Milwaukee Marathon event confirmed for March 26, but only 5K and half marathon will be held

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- After several years of hiccups, mistakes, and cancellations, the Milwaukee Marathon will return next month on March 26.

But this year's race was organized in a relatively short amount of time, so instead of offering a full marathon, there will be a 5K and half marathon.

Milwaukee has struggled to host a running event for years. A premier race that was once a qualifier for the Boston Marathon has suffered several black eyes in recent years, including an incorrectly measured course, twice.

Now a new management company thinks it has all the issues sorted out.

At a community meeting Tuesday night, District 3 Alderman Jonathan Brostoff said, "It's going to be great for Milwaukee, going to be great for the district, and I look forward to having more and more of these events in the future."

Everything has been signed off on and all the approvals have been granted. Milwaukee will host a marathon event in 2023, even if it's not a full marathon distance.

Chip Hazewski, senior road races director for the Milwaukee Marathon, said, "Knowing the approval process takes a while, having that full year runway is something I think will allow us to get back to normal."

A new company, Ventures Endurance, is trying to move beyond the race's past troubles and put Milwaukee back on the map for premier runners around the country.

Members of Milwaukee's running community say not having a marathon is a noticeable shortcoming.

Scott Stauske, of the Badgerland Striders Running Club, said, "Every city that's the size of Milwaukee has a major running event. Louisville, for instance, they get 25-30,000 people. We're struggling to try to get a couple thousand and we hit brick walls."

Organizers expect between 1,200 and 1,500 runners for the half marathon.

Registration is open now. Fees will increase March 5.

The race will start and finish at Fiserv Forum, and the course is a simple out-and-back. Runners will head east to Water Street, then loop down and around to Lincoln Memorial Highway, up and over to the Oak Leaf Trail, then turn and reverse course to the finish.

Organizers say it's critical to pull off a successful event in order to lay the groundwork for more in the future. Brostoff said, "There's hotel revenue and things of that nature. It's showing off our great city, getting more people here, eating at the restaurants, spending the night. From all over the Midwest and probably from all over the country."

Organizers and city leaders are confident race day will be a success, but they're also looking ahead to a bigger field and better race next year.

Hazewski said, "Everyone's been super supportive. The aldermen, DPW, MPD. So just kind of get a feel for the city and see where we think we can have the most positive impact across the city."

Race day is Sunday, March 26. The 5K will start at 6:30 a.m. and the half marathon will start at 7 a.m.

Click here to learn more information and to register.

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