Letter from the Prez-Dec. 2017

Posted by Pete Abraham    
A lot has happened in the local running world in the past month or so.  After several years of declining numbers Summerfest has canceled  Rock N’ Sole.  With their half marathon numbers dwindling the race may not have produced the financial pay back the organizers were looking for.
The Summerfest news came just a week or two after the “PNC Milwaukee Running Festival/Milwaukee Marathon” course issues which left their 580 entrants (finishers?) almost a mile short of a full marathon. The future of this self proclaimed “World Class Event” may be in jeopardy after some Milwaukee Common Council members suggested the event could have a difficult time getting the necessary permits to return next year. Video of the meeting with city official can be found here (at about the 17 minute mark). http://milwaukee.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1489
What isn’t clear is how the nationwide news coverage of the ‘Milwaukee Marathon’ screw up will affect the ‘Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon’ and the reputation of the Milwaukee running community in general. For 37 years Lakefront has steadily built a stellar reputation and now ranks in the top 5% of US marathons based on the number of finishers. How many runners from out of state will simply assume the second course blunder in two years is associated with ‘that marathon in Milwaukee’ after seeing an article like this in “RUNNER’S WORLD”? https://www.runnersworld.com/race-day/congratulations-youve-entered-the-worst-race-ever
For those that scoff at the idea that anyone would confuse the two events?  Ask a casual runner, what the difference is between the ‘Minneapolis Marathon’ and the ‘Twin Cities Marathon’?
With race participation starting to show signs of decline in numbers more events that are staged strictly for profit will start to disappear. But that’s where the Striders are different. “For Runners, By Runners”.  We are all about running, not profit. Many of our races have been around for decades and you can rest assured that they will be around for many more years!