to board the shuttle for the LONG ride to Grafton High School. A quick pick up at the Italian Community Center and runners were on the bus heading to Grafton. A somewhat unusual ride full of nervous energy and bus fumes, runner’s made it to the high school were warmth and a multitude of port-o-potties awaited them.
Heading to the start line, runners were greeted by a truck from Grafton Transit and a handful of volunteers ready to take warm clothes and other personal items to the finish. A quick drop off of gear and it was time to hear the National Anthem sung by Bonnie Cleary, a Badgerland Strider favorite. A few words of encouragement and thanks from the race director, Grafton Village President-Jim Brunnquell, and some pump you up music provide by Legend George and the runners were off.
Fast forward 26.2 miles…Grafton High School to Veteran’s Park. Here come the stats:
The first handcycle finisher, Fr. Dale Grubba, 77 years young, from Princeton, WI with a time of 2:04:19 (4:44 pace) The first runner, Matthew Borneman from Madison, crossed the line in 2:31:44 (5:47 pace), followed by Joseph Skurski in 2:34:02 (5:52 pace) and Martin Hinze in 2:38:07 (6:02 pace). For the ladies, local runner Jenny Zwagerman broke the tape in a time of 2:54:15 (6:38 pace), followed by Hannah Kuenzi in 2:57:55 (6:47 pace) and Claire Bartholic in 3:00:29 (6:53 pace). All in all, there were 1702 finishers for the 2017 edition of the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon of which 901 were male (average pace of 9:28) and 801 were female (average pace of 10:22). The average finish time was 4:19:13, a pace of 9:53.