Remembering the Defunct Races

There are a few races that, when I talk about them, I add “Rest in Peace” to the end of their name. For example: “Remember when we ran The Gambler, rest in peace?”

So in honor of Dam to Dam running it’s last ever race this Saturday, I bring you this blog post.

We’ve all run races that no longer exist. So I’m gonna take a walk down memory lane and look back on the races I’ve run that are run no more.

JJ Watt 5k – As JJ Watt’s star grew brighter, that meant the JJ Watt 5k fell away in Pewaukee, WI. I really liked this early June event in which all proceeds went to Watt’s charity. And yes, Watt attended the event as well. This wasn’t a huge race, but not small by any means, and had some good competition at the top as well. If I’ve got my dates correct, the last year for the 5k was 2014.

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Last year of the JJ Watt 5k (RIP)

The Gambler – As referenced in the first couple of paragraphs. The Gambler was a flat and fast Half Marathon in Council Bluffs, IA. It was a neat event with packet pickup at a casino, and blackjack and beer (maybe not a good combo) available at the finish line. In 2015, I ran the race with a few friends in a torrential downpour. Literally, I’ve never been colder after a race. Unfortunately, that was the last year of The Gambler as it was purchased, renamed, and changed dates.

Relay Around the Lake – A five person relay, each running a 5k, around Pewaukee Lake. A neat event that took place in the middle of the summer. Sure it was warm, but it was a great way to get friends together for some fun and competition. I never actually found out why the race didn’t return.

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Still the defending Relay Around the Lake (RIP) champs!

Pony Express Marathon – My third marathon was a one and done marathon. The Pony Express popped up as an option in Sacramento while I was in NoCal. Naturally, I signed up the Tuesday before, and ran 13 miles through San Francisco the day before. Bad idea. This was a hot race (winning time overall was a 3:06), but I thought it seemed well organized. Apparently the city and residents of Sacramento disagreed, and the race never returned.

Rock N Sole Half Marathon – The Rock N Sole was a staple in the Milwaukee racing scene for years. A mid-June race that started and ended at the Summerfest grounds was a huge draw. Yes it was hot, but it was an extremely organized and well run event. Then, late in 2017, the race announced it would not be returning. Ever. It was a surprise to many in the area, and that void for a June race in the city has not been filled yet.

Sole
Rock N Sole (RIP)

Icebreaker Indoor Races – Another one that has been purchased, renamed, and had the date moved. After 2017, the Icebreaker went away and became the Pettit Indoor Marathon in February. I was bummed about this because the “new” race eliminated the 5k, which I had run in 2017. How many times do you get to run an indoor race outside of HS or College track?

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The final kick in the final Icebreaker 5k (RIP)

PNC Milwaukee Marathon – Ok. So I’ve heard that the PNC will return in the Spring of 2019. However, since the debacle of the 2017 (and 2016…) race, nothing on the website has been updated and the race seems dead. It’s possible that the race could make a return, but it won’t be in 2018 at all.

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The Milwaukee Marathon (RIP) might not be missed

Next week at this time Dam to Dam will be able to be added to this list. The race has been purchased and will still be run in the future under a different name. But this Saturday is the end of that classic race.

What races have you run that no longer exist?

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