Thursday, May 21, 2015

Run for Fun

Training with a group keeps you going
First let me say, I am not a runner.  The only real running I ever did was when I was forced to do it at Officer's Training School or some other form of military training.  I've had so many people ask me about where to run or how to find running buddies in the area, that I decided to ask some locals and share it with you.  I hope you will 'run with it!'

I wrote a book called, The Milwaukee Bucket List.  In it, I encourage people to try something new and one of the items could be running.  I suggested you could contact Performance Running Outfitters (PRO) to get started because that's the place my husband went when he wanted to get back into running.  They put him on a treadmill in a variety of shoes and supplied him with some cool tools to help him get out there again. They always seem in the know about which parks have good running courses and you can sign up for training groups depending on your level of ability. You can check their store bulletin board for the latest events.

PRO hosted a book event last night at the Brookfield location for the book Another Mother Runner, featuring one of the main authors, Dimity McDowell, as well as some of the ladies who submitted stories for the book.  Heather DuRocher is a friend of a friend and she was reading her essay out loud.  She traveled on the Lake Ferry (at her own expense) to be there and help motivate our local lady runners.  I must say...she was loaded with inspiration.  She shares her stories through a blog Michigan Runner Girl. There were about 200 women at this event.  Many were long time runners and had done some local runs.  Others had been to the Boston Marathon.  What encouraged me was that so many were just starting out, and not everyone was young and buff.  Finding a support system like a running store or group seems to be key in getting started and staying with it. Stop in at the Brookfield or Shorewood location to find out about training runs and programs they offer.  They may even turn me into a runner yet!

Dimity McDowell (author) with essayists Heather DuRocher and Amy Bailey

Some books you might check out if you're new to running or need some direction and support
Badgerland Striders is a statewide running club based in Wauwatosa which promotes running. Go to their website to find out where people are running for training, as well as organized runs. Hart Park in Wauwatosa has a track where you will find some of their members on Tuesday nights at 6:30. You can also learn about events at their Facebook page.

There will be many runs this summer hosted in our parks.  Here are just a few you could put on your calendar now, complete with links.  Some even encourage you to bring your dogs.  Most require advance registration so check the links for these important deadlines.

Walk, Run, Wag for Madacc- May 30 at Hart Park
Tails on the Trail- June 14 at Veterans Park
Hartfest Half Marathon- June 13 at Hart Park
Color Run- July 11 at Miller Park
The Great Amazing Race- July 19 at Greenfield Park
Run for the Parks- August 19 at Humboldt Park
Glo Run- September 19 at Veterans Park
Brewers Mini marathon- September 26 at Miller Park
Lakefront Marathon- October 4 starts at Grafton
Milwaukee Beer Run- October 24 at Veterans Park

If you're a runner, whether seasoned or an amateur, you might check out this Runner's website that gives a pretty comprehensive list of events in or near Milwaukee.  Maybe this will inspire you to get your athletic shoes on and get out there!  Or this Road Race Runner website that lists more.  Many of the local runs start or end in the parks, so it's a good opportunity to see a bit more of the parks.  Another comprehensive list with maps is available at Milwaukee Running Routes to walk, jog or run.

A few suggestions for outdoor running routes-  start from the War Memorial Center, on the corner of N. Prospect Ave. and E. Mason St. The most populated and scenic path is the paved Lakefront Trail that runs north from the Art Center along Lake Michigan. There's a great three-mile loop through Veteran's Park, which is just east of the south end of the paved Lakefront path. The park also has a 20 station exercise course.  If you cross Lincoln Memorial Drive, just north of the Art Museum, you can pick up the Oak Leaf Trail, with 118 miles of trails through some of Milwaukee's most spectacular parks.

Just south of the Summerfest grounds, you'll find the Lakeshore State Park, with paved trails that take you along the lake and connect to the river and the Hank Aaron Trail.

 Root River Parkway runs south from the duck pond of Greenfield Park (2028 S. 124th St.) through Whitnall Park (5879 S. 92nd St.), a nature preserve and a small lake. The loop is 12.6 miles one-way, so it's ideal for marathon trainers.

Seven Bridges Trail, in the city's Grant Park, is the perfect trail who wants to experience nature.  You may see wildflowers, birds, and just beautiful nature.

The Schlitz Audubon Center at Brown Deer Road, has six miles of trails through the 185 acres of land.  The Center is open from 9-5 every day and admission is $8 for adults.

The Hank Aaron State Trail now goes from Milwaukee's lakefront to the west end of the city.  Start at Lakeshore State Park and end at Doyne Park.  You can download a current map at the friends website.

You might also check out the list of rails to trails at the Trail Link website.  There were a few on there that I haven't been to...and it's always great to try something new.  They give a photo, a small narrative, and then you can see the trail on a map.  Let's get out and enjoy the great outdoors!
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