Early registration is now open for the new Milwaukee Running Festival, with a 5K, half marathon and marathon scheduled to be run through the city on November 1, 2015.
The early-bird pricing has the marathon registration at $65, the half marathon at $55 and the 5K at $20, until January 1. (Registration for the 5K opens April 1).
Chris Ponteri, a veteran race organizer, created the Milwaukee Running Festival to launch a larger marathon in the city, and on a course that showcases the neighborhoods and landmarks. The tentative course starts at the Summerfest grounds along the lakefront, stretches west to Miller Park, north through the Sherman Park neighborhood and back along Wisconsin Ave. before returning to the lakefront.
An operating agreement between Milwaukee Running Festival Inc. and the city is being drafted to detail the fire, police and public works commitment for the event. The marathon organizers will be required to pay for all city services, according to a resolution approved by the Milwaukee Common Council. The festival won preliminary approval from the council in mid November.
In its first year, the marathon field will be capped at 3,500 and the half marathon at 6,500. Combined, the festival would be one of the largest running events in the state.
The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon has traditionally drawn the largest fields to the marathon distance, with nearly 3,000 participants the first Sunday in October. The 35th annual Lakefront Marathon, organized by the Badgerland Striders Running Club will be held October 4, and has been designated as the regional championship for the Road Runners Club of America.